George Graham. A fine early 18th century 22ct gold key wind pocket watch Numbered 5233, London Hallmark for 1744 to later case, Circa 1727
Lot 12
George Graham. A fine early 18th century 22ct gold key wind pocket watch Numbered 5233, London Hallmark for 1744 to later case, Circa 1727
Sold for £3,500 (US$ 5,803) inc. premium
Lot Details
George Graham. A fine early 18th century 22ct gold key wind pocket watch
Numbered 5233, London Hallmark for 1744 to later case, Circa 1727
Gilt full plate cylinder movement with pierced and engraved balance cock and diamond end stone, solid chased cock-foot, silver regulation, Egyptian pillars, cap lacking, enamel dial with black Roman numerals and outer five minute division bordered by Arabic quarters, later gilt Perigal hands, winding aperture at 3, hinged consular case stamped 5233 with case maker's mark 'JW,' decoratively finished case closure, case back engraved with heraldry including the motto 'VIRTUS, ARIETE, FORTIOR,' movement signed
40mm.

Footnotes

  • The case, made for the watch seventeen years after it had been retailed, has the second mark of Graham's principal case maker John Ward whose workshop was in Boar's Head Court on the south side of Fleet Street a little further up from Graham's shop. Ward would almost certainly have made the original case as well. The later case, with London Hallmark for 1744, was finely engraved with the arms of Willoughby Birtie, 3rd Earl of Abingdon, 1692 – 1760, who succeeded to the earldom in 1743 on the death of the second earl, his uncle Montague Birtie. Montague had served in several high offices; he was Member of Parliament for Berkshire 1689, and for Oxfordshire 1690, 1695 and 1698; Privy Councillor to Queen Anne and George I; Constable and Lord Lieutenant of the Tower of London; Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire 1702-05 and 1712-15; Chief Justice in Eyre and Recorder and High Steward of Oxford. Willoughby was elected to Parliament in 1715 at the age of just 23 but was unseated on petition. Apart from succeeding to the earldom he does not seem to have followed in any of his uncle's distinguished footsteps. He married Anna Maria Collins in August 1727 and they had ten children.

    The watch would have been made around 1727, the year in which Willoughby married, but it was re-cased seventeen years later in 1744, the year after he succeeded to the earldom. Thus the case is engraved with his arms: the argent, three battering rams barways in pale proper azure, armed and garnished, with earl's coronet above, and motto Vertus ariete Fortier, ' Virtue is stronger than a battering ram'
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