Gilded Brass "Puritan" watch , unsigned, c. 1620. Provenance: Private Collection, via Butterfields and Butterfields. Except for the dial, this is an unadorned watch , made to emphasize a Comwellian severity in reaction to the LUXE of the STUARTS.
The Stuarts were the first kings of the United Kingdom. King James I of England who began the period was also King James VI of Scotland, thus combining the two thrones for the first time.
The Stuart dynasty reigned in England and Scotland from 1603 to 1714, a period which saw a flourishing Court culture but also much upheaval and instability, of plague, fire and war.
It was an age of intense religious debate and radical politics. Both contributed to a bloody civil war in the mid-seventeenth century between Crown and Parliament (the Cavaliers and the Roundhead Cromwellians), resulting in a parliamentary victory for Oliver Cromwell and the dramatic execution of King Charles I.
A watch of this type is presently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art . It was displayed with a large collection in the Rolex building in 1974 and reproduced in a book , " FOUR HUNDRED YEARS OF WATCH MAKING " , an Historic Exhibition. Watches such as the one being offered here were customary gifts among royalty and wealthy in the late 16th and early 17th c.
The watch I am offering was produced prior to 1631 , the year when Charles I granted a Royal Charter, constituting clock and watchmakers a body corporate as " The Masters, Wardens and Fellowship of the Art and Mystery of Clock Making in the City of London. "
The extremely rare and special adornment of this watch is that the Dial commemorates THE BEGINNING OF TIME. Lucifer tempting Eve with the Apple in the Garden of Eden. This highly detailed , fine scrollwork is presented under the original single steel hand with engraved roman numerals for the chapter, and chased foliate with serpents as the outer chapter.....
The Oval Pendant Case is 2 bodied, made of gilt over brass . The hinges execute properly. This watch was serviced by my MASTER Watchmaker. There is new gut line ( my watchmaker used synthetic gut so it would not break ). The watch runs the full length of the gut line and keeps time within reason. It has run for me continuously over an 8 hour period...... Full Video clips of this watch running on request...... Very early watches such as this were often referred to as "Ticky Toys" by the wealthy. The manner of keeping "real" time was large clocks. These watches were sometimes made with a sun-dial on the inside of the upper cover.
The size of the case is an oval shape having a length of 50mm, width 40mm, height 25mm. The winding arbor is exposed by a hole which is open without a shutter door. The case snaps shut as it should. If I knew what a new watch looked like in 1620, I might venture to call this "new old stock". The movement is Pre Balance Spring. The balance wheel appears to be steel. Again, there is no Balance Spring ( sometimes referred to as the " Hair Spring " ). The movement is a full plate secured to pins with Baluster Pillars. It is a Verge Escapement. The Balance Cock is pierced and engraved . It has an "S" shaped skeleton appearance and is also secured by a pin. There is a Ratchet Wheel set up regulator click. This watch looks like the predecessors to later watches , such as those highly engraved by Richard Masterson, London.
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