A near mint and very rare condition solid silver late 17th century verge chain driven fusee pair-case pocket watch by Joseph Rose of London, fully serviced, overhauled and keeping good verge time. Watches from this period with the fire-gilding to the watch movement and cases in such bright condition are very uncommon and , split tulip pillars and with finely made and decorated original beetle and poker hands. The dial is also most attractive, being the original silver champleve; and the silver pair case, clearly well looked after, the watch is very handsome piece indeed.
THE DIAL: 100% mint, silver champleve dial has the delicately engraved Roman numerals filled with black enamel and it is further decorated with silver. between each Roman numeral is a diamond half-hour marker. The outer chapter ring has polished and raised silver cartouches decorated with black enamel Arabic minute markers. The centre of the dial is sunken, repoussed and engraved and it is signed “Rose London” on two cartouches surrounded by typical 17th century decorations. Around the edge of the dial is a finely engraved wheat-ear border, a typical decorative effect of the period. The dial has original blued steel beetle and poker hands and these are superb. The domed glass in very fine condition. Diameter is 38 mm.
THE MOVEMENT: 100% mint, with richly gilded full plate in wonderful condition. The well engraved and carved balance cock and foot in superb condition with two birds and unusual floral centre with wheatear bordered edge to the large cock with pierced and decorated wings. The back plate with further decoration and Tompion time regulator plate with finely pierced and engraved additional plate. An uncut three arm steel balance, verge escapement with flat hairspring and fusee and chain. The watch signed, Joseph Rose of London. The watch is keywind, comes with a key and is ticking very strongly indeed and movement size is 34 mm diameter. The movement with stunning capped heagonal colummnar pillars . Polished steel movement bolt with its original blued steel screw. With a beautifully pierced gilded fusee stop work with iron hinge. The movement with several high quality early 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 barrel via a worm and ratchet and a highly decorative and 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 CASE: 100% mint, the original solid silver outer case measures an impressive 50 mm outside diameter. The hinged cover closing tightly, and all in fine order. The five knuckle hinge in good order. The case with no evidence of soft solder, bodges or any splits or other damage commensurate with the age of the case. The original silver inner case measures 43 mm. The bezel hinges nicely and cleany and closes tightly to the case. The pendant re-attached as normally seen with cases from this period but very neatly done, and a well made silver D-bow. The pair-case of heavy gauge and a good weight and feel in the pocket. The outer-case spring clip in working order and the silvered button showing minor wear .
This is a high quality late 17th century English verge pair-case, a work of art in its own right in fine condition . This watch has clearly had a sheltered life and was most likely kept just for "Sunday Best", hence its superb condition. The pictures show minor reflections and various dark marks, these are an artefact from the lighting and are not present in the watch case.
THE WATCH REPAIRER PAPERS: The watch comes with several period and unusual papers. Chief amongst these is a very rare Equation of Time paper from ca. 1748, by the watch-maker Benjamin Maud of St. Martin's LeGrand of London. The calendar is the early type, dated July 4th 1748 so using the old fashioned Julian calendar which was replaced in 1754. Also included is a beautifully hand colored and written 18th century copy of the Lord's Prayer, a rare item and in good condition, with the classic tulip motif.