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Triple-case Watch

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Triple-case Watch

Artist: Edward Prior (London, England; active beginning c. 1800)

Date: c. 1875
Medium: Silver, tortoiseshell, steel enamel
76.5 x 63.5 x 22.2 mm
Markings: Movement: "Edward Prior, London, 79161" Case: casemakers rect. cameo: "WCS" London HM, 1875 "161" Dial: "Edward Prior, London"
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Frederick T. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 202
Label Text
Common to watches intended for the Turkish market, this watch has three cases. The outer case was usually enameled; however, this example is made of tortoiseshell. It is enhanced with silver bands and nailheads.

Text Entries

English watchmakers Edward and George Prior separately specialized in watches for the Turkish market. Edward ran this business in Clerkenwell, England, and eventually formed a partnership with William Chambers. Common to watches intended for this market, this watch has three cases. Rather than the usual enameled outer case, however, the one for this watch is made out of tortoiseshell, mottled in yellows and browns. It is enhanced with silver bands and nail heads. The second case is engraved with a bouquet of flowers within a scalloped border while the inner case has been left undecorated. The white enamel dial bears Turkish chapters.

The Priors, whose specific family relationship is not known, often collaborated. In all probability, it was Edward who made this watch and George who exported it to Turkey. The second case is fitted with the watch paper printed with both names, "Edw. Prior, George Prior, Clock & Watch-maker, London” as well as Turkish characters.