This is an English, silver and shell, quadruple cased pocket watch, with Turkish dial. It has a verge escapement fusee movement, and was made around 1775 by George Prior in London.
MOVEMENT : Nicely gilded movement with very ornate pillars, blued screws, and engraved and pierced balance cock. The movement is signed and numbered (9149). It is in good original condition and is running well.
DIAL : 36.75 mm. The signed white enamel dial, with beautifully painted flowers and Turkish numerals, is in good condition with no repairs but five light hairlines and some tiny chips right on the edge. Nice early blued steel beetle and poker hands.
SILVER INNER CASE : 42 mm. Silver, hallmarked for London, 1775, maker IR. In very good condition with no dents or repairs. The bow is slightly bent but looks original. High dome crystal in good condition. The hinge is fine and the case snaps shut nicely.
SILVER SECOND CASE : Diameter 51.5 mm. with matching hallmarks to the inner. The silver is in very good condition and the case is perfect except for some wear to the catch button.
SILVER/SHELL THIRD CASE : Diameter 61.25 mm. No silver hallmarks. The construction is of a brass base with silver rims. In good condition with a wonderful colour to the shell. No restoration and the shell is almost perfect with just one short crack on the back from the pendant collar. (1cm). There are quite a few silver pins missing. The hinge and catch are fine and the catch button is complete.
SILVER FOURTH CASE : Diameter 71 mm. No hallmarks. The hinge and catch are fine and the case snaps shut nicely, though the catch button has worn. The only damage consists of 3 small holes around the catch. The third case does not lie perfectly straight in this outer case, though it does snap shut nicely. Possibly a replacement outer, although these large outer cases, made in the East, are never well fitted to the English made inner cases.
Loomes lists George Prior in London between 1765 and 1812. Like his son Edward, who succeeded him, Prior specialized in watches for the Eastern market and was making verge watches of 18th century style, still popular in this market, well into the 19th century.