New Edwd PRIOR, London. No 77259

Edwd PRIOR, London. No 77259


Fine 4-cased English watch for the Turkish market, in lovely complete condition.

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Triple silver cases, the outer covered with pinned tortoiseshell, the middle engraved in the Turkish style and retaining its original makers watchpaper, the inner hallmarked London 1867, casemaker A.T (Alford Thickbroom, Clerkenwell), with velvet lined leather covered protective outer. Fullplate fusee movement, of typical late 18th century verge caliper, but finished to have maintaining power and a specially designed potence for its up-to-date escapement - it is not a later conversion. Single-roller detached lever escapement, steel balance with spiral balance-spring. Signed enamel dial in perfect condition, blued-steel beetle & poker hands. 3rd, tortoiseshell case 61 mm diameter, overall 72 mm diameter.

Edward Prior, son of George Prior, one of the names associated with these Islamic market watches: Markwick, Markham, Rogers, French, etc. While many such watches are of Swiss origin, the survival of a few unfinished movements in their original tins points to Coventry manufacture for this example - see Charles Allix & Associates Postal Bid Catalogue No 3, June 1996, item 158.

NB: Though always stated to be of local (Turkish) manufacture, I have seen enough of these leather covered outers to think that some may have been made in England, though not by any watch case maker. The silver outers, of similar high dome shape, often have Turkish decoration, but this may have been added at any time.

The watch has been worn, or at least handled, having the usual few missing silver pins, and it also has a small piece of tortoiseshell (turtle shell) missing near the pendant. Otherwise a very good and complete example of its kind, made more interesting as it has been finished to have a detached lever escapement, and nicely so with a diamond endstone and with the potence foot also acting as a chain guard. Serviced and guaranteed.