42
42
James Tregent, London
AN IMPRESSIVE GOLD, ENAMEL, DIAMOND AND PEARL-SET VERGE WATCH WITH MATCHING CHATELAINE CIRCA 1790, NO. 3137
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT
42
James Tregent, London
AN IMPRESSIVE GOLD, ENAMEL, DIAMOND AND PEARL-SET VERGE WATCH WITH MATCHING CHATELAINE CIRCA 1790, NO. 3137
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Celebration of the English Watch, Part III, The Genius of Thomas Tompion

|
London

James Tregent, London
AN IMPRESSIVE GOLD, ENAMEL, DIAMOND AND PEARL-SET VERGE WATCH WITH MATCHING CHATELAINE CIRCA 1790, NO. 3137
Movement: gilded full plate movement, verge escapement, flat three-arm balance, decoratively pierced balance cock engraved with foliage, fusee and chain, cylindrical pillars, signed Jas. Tregent, 3137
Dial: white enamel, radial Arabic numerals, outer Arabic minute ring, winding aperture at 4 o'clock, gold beetle and poker hands
Case: gold, the back with blue enamel over engine-turned decoration and with applied diamond-set Royal Coronet and cipher: 'GR', both bezels set with split pearls, pusher in pendant to release the front bezel for winding and setting
Chatelaine: the matching gilt-metal and gold chatelaine decorated en-suite with the case, the pendant chains terminating in pearl fronds, a key and a seal set with chalcedony engraved with a forget-me-not and the legend 'a vous', the chains suspended from a rectangular locket containing plaited hair
diameter 48 mm, length of chatelaine 125 mm
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Literature

Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, 2009, p. 306, pl. 191

Catalogue Note

With a sumptuously decorated case and chatelaine, the back of the watch is heightened with the diamond-set royal coronet and cipher of King George III (1738-1820). George III was a great patron of horology and amassed a remarkable collection of clocks, watches and scientific instruments. Famously, in 1770, George III acquired Thomas Mudge’s first pocket watch with lever escapement and soon after became involved in the long running dispute between John Harrison and the Board of Longitude over the tests for Harrison’s chronometer.  Although Tregent frequently signed himself ‘Maker to the Prince of Wales’, he did not in fact hold a Royal Warrant. A similar watch to the present piece, also signed by Tregent and of similar date, can be found in the Royal Collection.

F.J. Britten notes in his book, Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers, that James Tregent was recorded at 35 Strand in 1775 and 29 Cranbroune St., Leicester Square in 1780. Britten also provides the following amusing anecdote: “Sheridan, by attributing his proverbial unpunctuality to the lack of a timekeeper, obtained from Harris, proprietor of Covent Garden Theatre, a watch of Tregent’s make” [op. cit. ACC edition, 1977 p. 500]. Tregent was a Freeman of the Clockmakers’ Company from 1781-1808.

Celebration of the English Watch, Part III, The Genius of Thomas Tompion

|
London