Polychrome verge with Adam & Eve with serpent by Johnson

Stock No. 1449

C. Johnson
London, 1782
Silver pair cases, 54.5 mm
Verge escapement, calendar


Wonderful “Adam, Eve and the Serpent” biblical painted calendar dial.

MOVEMENT : Signed and numbered (1668) gilt brass verge movement, with four square pillars, engraved balance bridge and plate, and silver regulator disc. Blued screws.

Both movement and calendar function are complete and running.

DIAL : White enamel dial, painted with ‘Adam & Eve’ biblical scene. Gilt ‘fleur de lys’ half hour markers and sun motif at12. Inner calendar chapter ring.

There are a number of hairlines, scratches and small chips, mostly around the edge, at 6 and 9, but the painted centre has survived in fine condition. Fancy gilt hands and black calendar pointer.

INNER CASE : Silver, hallmarked for London 1782, maker TH.

Good condition, though with a little compression around the band and some light bruises. The hinge is fine though the stem has been reattached and reinforced from the inside. The high dome bull’s eye crystal is fine, except for one small chip, hardly visible under the bezel.

OUTER CASE : Silver with matching hallmarks to the inner.

Very good condition with the only wear to the catch button. The hinge and catch are fine and the case snaps shut nicely.

Many of these painted dials from this period are later additions (some very recent), but based on the style of the painting, the subject and the surface, I believe this dial to be original.

This watch was probably made on the continent around 1770. It was very common to add fictitious London makers to these movements, and spurious English hallmarks (though in this case the hallmarks look genuine).

Adam and Eve were a popular subject for 18thc decoration. The example by Charles Leydon (see Archive page) is similar, though without the calendar function.