Sunday, 22 March 2015
Answers to the Mystery Object :- It is, as you can see (and as Crowbard guessed, after some heavy fraternal hinting) an early form of pocket watch. It would have been carried by either a male or female owner, although there are one or two very tiny watches of this period, which we assume were made for ladies.They are very rare though, and I'm inclined to think that this one was made for a man. It would probably have been, when made, a single handed time piece. It is of a type called by collectors 'a form watch', this one being in the form of a fritilary flower, which is one of the known motifs. This kind of watch would have been made probably in the first quarter of the 1600s. The present movement is probably the third movement the watch has had. The original movement would have been a verge movement with a fusee, but with no balance spring, so not a particularly good timekeeper. The above and below photos show that the watch would have been viewed by folding back one of the three petals; the other two petals could also be folded back, as a stand, thus enabling the watch to be used as a small bedside clock. It was probably made in Holland as several of you have guessed, but possibly in Germany, or even in England (being rather a plain, functional item. The original movement would have been a good deal deeper than the present one, which is illustrated in the lower picture, and has been in the watch for some fifty or so years.
The below picture shows the watch completely open, with the present movement as it is today. When being worn now, I am told; it is carried as a pendant, and hung on a chain made from two silver watch alberts, and shown to the left of the watch.
Had the watch retained its original movement, it would have been of considerable value. As it is however, it is a nice piece of unusual jewellery, but of no great value. The present winder is shown below the dial in both top pictures, and is quite difficult to operate. It would have originally been wound with a key.
I think I've about covered all details, but if anything is unclear, please ask and I'll try and give further information.