Alx WARFEILD, London


Very fine early 18th century verge, circa 1700-10.

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Well made silver pair case, both the inner and outer with 'EF' cameo stamp (Edward Fletcher, Fleet Lane, London), the outer with 7-knuckle square joint and early hand embroidered silk watch token. Beautifully engraved fullplate fusee movement with Egyptian pillars, the neck of the cock with 'cherub' face and pronounced streamers. Verge (recoil) escapement, steel balance with early 3-turn balance-spring. Silver champleve dial, blued-steel beetle & poker hands. 58 mm diameter.

Alexander Warfeild [sic], watchmaker, son of Alexander Warfeild clockmaker, received his Freedom of the Clockmakers' Company in 1692. NB: Inner (box) and outer (case) were generally the work of different craftsmen at this period, and rarely hallmarked if silver. This example is unusual in both cases bearing the same maker's stamp - Edward Fletcher.

After the initial development in London of the balance-spring by Thomas Tompion, Robert Seignior and few others (examples are very rare), production of these much more accurate watches began in ernest with London makers offering them as 'pendulum watches' or as watches with 'pendulum springs.' The reputation of 'London' watches was thus made, and lasted for most of the next two centuries despite the vast quantity of inferior, mostly Swiss made copies bearing fake London names that flooded world markets.

Inner and outer cases in remarkably good original condition and the pendant still revolving, as sold, the movement, dial and hands in similar fine condition. Altogether an outstanding example of the second generation of balance-spring watches. Cleaned and guaranteed.