MADE CIRCA: 1885
MATERIAL: 18ct Yellow Gold
MOVEMENT: Manual Mechanical
CASE DIAMETER: 52mm
During the 18th century the British East India Company held enormous power over a vast swathe of land in the Indian subcontinent. As such, the British community in India had swollen to such an extent that it became lucrative for British born jewellers and horologists to set up shops within major cities. Many failed however, others thrived even decades after India achieved independence from the British Raj in 1947. One such company was Cooke & Kelvey, founded by Robert Thomas Cooke and Charles Kelvey in Calcutta in 1858. The company was famed for its beautiful silverware and complicated timepieces.
Records indicate that the first Cooke & Kelvey branded quarter-repeating pocket watches were received in Calcutta, from Cooke & Kelvey, London, in the early 1870s. Subsequent timepieces were stamped in England and contained Swiss movements, including those from such fine makers as Audemars Piguet.
The company was commissioned by the Indian Government to supply clocks to Railway Stations, their chronograph timepieces have been used at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club to time all important horse races and both silverware and timepieces have continued to be immensely popular with nobility and Prime Ministers of India.
Cooke & Kelvey ceased being watchmakers in the 1930’s however they have continued being suppliers of fine silverware and to this day hold an association with Rolex, being their official supplier in Delhi.
A Cooke & Kelvey Automation Bracket clock still mesmerises visitors at the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad, India. Commissioned personally by the Nizam of Hyderabad, it chimes every hour with a figure emerging to strike the bell while another figure strikes an anvil.
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