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Triple-case Watch

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Triple-case Watch

Artist: Markwick, Markham, and Perigal (London, England; active 1725 - 1813)

Date: c. 1813
Medium: Gold, enamel
58.7 x 47.6 x 20.6 mm
Markings: Movement: "Markwick, Markham, Borell, London, 24372" Outer case: "24372" Dial: "MARKWICK, MARKHAM, BORRELL, LONDON"
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Frederick T. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 226
Label Text
The middle case for this watch displays a painted enamel alpine scene. Guilloché enameling in the sky creates the illusion of sunlight. Symbols of love and music are detailed on the enameled band of the inner watchcase.

Text Entries

Probably for name recognition, Robert Markham, who specialized in exploring watches to Turkey, added James Markwick, his father-in-law and a noted watchmaker since the beginning of the eighteenth century, to his firm’s name at some point before this watch was manufactured. Watches signed Markwick, Markham, Borrell (the last a partner from 1805) date to 1813.(1) Like George Prior, this firm made the movements for specially designed enameled cases imported from Switzerland.

This watch for the Turkish market features the characteristic triple-case, and its dial is marked with Turkish chapters. The perimeter of the outermost case is champlevé enameled in bands of lime green, pink, and red with stylized flowers. The middle case features a painted enamel Alpine scene arranged like a landscape painting with a lake in the foreground and houses, trees, and snow-capped mountains in the background. The translucent blue and pink enamel combined with engine turning in the sky gives the impression of rays of sun coming from the mountains. Encircling the landscape is a scalloped border with an engine turned pattern and translucent red enamel. The band is champlevé enameled with red flowerheads, green leaves, and green and white ovals on a pink ground.

On the innermost case, the central motif is an enameled floral bouquet on a violet ground. The band features panels of trophies of love and music, wreaths of flowers, and two rondelles with flowers.

1. G. H. Baillie, C. Clutton and C. A. Ilbert, Britten’s Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers. 7th ed. (New York: Bonanza Books, 1956), p. 452.