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For over 100 years, the Elgin Watch Company was one of the leading watch manufacturers in the United States. Founded in 1864, the watchmakers set up its factory in the developing city of Elgin, Illinois, competing with the progressive Waltham Watch Company of Massachusetts. The initial watches produced by the company were extravagant but elegant pieces aimed at the wealthy, with some of the cases being made of solid gold. After becoming a must-have of the fashion-conscious in the 1920s, the market drastically changed, with the Elgin Watch Company producing military watches and equipment for the U.S. army during the Second World War. Having ceased manufacture in 1968, today, vintage Elgin pocket and wrist watches are highly sought-after on the collectors' market.

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Paradise Lost? The Quest to find Treasures from the Old Summer Palace

The rise in interest from the Chinese to buy back their heritage, can scarcely have gone unnoticed by many enthusiasts of Chinese art. It has become almost impossible to compete with the Chinese buying power at auctions over the past ten years or so. One main brief amongst the buying elite is to find and bring back to China the looted treasures from the Old Summer Palace or Yuanmingyuan.

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