Thomas MUDGE & William DUTTON, London. No 1186


A fine and rare dumb quarter-repeating watch by this most famous London firm.

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Plain silver pair cases retaining the original red silk liner, the inner carrying the casemaker's stamp PM (Peter Mounier), the outer ITP (John Terill Pain), both cases carrying the hallmark date letter for 1779, the outer lightly engraved with an oval containing a monogram (JS?) under a crest featuring what could be a stork. Capped fullplate fusee movement, typically well engraved, both cap and movement signed in full. Graham’s form of cylinder (dead-beat) escapement, the brass escape with 13 teeth, the steel cylinder retaining the Graham-type banking. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring with Tompion-type adjustment for the curb pins. Beautiful ‘Roman & Arabic’ enamel dial, enamelled on gold and surviving in perfect original condition. Original blued-steel beetle & poker hands correctly held by a pin in the centre arbor, now so rarely seen. 50.5 mm diameter of outer case, not including the plunge pendant, and with a correct ‘high dome’ glass.

Thomas Mudge & William Dutton, Fleet St, London, the foremost watch and clock making partnership in the second half of the 18th century, both having been apprenticed to George Graham.

NB: This watch is most unusual to have been finished as a dumb-repeater only, the two hammers striking on steel blocks mounted inside the the inner. Being dumb the outer case has no need to be pierced, allowing much better protection from dust and dirt, and no push-spring for the pulse-piece has been fitted to the outer, it not being needed. 

John Terill Pain, Dean St, Fetter Lane, London, the casemaker who appears to have continued the business of Peter Mounier, of which this is one of two known examples retailed by the Mudge and Dutton partnership that share their stamps.

This watch, having earlier passed through the hands of Malcolm Gardner, is featured in The Camerer Cuss Book of Antique Watches, page 138, published in 1976, but with a later wrong-style of bow. The engraved crest showing some wear, otherwise a rare chance to acquire a fine dumb repeating watch by this famous partnership, the only one of it type known to have survived. Serviced and guaranteed, the repeat work operating correctly with a pleasing strike, felt rather than heard.