G LEEKEY, London. No 2981


Good 'Dutch market' triple cased watch, with repousse work.

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Silver paircase, the outer with repousse scene of musicians and Lower Saxony watchpaper, the inner hallmarked London 1780 (rubbed), casemaker I.T (John Turner, Cowcross, London), with original silver outer covered in horn, under-painted to simulate tortoiseshell. Fullplate fusee movement with continental style balance-bridge and square balluster pillars. Verge (recoil) escapement. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. Silver champleve dial with arcaded minute chapter and gold pins, the inner named section with cherub and theatrical mask, gilt hands. 59 mm diameter.

Gabriel Leekey, London, member of the Skinners Company. It is likely that Leekey was working in London and retailing watches with movements finished from imported Swiss/French ebauches (rough movements). NB: The fact that this watch has a Dutch market dial and decoration of its case is perhaps because that was the intended market for these watches, with London's merchants being visited by a tremendous amount of foreign buyers for most of the 18th century.

The importance of these watches, and others seen with Fake London names, has yet to be realised within the history of horology and this is a good example of the triple cased type. Wear to the repousse and the pendant now soldered, as usual, the outer case with some cracks in the horn (no loss) and missing pins. Otherwise in better than usual original condition. Cleaned for its previous owner and appearing to be working well, but can be freshly serviced if wanted.