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Pair-case Watch

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Pair-case Watch

Artist: Peter Brebant (London, England; active 1690 - 1710)

Date: c. 1700
Medium: Silver gilt
82.6 x 63.5 x 33.8 mm
Markings: Movement: "Piter Brebant, London" Dial: "BREBANT, LONDON"
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Frederick T. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 169
Label Text
The dial on this watch has two hands, a feature introduced toward the end of the seventeenth century and standard by 1700.

Text Entries

 This watch is characteristic of the many horological advances that had occurred by the latter part of the seventeenth century. Like most watches of this vintage; this one has a verge escapement. The dial has indications for the hours in roman numerals and for the minutes in Arabic chapters. Two hands, a feature introduced  toward the end of the seventeenth century and standard by 1700, signal the hours and minutes. The hour hand is the shape of a fleuron, called a beetle in England, while the minute hand takes the form of a long thin pointer. The oval signature panels are surrounds by scrolls.(1) The outer case is pierced and engraved with oval panels featuring grotesques, masks, and a landscape scene in arabesques. The use of grotesques was probably inspired by the recent excavation of the walls of Roman buildings.(2) The bands on both the outer and inner cases are pierced and engraved with scrolling foliage and birds on perches. The cover plate for the movement components is decorated with leafy scrolls with birds and grotesque masks.

1. For information on Piter Brebant, see G. H. Baillie, C. Clutton, and C. A. Ilbert, Britten’s Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers (7th ed. New York: Bonanza Books, 1956), p. 341.

2. Cedric Jagger, The Artistry of the English Watch (Rutland, V.T.: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1988), p. 15.