A near mint and very rare condition solid silver late 17th century verge chain driven fusee pocket watch by John May of London, fully serviced, overhauled and keeping good verge time. Watches from this period with the fire-gilding to the watch movement and case 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; and the silver case, clearly well looked after, the watch is very handsome piece indeed.
THE DIAL: 100% mint, white enamel dial has fine Roman numerals. between each Roman numeral are small quarter hour markers. The dial has original blued steel beetle and poker hands and these are superb. The domed glass in very fine condition. Diameter is 43 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 sea-shell (possible pilgrim symbol) to 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, John May of London, No 3537. The watch is keywind, comes with a key and is ticking very strongly indeed and movement size is 43 mm diameter. The movement with stunning galleried split tulip 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 inner case measures an impressive 51 mm outside diameter. The hinged cover closing tightly, and all in fine order. The case with reattached top pendant as is normal, but no evidence of soft solder or splits or other damage commensurate with the age of the case. The bezel hinges nicely and cleany and closes tightly to the case. The case with London hall-mark and sterling silver marks, but now rather rubbed and a little hard to read.