Fine quality verge with beautiful first period enamel dial in perfect condition.
22ct gold paircase hallmarked London 1736, casemaker SG under a fish (Stephen Goujon), the outer with London watchpaper and retaining a proper high dome glass, the centre arbor never having been filed down due to the later fitting of a glass that was too low, the normal fate of watches of this period. Beautifully pierced and engraved fullplate fusee movement, the balance arbor jewelled with large diamond endstone. Verge (recoil) escapement. Brass balance, spiral balance-spring. Original one-piece 'Roman & Arabic' enamel dial, enamelled on gold and in perfect condition, original blued-steel beetle & poker hands. 48 mm diameter.
Henry Neve, known to have been working near the Strand, London. Active in the first half of the 18th century, this is one of very few items recorded by this maker.
Simon Goujon, a fine watch case maker whose official mark(s) of SG under a fish are presumed to be in the missing Registers of Goldsmiths Hall. Priestly describes these as being incuse stamps but I include an image of the stamp used in the outer case of this watch that shows that he also used a cameo stamp.
NB: Although small or two-piece enamel dials were occasionally used in the 17th century, the introduction of larger one-piece dials appears to coincide with the beginnings of George Graham's dead-beat escapement in watches, commonly called the cylinder. This happened in 1725/6. Watches earlier than this date have often been recorded as having "original" enamel dials, but all that I have seen have been later replacements. The construction, painting and surface finish are all clues which can help distinguish these very early dials and survivors in perfect condition, like this, are extremely rare. This is a wonderful example of the earliest dials in which the raised edge of the dial plate, in this instance gold, is also present at the slot for the case bolt nib or 'finger-piece.' This practise was soon abandoned in English work and slots were cut into the solid, already fired dials.
A rare survival and in fine original condition showing hardly any of the usual signs of use, and with the lovely 'buttery' patina associated with 22ct gold. Serviced and guaranteed.
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