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Pieces of Time

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Index No. A9441 Rare Early Hour Strike and Alarm Coachwatch
A fine and very rare early 17th Century French verge single handed pre-balance spring coachwatch with hour strike and alarm in silver and shagreen pair cases. Large deep full plate fire gilt movement with five turned baluster pillars. Fusee and chain, blue steel ratchet wheel on the plate with elaborate pierced and engraved gilt click and blue steel spring. Later pierced and engraved winged cock with pierced and engraved foot and plate for the silver regulator disc. Plain steel balance and spiral hairspring. Silver count-wheel for the hour strike with blue steel indicator to show the hour to be struck next. Blue steel wheel and pinion stopwork to the alarm train. Single large steel hammer striking the hours on a bell in the case, blue steel mainspring visible through the pierced and engraved resting barrel. Decorative blue steel gates controlling the striking of the hours. Double ended steel hammer for the alarm, steel contrate and crown wheel. Gilt dial plate on four short pillars with a border of decorative engraving, four locating tabs, blue steel case spring, Silver ring dial with decorative engraved border, Roman numerals, the chapter divided into quarter hours with star markings at the half hour. Finely engraved inner disk with small blue steel hand indicating the time. The alarm time indicated on the disk by Arabic numerals with a simple turned brass hand. In the centre of the profusely engraved disk is a representation of a dragon's head among superbly engraved foliage. Large inner case of heavy gauge silver, plain back, band of openwork piercing around the edge finely engraved, again in a foliate pattern. Large bell secured by a screw. Silver split bezel with engraved large hinge and clip. Turned pendant with shaped and engraved section for the ring bow. Large outer case covered in black shagreen and decorated in the centre with fine silver pin work of a monogram under an English Baronial coronet. The edge of the back and bezel fitted with silver pierced rings and pins, silver bezels and five joint square hinge.
Signed Josias Jolly a Paris
Circa 1635

Diameter 92 mm
Depth 24 mm
A very rare and important coachwatch in outstanding condition for its age. Josias Jolly is listed as working in Paris in the first half of the 17th Century and Master 1609 - 1640. He died in 1642. Baillie notes other watches by him with floral engraving. This fine piece has survived practically untouched, the engraving still very well defined. Like almost all watches of the period it was "improved" about 1690 with the addition of a balance spring and regulator, the work having being carried out by a skilled watchmaker causing little damage. There is a very similar strike and alarm coachwatch in the British Museum by Jean Baptiste Duboule (1616 - 1640) of Geneva. This has also been converted to balance spring. The two movements have many common features demonstrating that techniques were being shared at this early stage.

Pieces of Time

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