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Watch

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Watch

Artist: Maker unknown (Europe)

Date: 1875-1900
Medium: Silver gilt, rock crystal, enamel
Dimensions:
76.2 x 50.8 x 25.4 mm
Signed:
Inscribed: The letter "A" concealed on wheel of movement
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Frederick T. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 160
Label Text
Star shapes, a common form for watches at the beginning of the seventeenth century, were adopted for late nineteenth-century Renaissance-style watches. Although the materials and techniques used on these watches bear similarities to earlier prototypes, Renaissance-style watches are distinguished by their decorative motifs and colors. While seventeenth-century watches favored depictions of biblical scenes, their nineteenth-century counterparts often exhibit champlevé-enameled floral and scroll motifs. Watchmakers also added an uncharacteristic color, amber (not seen on watches made during the Renaissance) to, the Renaissance palette of blue, green, red, and white. Finally, later watches tend to be more jewel-like in their conception, aimed at the taste of late nineteenth-century collectors.

All of the enameling on this star-shaped watch is executed in champlevé technique. The lid and bottom are formed from faceted rock crystal. The silver mount for the lid is embellished with an amber and green floral pattern; the under-side is engraved in a scroll-like motif. The light blue dial is encircled by concentric rings, a larger one decorated with an amber scroll motif. Roman chapters in white surround a silver gilt core with a design of blue and amber flowers and green leaves. The six-point star frames the watch face like a wreath. The arms of the star are pierced in a naturalistic motif in greens and blues within a brown border with gold squares. The perimeter is decorated with green c-scrolls and brown spade-like motifs, and the crowning trefoil-shaped stem is turquoise, complementing the blue on the dial. Unlike its seventeenth-century predecessors, which had only one hand, this watch has two hands to show time in hours and minutes.

Text Entries

Star shapes, a common form for watches at the beginning of the seventeenth century, were adopted for late nineteenth-century Renaissance-style watches. Although the materials and techniques used on these watches bear similarities to earlier prototypes, Renaissance-style watches are distinguished by their decorative motifs and colors.(1) While seventeenth-century watches favored depictions of biblical scenes, their nineteenth-century counterparts often exhibit champlevé-enameled floral and scroll motifs. Watchmakers also added an uncharacteristic color, amber (not seen on watches made during the Renaissance) to, the Renaissance palette of blue, green, red, and white. Finally, later watches tend to be more jewel-like in their conception, aimed at the taste of late nineteenth-century collectors.

All of the enameling on this star-shaped watch is executed in champlevé technique. The lid and bottom are formed from faceted rock crystal. The silver mount for the lid is embellished with an amber and green floral pattern; the under-side is engraved in a scroll-like motif. The light blue dial is encircled by concentric rings, a larger one decorated with an amber scroll motif. Roman chapters in white surround a silver gilt core with a design of blue and amber flowers and green leaves. The six-point star frames the watch face like a wreath. The arms of the star are pierced in a naturalistic motif in greens and blues within a brown border with gold squares. The perimeter is decorated with green c-scrolls and brown spade-like motifs, and the crowning trefoil-shaped stem is turquoise, complementing the blue on the dial. Unlike its seventeenth-century predecessors, which had only one hand, this watch has two hands to show time in hours and minutes.

 

1. This watch was owned by Frederick Proctor and, at the time the privately printed catalogue of his collection was assembled, was dated to the eighteenth century. See Frederick Towne Proctor Collection of Antique Watches and Table Clocks (Utica, NY: privately printed) cat. no. 122.