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Watch

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Watch

Date: 1800-1825
Medium: Boxwood, bone ebony, ivory, brass, ruby
Dimensions:
73 x 50.8 x 27 mm
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Thomas R. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 373
Label Text
The case of this watch is carved of boxwood, a hard, fine-grained wood more commonly used for musical and scientific instruments. The mechanism is constructed of an assortment of materials including boxwood and bone.

Text Entries

Interest in watches created in novel forms, with moving figures, or from unusual materials emerged at the beginning of the nineteenth century. “Watchmakers tried to make instruments in their line of other materials than metal to attract the attention of the public and to show their skills,” Ferdinand Haschka has written, and added about this watch, “This seems to be just such a piece of art work of that class.”(1) The case of this watch was carved out of boxwood, a hard, fine-grained wood more commonly used for musical and scientific instruments. The Roman numerals were carved out of the wood and then filled with a black substance. The back is inlaid with an abstract image of the sun in ebony. A serrated band surrounds the dial. The mechanism is constructed of an assortment of materials; the plates and balance cock are made of box-wood; the pillars are turned bone; the coqueret is set with a ruby endstone; and the train and fusee with chain are made of brass.

1. Ferdinand T. Haschka, The Thomas R. Proctor Collection of Antique Watches (New York: privately printed, 1907), p. 57.