null
Advanced Search

Cruciform Watch

On view

Cruciform Watch

Artist: Hermann Boehm (Vienna, Austria)

Date: 1875-1900
Medium: Silver gilt, rock crystal, enamel, steel
Dimensions:
85.7 x 57.2 x 22.2 mm
Markings: Movement: "L. E. in Wien" (Vienna) Case: cm rect. cameo "HB", (Vienna HM post 1867)
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Thomas R. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 250
Label Text
In contrast to Renaissance watches that were engraved with biblical scenes, this watch replaces religious figures with objects associated with the crucifixion of Jesus. The grille around the dial is pierced and depicts a staff and scourge and a crown of thorns at the top, three nails on the right, hammer and pliers on the left, and a reed with sponge, ladder, dice, and crowing cock at the bottom.

Text Entries

Watch designers at the end of the nineteenth century adapted the Renaissance version of the Latin cross with its intersecting arm, a prevalent watch form in the early seventeenth century. While earlier watches were engraved with biblical scenes, this cruciform watch omits all ecclesiastical figures and replaces them with objects associated with the Crucifixion. The grill around the dial is pierced and depicts the staff and scourge and a crown of thorns at the top. There are three nails on the right arm, hammer and pliers on the left, and a reed with sponge, ladder, dice, and crowing cock at the bottom. The hammer was used to drive the nails into the hands of Christ, and the pliers removed the nails after his death. When Christ cried out that he thirsted While hanging on the cross, an officer stuck a sponge with vinegar on a reed and held it up to his mouth; and, after his death, one of the soldiers pierced his side with the spear While others threw dice for his cloak. Leafy scrolls in champlevé enamel of blue, green, black, and brown meander around these symbols.

The lid on this watch is faceted rock crystal, characteristic of Renaissance-inspired watches. The bezel is trimmed with a white champlevé-enamel border decorated with ovals in lime green and amber. The backside is engraved with scrolls. Like the dial on another watch of this period (PC. 160), the dial on this watch is champlevé-enameled in blue, but with black Roman chapters. It has two hands, and the trefoil-shaped pendant ring is enameled green.