Lot 4008
  • 4008

A Louis XVI gold openface verge watch, Gregson, Watchmaker to the King, Paris, circa 1782

8,000 - 12,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • gold, enamel, glass, other metal
  • diameter 1 3/4 in.
  • 4.4 cm
white enamel dial with gold hands and italic signature Gregson Horr. Du Roi, verge movement with fusee, wound through the dial, bridge-form cock pierced with scrolls, the backplate signed Gregson, Horr. du Roi, Paris, No. 1186, the plain case with tooled borders and presentation inscription, case maker’s mark a star and SM and numbered 669

Catalogue Note

The inscription in italic script reads “A present from His Excellency Benjn. Franklin to Gurdon S: Mumford 1782”

Gurdon Saltonstall Mumford (January 29, 1764-April 30, 1831) sailed to France under the care of Silas Deane, an uncle by marriage (Gurdon’s mother  Rebecca Saltonstall was the older sister of Deane’s wife) where he lived with Benjamin Franklin at Passy near Paris, acting as private secretary. He returned to America with Franklin in 1785 and settled in New York City. He became associated with his brothers in the commission business in 1791, and was elected as a Democratic-Republican in the 9th Congress, re-elected in the 10th and 11th Congresses and served from 1805 to 1811. While in the house, he was chairman of the committee on Commerce and Manufacturers. In 1812, he was elected Director of the Bank of New York and opened a broker’s office on Wall Street in 1813. He was one of the founders of the New York Exchange. He died in New York and is buried in Old Collegiate Dutch Church Cemetery. More information on his life and family and texts of some letters may be found in Mumford Memoirs, being the story of the New England Mumfords from the year 1655 to the present time, by Janus Gregory Mumford, privately printed by D. B. Updike, Boston, 1900. The watch is referred to on page 211 as follows: "There is now in the possession of Gurdon Mumford's grandchildren a watch which once belonged to Franklin and other relics of their ancestor's famous patron."

Pierre Gregson, originally from England, was active in Paris, 1776-90, becoming watchmaker to the Court, active in Geneva circa 1795.