Polychrome dial with automaton

Stock No. 1513

London, c1790
Silver pair cases, 63 mm
Verge escapement


A very large and rare automaton dial watch in silver pair cases.

MOVEMENT : Gilt verge movement, with engraved and pierced balance bridge with large diamond endstone. Four baluster pillars, blued screws and large silver regulator disk. Signed (Phs. Walpolle, London) and numbered (7846).

Working, and in very good condition.

DIAL : Polychrome enamel dial, showing a very busy rural scene. Beautifully painted, with lake, castle, mountains, rider leading a horse and a windmill. The sails on the windmill rotate, marking the seconds.

The dial is in very good condition, with no repairs or overpainting, and just a couple of scratches and a chip at the bottom near the opening catch.

The revolving automaton windmill sails are nicely cut and painted.
Good matching gold coloured hands on the hour/minute dial.

INNER CASE : Silver, with pseudo English hallmarks, and case number 22130.

In good condition, with just a few very light bruises. The hinge is fine and the bezel snaps shut.
The high dome bull’s eye crystal has a few small scratches, but generally ok.

OUTER CASE : A large silver pair case, with case number 130 (partially matching the inner).

In good condition. The catch button is worn, but the catch and hinge are fine and the case does snap shut.

The spurious silver marks and style of movement indicate a Continental origin for this watch. Probably made in the late 18th century in Switzerland. Like many Swiss watches which are marked London at this period, the maker’s name is probably fictitious.