A near mint solid silver English early 19th century highly engraved verge chain driven Masonic fusee pair-case pocket watch made by Robert Blakeway of Wellington. The watch is very substantial, and in a 4 oz solid silver case, so requires a secure pocket! This fine silver paircase verge fusee watch just cleaned and overhauled by my watch-maker and keeping good verge time. The watch with an original early 19th century watch-repair label for its presumed first owner and with a rare Barrow transitional time regulator.
The watch in simply magnificent condition and from a private collection where it has clearly been looked after very well. Watches from this period in solid silver and enamel set cases are now very rare, and with no pin holes, excess solder filling or stretch marks are very uncommon. The movement with fine round ballustar pillars and equally superbly made solid gold hands. The watch is very handsome piece indeed and further complimented by a very fine condition case. The watch is best described as a time-capsule from the early 19th century in simply stunning condition. This is a beautifully made English key-wound mans verge pocket watch, dating from 1807, from the Georgian period.
The polychrome watch dial with the latin inscription, "Quid Rides", from Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur." (Horace. Serm., I.1.69.) Afull and well described web-site reference is given at http://www.uah.edu/student_life/organizations/SAL/texts/latin/classical/horace/sermones101fram.html and also at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sermonum_liber_primus.
The miser, who has no longer any belief in the stories of Hades, or any care for this sort of preaching, laughs at Horace's attempt to convert him with the fables of the world below. But Horace turns upon him, and shows that Tantalus' fate is not a future terror, but his condition now. He then proceeds to prove the similarity of his condition with that of Tantalus, in sight of good things which he cannot enjoy. Please note that Tantalus was punished in Hades by not being able to eat or drink, as the water in the lake dries out, and the fruits in the trees are lifted by the wind each time he tries to reach either.
The poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (Venosa, December 8, 65 BC - Rome, November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.
THE DIAL: 100% mint, the white enamel dial with fine black Arabic numerals, and a separate minute track to outside of dial with no chips and a tiny hairline at 12.00 covered by the silver bezel. With gold hour and minute spade hands. The bulls-eye glass in very fine condition. Diameter is 47 mm.
The watch dial with original polychrome centre. The dial with quartered shield to the centre, showing the stages in life from a young man, through middle-age and finally old age. Above and below the shield, is the motto "Upon My Honor, Quid Rides", explained above in detail. To the upper part of the dial is the open hand with a red heart to the centre, which signifies need and love. To the left of the central shield is a winged figure, possibly an Angel and close by is an hour-glass reflecting the passage of time during our short lives. To the right of the shield is a human figure, possibly the youthful Tantalus, with a goblet of wine (with a connection to the Greek mythical figure, Dionysus or Bacchus) and a grape-vine covered in ripe grapes (see for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus).
THE MOVEMENT: 100% mint, with richly gilded full plate in wonderful condition. The well engraved and carved rococo style balance cock and foot in superb condition The back plate with further decoration and silvered Tompion time regulator plate, which is used to drive the Barrow regulator. A complicated set-up seen on verge watches in the period, 1790-1810 and quickly superceded by the more practical Bosley regulator. The watch is keywind, and movement size is 40 mm diameter. The movement with round ballustar pillars and numbered 595 and signed by the maker, Robert Blakeway of Wellington. Pierced gilded fusee stop work with iron hinge. The watch with fusee chain on tight to barrel and fusee cone and a good free swinging balance and the watch runs the full length of the fusee chain, keeping good verge time. The watch comes with a winding key for hands set and winding. 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 set up is under the dial, and a carved case spring. The finely blued screws are original, the fusee stop iron spring screw is ornate as is the case catch, a fine example of its kind and the gilding is still bright and fresh. The watch comes with a watch key and the watch runs the full length of the fusee chain.
THE CASE: 100%, the solid silver outer case measures an impressive 54 mm outside diameter. The hinged cover closing tightly, and all in fine order. The five knuckle hinge in good order. The inner case measures 48 mm. The cases with matching London hall-marks, case maker marks and silver sterling marks and silver "touch mark". The case maker mark of "WB" for William Bennett of 21, Banner Stree, St. Lukes, London and the number "9", no doubt for a batch number. The pendant and very well made silver D-bow, in superb condition. The case with no pin-holes or stretch marks, to outer case.
The outer case with a fully functioning spring clip and silver button. The watch with monogram to reverse of inner case for the first owner, "FM". A small number of original watch-maker repair labels come with the watch, giving it a fine and unusual provenance, well worth researching in more detail at the local archive office.
THE WATCH REPAIRER LABELS: 100%, the The watch come with an interesting watch repairer label. This are as follows; T. C. Connor of Burslem, and undated, but possibly contemporary with watch when first purchased;.