Good early knock-out keyless watch by Kullberg, boxed and with provenance.
18ct gold half-hunter case, the back with blue enamel chapter on the cover and 'JM' monogram and motto I AM READY, hallmarked 1865, casemaker AW (Alfred Woolfe, Clerkenwell). Typical Kullberg half-plate keyless movement with reverse fusee, jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, spiral balance-spring. Enamel dial in perfect condition, blued-steel hands of correct half-hunter form. 48 mm diameter. Together with unusual gilt tooled Benson box.
James Walter Benson ‘to H M the Queen,’ London’s biggest and most energetic watch retailing firm of the second half of the 19th and the first half of 20th centuries. Benson’s ordinary watches were marketed under the names ‘The Bank,’ ‘The Ludgate’ and ‘The Field’ but their best English made work was supplied by various makers including Victor Kullberg.
Victor Kullberg, 105 Liverpool Road, one of London’s most famous watch and chronometer manufacturers. The Kullberg record books are held at London's Guildhall Library but they start at 1868 and this watch is too early to be included, although it may be found in the correspondence books if later cleaned by the firm.
All in good original condition showing just a few signs of wear, the I AM READY enamel monogram with a few local repairs. Serviced and guaranteed, a good example of Kullberg's earlier work plus the possibility of finding the family if not the name of its original owner. NB: I should have a fine 18ct watch chain of the correct colour and weight for the watch - please ask if wanted.
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