Lot 5
  • 5

Nathaniel Barrow, London

30,000 - 50,000 GBP
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  • silver, shagreen
  • diameter of inner case 53 mm, outer case 61 mm
Movement: gilded full plate movement, verge escapement, pierced and floral engraved screw-set balance cock and foot, worm and wheel set-up, blued steel stop work visible to the backplate, decoratively pierced alarm barrel, striking on a bell to the inside case back, fusee and gut line, early tulip pillars, signed Nathaniel Barrow, London
• Dial: gilded dial with stippled ground, upper dial with central revolving disc indicating the date via a blued steel bug, turned blued steel hand indicating month with corresponding signs of the Zodiac and dates in each month upon which the signs of the Zodiac commence according to the Julian calendar, lower dial with Roman numerals and quarter hour divisions, the time indicated by a blued steel bug on the inner rotating ring, short blued steel hand indicating the alarm time against the Arabic numerals, fan-form aperture indicating days of the week with corresponding allegorical figures, three apertures to the right for moon phases with time of moon rise above and moon age below  
Cases: silver inner case, the back with engraved pastoral scene above and a gentleman and lady in the lower foreground with Cupid to their right, the band pierced for sound emission and engraved with flowers and foliage and two dogs' heads beneath the plain pendant, split bezel for glass retention, later specially made 18th century shagreen outer case


Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, 2009, p. 92-93, pl. 44


Movement not running at time of cataloguing but is clean and appears to be complete, fusee winds, alarm sounds loud and clear. Dial in good refreshed condition. Decoration to case retains good definition overall, perhaps one small flower head is missing from the pierced decoration to the band. Shagreen outer case with small split to bezel below pendant.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

Catalogue Note

This is an extremely handsome watch with a skillfully and clearly arranged dial, emphasising the complexity of its indications. The uppermost dial consists of a central revolving disc with three concentric rings and a fixed fourth outer ring. The inner ring indicates the dates in each month on which the signs of the Zodiac commence according to the old style calendar, with the signs on the ring next to those dates. Both are read, together with the months shown in the third ring, against the central hand which turns one twelfth faster than the disc, so advancing one month in each revolution. This hand requires re-setting only once a year when it reaches the two blank ‘months’ that are marked between December and January. To the lower dial, a central disk revolves with a ‘bug’ or pointer indicating the hours on the Roman numeral chapter ring.  The hand in the lower dial indicates the alarm time on the inner Arabic ring. The fan form aperture to the left shows the days of the week with the corresponding allegorical figure, whilst all three apertures to the right relate to the moon - the circular aperture being the moon-phases, with windows directly above for time of moon rise and below for its age.  

Nathaniel Barrow (c.1639 to c.1700) was made a Freeman of the Clockmakers’ Company in 1660/61, became an Assistant from 1676, Warden in 1685 and Master in 1689. Brian Loomes notes in The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain, that Nathaniel Barrow was excused regular attendance of the Clockmakers’ Company in 1698 due to his age, he was perhaps around 59 at the time. Another astronomical watch by Nathaniel  Barrow, but without alarm, is in the collection of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.