A fine, mid 18th century London verge, in heavy gold cases, in excellent condition.
MOVEMENT : Gilt verge movement, with engraved and pierced ‘lace’ edged balance cock, typical of London watches of this period. Large diamond endstone, four square pillars, and silver regulator disk. Signed (JOHN NEALE, London) and numbered (3586).
The movement is protected by a removable gilt dustcap, signed and numbered as the movement.
The only damage or wear is to the ornamental gilt bracket holding the stop work lever, where a small piece is missing from the left hand side. Otherwise all very good, complete condition and running well.
DIAL : Beautiful white enamel dial in almost perfect condition, with just a few very light scratches. 18th century blued steel beetle and poker hands.
INNER CASE : 22ct gold, with nice clear London hallmarks for 1759, maker’s mark EB.
In good condition with some light bruises around the band. The stem has worn at the bow, and is loosely attached to the case (though strong). The bow is gilded with some wear down to the brass,The hinge is fine and the bezel snaps shut nicely. The high dome crystal is fine.
OUTER CASE : 22ct. gold pair case with clear matching hallmarks to the inner. In good condition throughout. Just a few light bruises on the back.The catch, catch button and hinge are fine and the bezel snaps shut correctly.
The gold cases are quite substantial, with a total gold weight of 58.5 gms., excluding crystal.
John Neale is listed in Leadenhall Street, London, from 1743 until bankrupt in 1750. Then recorded again from 1758. He patented a ‘quadrantal planetarian’ watch in 1744, and died in 1759.
The watch outer case contains an interesting early watch paper from James Burns, St.John (New Brunswick, Canada). Burns worked in St. John between 1810 and 1813.
The case also contains a handwritten watchpaper, with a poem, signed “For William Forbes, with Weeney’s best love”.