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Watch

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Watch

Date: c. 1810
Medium: Gold, gilt metal, enamel, steel
Dimensions:
57.2 x 41.3 x 19.1 mm
Markings: Pendant: owl control mark (struck twice)
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Thomas R. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 390
Text Entries

Although the entire surface of watchcases was usually decorated, some watches, like this skeletonized one, feature enameling only in certain sections. An urnshaped structure attached to the inside of the gold rim of the case accommodates a white enamel dial on the front side, while a vignette featuring allegorical figures of a putto and a young child are painted in enamel on the back side. The two figures hold a dove, personifying innocence. A serpent, a symbol of evil and the antithesis of the dove, lurks on the right. The enamellist has painted the putto and child in pink flesh tones to accentuate their youthfulness.

The two pieces of glass that form the case are held together by an engine-turned gold rim. The balance wheel can be seen through the back glass cover above the vignette. Behind it, above the dial, a symmetrical design with gold stars completes the decoration. The design makers this watch appear to float inside its glass case, lending it an air of delicacy.