- Museum number
Painted Enamel and Rock-Crystal Cased Verge Watch.
Painted enamel and rock-crystal case, with hinged glazed lid. The gold rims to the body and bezel are decorated with flowers in polychrome painted enamels.
The lid is glazed with a single piece of rock-crystal cut with 12 lobed facets around a small concave circular centre. The body of the case is similar in design to the bezel but where the bezel has been ground flat over the area within the chapter-ring, the back retains its domed shape. There are four lugs in the edge of the pillar-plate to engage in recesses in the case-band. The case body is cut from a single piece of crystal and shaped in a similar manner to the lid to follow the shape of the case and bezel rims.
There is no case catch. The pillar-plate is hinged to the case at XII. Gold pendant and finial decorated with polychrome enamels similar to the rims.
Dial & Hand:
Gold dial, pinned directly to the pillar-plate. the dial enamelled all over with an outer white enamel chapter-ring with Roman hours I-XII and foliate half-hour marks within two exposed gold circles. In the centre a painted enamel landscape showing a castle gatehouse over a moat. Blued-steel hand.
Circular gilt-brass plates with four baluster pillars. Riveted potence pierced and shaped as a foliate scroll. Riveted counter-potence, replaced.
Engraved decoration around the verge aperture.
Mainspring & Set-Up:
Gilt-brass barrel with dovetailed cap and riveted steel hook. Tangent screw set-up on the potence-plate with two pierced steel brackets for the worm gear.
Fusee & Stop-Work:
Gilt-brass fusee, with gut-line and English stop-work. The profile of the fusee has been changed to make it suitable for a later chain which has since been replaced with gut-line. Very elaborate foliate stop-work spring and stop-iron.
Three wheel train, the second wheel replaced.
Escapement & Balance:
Verge escapement, the verge and balance not original. The crown wheel arbor shortened and the counter-potence replaced. Screwed-on balance cock, pierced and engraved with foliate scrolls.
Duration: 28 Hours.
- Production date
Diameter: 54.90 millimetres (case)
Thickness: 23.80 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The main body of the case is possibly a replacement. There is damage to the rims at III-IIII where the watch may have received a hard knock which removed most of the enamel and even some of the gold. This may also have broken the case-back. In comparison with the lid, the finish of the back is soft. The lid is ground off flat but the back has no clearly defined edge to its flat area, the change in direction being much more gradual. The inside has been cut out using one large diameter grinding wheel. On the other hand the back may be original and the lid may have been ground off flat at a later date[DRT.2/92]
See Huygens Ouevre Vol.II Appendix. letter no.69 Constantine to Christian
January 5th 1650. Also Constantine Huygens' Diary 4th Dec. 1649. [JHL 2/92]
Bibliography: Good, Richard, WATCHES IN COLOUR, Poole, 1978, plate 6.
- On display (G2/wp40)
- Exhibition history
2014 Oct 14 - London, BM, G2, 'Collecting the World'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This watch was formerly part of the collection of Otto Koch. His 161 watches and clocks were sold at Christie's London Auction House, 20th June 1939 - 'the property of a Lady'. Otto Koch, who died in 1919, had been a partner in the jewellery firm of Robert Koch in Frankfurt, founded by his father Robert Koch in 1879. Robert Koch died in 1902. After Robert’s death the firm was continued by Louis, his younger brother. Otto's widow, Ida, married again in 1930, Emil Netter, who died in 1936. In 1938 the firm was “aryanized” and ‘sold‘ to Robert Bosch at which point the assets were frozen. In the late 1930s Ida Netter managed to flee from Germany, secretly taking the collection of watches and clocks with her, first to Holland, then to England where they sold at Christie’s. Ida Netter died in Washington DC in 1981 (Information supplied by Eric Koch, the grandson of Otto Koch; for information about the sale and the fourteen clocks and watches from the collection acquired by the BM in 1958, see Spoliation Advisory Panel Report published March, 2012 )
The Ilbert Collection of clocks, prints and other related material was destined to be sold at Christie's auction house on 6th-7th November 1958. As a result of the generous donation of funds by Gilbert Edgar CBE the sale was cancelled and the material purchased privately from the beneficiaries of the Ilbert Estate.NL1 Ilbert's watches were then acquired with further funds from Gilbert Edgar CBE, public donations and government funds. These were then registered in the series 1958,1201.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.2341 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: Q53 (Ilbert Ledger)