A fine and interesting dumb repeater by this top London firm, with provenance.
18ct true consular case (three parts hung from the same joint) hallmarked 1807, casemaker IM (probably James Maklin, Bloomsbury). Beautifully finished fullplate repeating fusee movement with typically well pierced and engraved cock and slide plate, the cap adapted to fit the new larger diameter case. Cylinder (deadbeat) escapement. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. Best quality 'Roman & Arabic' enamel dial as often used by the Vulliamy firm (notice the quarter hour dots), in perfect condition, matching gold hands. 51.5 mm diameter
Benjamin Gray, a fine watchmaker and a specialist in repeating work. His partnership with Vulliamy, who almost certainly came to London to learn cylinder escapement making from Graham, was most successful and launched the Vulliamy firm as 'Watchmakers to the King' for over 100 years.
This movement dates from around 1750 but was given a new dial and case by the Vulliamy firm in 1807, as requested by the then owner, Lady Rossmore. This information can be found in the Day Book records of the Vulliamy firm, as kindly supplied by Roger Smith. Lady Rossmore was the wife of Warner William Westenra, 2nd Barron Rossmore, and the watch was possibly inherited from the estate of the first Baron, Robert Cuninghame, who died in 1801.
NB: Vulliamy is one of the London firms that updated and recased watches for their usually aristocratic owners in the 19th century, another being the firm of Barraud. Such watches are part of the real history of English watchmaking and should be appreciated for what they are - fine movements housed in a fine new case, often with family provenance.
A lovely watch that shows little signs of use since its new case and dial in 1807. Serviced, and guaranteed.
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