A near mint and very rare condition gold and under-painted horn mid-18th century verge chain driven fusee pair-case pocket watch by Thomas Betson of London, fully serviced, overhauled and keeping good verge time. The watch with an original late 18th or early 19th century period hand embroidered silk sampler. The watch has been fully serviced and overhauled by my watch maker, and is keeping good verge time. The watch comes from a private collection where it has clearly been looked after. Watches from this period with the fire-gilding to the watch movement and cases in such bright condition are very uncommon and with a large balance cock foot . The movement with fine Egpytian square pillars and with finely made and decorated blued steel beetle and poker hands, and avery pretty under-painted horn/shell outer case,
THE DIAL: 100% mint, the original white enamel dial with black Roman numerals in stunning condition with no chips or hairlines. Finely made blued steel beetle and poker hands, a work of art to see, beautifully cut and polished. The bullseye glass in very fine condition. Diameter is 36 mm.
THE MOVEMENT: 100% mint, with richly gilded full plate in wonderful condition. The well engraved and carved rococo style balance cock and large foot in superb condition with flower to centre. The back plate with further decoration and finely silvered Tompion time regulator plate with finely pierced and decorated additional plate. An uncut three arm steel balance, English verge escapement with flat hairspring and fusee and chain. The watch signed, Thomas Betson of London, number 2402. The watch is keywind, comes with a key and is ticking very strongly indeed and movement size is 36 mm diameter. The movement with square Egyptian pillars. Polished steel movement bolt with its original blued steel ornate screw. Pierced gilded fusee stop work with iron hinge.
The movement with several high quality features. These consist of the fusee ratchet on the outside of the fusee, the third wheel is positioned at the top of the movement and the mainspring setup is under the barrel via a worm and ratchet and a highly decorative and carved case spring. The screws are original, and the gilding is still bright and fresh .
THE CASE: 97% mint, the gold and underpainted shell outer case measures 49 mm outside diameter. The matching gold inner case measures 42 mm and with a few fine patination marks as shown and numbered 2402 inside. The five knuckle square outer case hinge is excellent with the case closing tight and like-wise the inner case hinge also closes tight. The pendant and d-shaped bow, in superb condition. The outer case with underpainted shell, with two faint hairlines, but no loss or missing shell. The surface is complete and in very fine and bright condition. The horn held in place by gilded pique pins, all are present to rear cover, and a few missing to front bezel. The cases of heavy gauge and a good weight and feel in the pocket.
THE MAKER: The watch-maker Thomas Betson of London were located at 21, Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, London, in the period this watch was made. he was active from 1740 through to ca. 1770. If this watch is anything to go by, they had a good eye for detail and finish, which is presumably why this watch has lasted so well over nearly 250 years old. The minor wear and two faint hairlines to the shell outer case is quite exceptional and given how fragile this material is, it has survived remarkably well indeed with no loss.
THE SAMPLER: 90% mint, the watch comes with a period late 18th or early 19th century silk sampler, clearly made for the watch and hand embroidered. The sampler with some minor wear and damage as shown, but a rare survival.