The Best of the Best 2003: Antiques Dealers - Trevor Philip & Sons

Although antiques are often functional, few were originally designed as professional-quality tools. Since 1972, London-based Trevor Philip & Sons has dealt in antique instruments from across the sciences, including astronomy, navigation, seafaring, surveying, microscopy, time-telling, and even medicine. Indeed, their value as highly reliable tools is a significant part of their value as antiques. “All those fields require precision. That’s why the instruments must be precise. They have to be,” says Saf Waterman, who codirects the firm with his father, Trevor P. Waterman.

While the stock has included items made as early as the 15th century and as late as the 20th century, tools created during the 17th through the 19th centuries are most prized. These were the ages of the gentleman scientist—educated men wealthy enough to spend their time trying to unravel the secrets of the natural world. They preferred tools that were not only extremely accurate but also aesthetically pleasing, and crafted from mahogany, brass, ivory, ebony, silver, and other fine materials. As with more decorative antiques, these scientific instruments are sometimes enhanced by a romantic provenance. In 1997, for example, Trevor Philip & Sons sold a sextant that Captain Cook used during his journeys.

Trevor Philip & Sons, +44.20.7930.2954, www.trevorphilip.com

Read Next Article >>
Among the myriad items on display are pre-Columbian treasures dating as far back as 250 AD…
The top posters at the January 22 annual auction could fetch upwards of $30,000 apiece…
Collectors of toy trains are rolling into prime time...
The new pieces can be used with touchscreen devices or as traditional ink pens…
The vast collection of Morris Everett Jr. is only available as a single lot…
Auction Previews and Noteworthy Sales
Inspiring Discoveries & Insights
The December 17 auction will include 15 of the British leader’s finest paintings…
The fifth and final release of a pen collection celebrating religions, the Visconti Al-Aqsa (www....
Harry Heuts Photograph
Gifts for the collector...