Posted 12 months ago
I occasionally take a break from collecting early wood cameras and look for interesting items to compliment the collection. Period pieces matching the 1800s camera timelines are nice “go withs” that enhance the displays.
While at an antique show earlier in the year, this 19th century pocket watch caught my eye. It’s a rare timepiece because of several noteworthy features: a quarter hour repeater complication, skeletonized face with ornate carvings, and three automata.
The maker is unknown and the movement is housed in an open style gold case. Decoratively carved three-color metalwork appears throughout the watch including the base plate. The smaller centralized dial, with Breguet style hands, is flanked by a classically dressed woman (left) and man (right).
The lady’s automaton arm strikes hours, while the man and woman both chime the quarter hours. So where is the third automaton? It’s hidden beneath a pair of pivoting doors located at the 6 o’clock position. Underneath is ... well ... let’s just say an overly amorous couple.
The rear of the case has an engine-turned (guilloché) barleycorn pattern lid. Inside is a slow beating, verge escapement.