Friday, 21 October 2011

Watch No. 8346 - reference

I found this very detailed and informative reference to Watch No. 8346 after much Google searching.

The pdf includes 10 photographs including the one above.

The document is in Spanish; a Google Translate translation to English follows (I studied Spanish for one year at school but I am unable to significantly improve on Google's attempt. If any readers are able to provide improvements please let me have them, In particular I am foxed by the work Galluza which Google translates to Galluzo).

I have contacted the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague who have said "unfortunately, there are no any watches with a signature of Kover in the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague." Perhaps I have misunderstood the reference.

I now seek a copy of the 1980 edition of the book "El Arte de la Relojería". If any reader has a copy, would it be possible, please, to send me an electronic copy of the photograph on Page 192. 

I am going to research the artists Augustin Heckel, G. M. Moser and John Valentine Haidt and will post anything I find of significance.


The prodigious machines (pages 87-91)

Vª. Part

Catalog Pocket watches and antique equipment.

This chapter takes a comprehensive review of the evolution of pocket watches at the time of consolidation and development as a measurement of time by the general public as well as its machinery, which covers the centuries in which the pocket watch began to change from being a purely decorative item, available to very few, to become an object of use and massive employment needs.

To this end, studied and cataloged a series of boxes, machinery, trends and fashions as well as the trajectory of their authors over the centuries of splendor - XVIII, XIX and XX - the country eminently watch producers appeared during these three centuries.

Clock No. 1.

Gold pocket watch

BUILDER: Kover (LONDON). Manufacturing No. 8346

DATE OF MANUFACTURE. According punches, London, 1727

CASE: Independent Double box. Georgian or constructed in time of George II, who reigned between the years 1724 and 1760. The outer box with gold embossed with mythological scenes. Sphere matte gold and figures of hours and minutes in "Champlève" high relief. The enclosure, or pocket watch case as a shell, is typical of this era, and usually is made of gold, silver or gold foil. During the eighteenth century was decorated by embossing system with mythological themes, religious or secular. Normally the watchmaker in charge this work to specialized goldsmiths produced those delicious scenes.

The inner box is usually smooth, without any adornment and has linked the area to the back cover of this second inner box through a hinge generally located at the height of the figure XII, and with an opening mechanism beneath the figure VI of the sphere. The pendant, which is subject to the inner box to match the figure XII, is elongated like all the time, and ends with a flat ring attached to it. This flat ring-shaped, appears on 1700 and is parallel to the plane of the clock.

SPHERE. The sphere is made of metal, particularly gold with matte, black Roman numerals in relief, separated from each other by a space, bounded on top by a bow. Take over these arches, the black separation in minutes above these, on the inside of a circle, the numbering of the minutes by fives for using Arabic numerals. The signature of the manufacturer is included in the "cartouche" central pivot located above the needles behind, and below this, the city where it was manufactured. The ring has numbers in high relief, the curve between each number, forming an arch, which is not normal in the areas of English this time, but rather in inland areas. The needles are of the "bectle and poker" or "beetle and poker" black steel. It has no second hand.

MACHINERY. Full plate gilt brass, with Galluzo decorated with masks. The Galluzo is one foot, is pierced with designs and located on the wheel, and is subject to the plate by a screw blued. The mask is classic watches of this era. The two plates are separated by columns and beautifully turned very characteristic of English watchmaking, while the watches made in France or Switzerland, these columns are usually smooth. The English take many forms, such as type or tulip baluster form, or the manner of Egyptian column. With Galluzo, it is the same, are pierced and decoratedsymmetrically. Not until 1750, when the Rococo influence, change these symmetries and shapes. The existence of chewing is very common in this era, especially in the watchmaking and sobrevolante English influence is always one foot, or anchoring in English clocks and two anchors on the continent.

The sobrevolantes, or Galluzo, were made in ancillary industries around the city of Liverpool, and were mostly made by hand, using small files by local artisans during the wet winters, mainly in rural areas, needed to some of these pieces, periods of three or four weeks for manufacturing, reporting to their manufacturers enough money for maintenance during these long periods of unemployment mandatory. The plate is engraved with the name of the city, London, to whether the signature of the manufacturer, Kover, and the number of series, 8346.

ESCAPE. Catherine wheel and steering wheel with silver dial for regulation numbered 1 to 6. Catherine Wheel, has broken a tooth and is repaired with a false tooth welded to the wheel. The operation of the watch is excellent. Delayed three minutes to 24 hours, which is acceptable for a watch made in 1727

SIZE. The diameter of the inner box is 4 cm. The outer diameter of the box that forms the "bumpers" is 6 cm.


NOTE. There is a very similar specimen in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. A photograph of the sheet is in the 139 Page 192 of the book "El Arte de la Relojería" the editorial LIBSA Madrid, 1980.

The boxes embossed clocks, also known as "repousse" is a technique that watch cases were manufactured from malleable metal sheets. This system of decoration is the result of hitting the inside of a metal in a mold made of a hard material such as wood, which has been carved in negative figure to play. Subsequently, the work is completed with appropriate tools that outline the figures that we obtained by chisels are hardened steel tools with which to treat bites the metal along the lines desired. Contrary to what seems, is a difficult method that requires high degrees of expertise and artistic talents, excelling in England important artists such as Augustin Heckel, G. M. Moser and John Valentine Haidt who performed great works by the year 1730. The favorite subjects were scenes from mythology, Greek and Roman warriors and even some religious, but also performed scenes of landscapes, animals, and grotesque scenes or historical.

During this period of time, this type of clocks used to be hung in chains of gold or gilt metal, widely recorded, usually with the same procedure as external boxes of watches, which were attached to his waistcoat pocket with a hook in the case of men, and waist in the case of women to these strings are called "Chatelaine" and tended to be of extreme beauty.

The origin of this type of channel or "Chatelaine" goes back to the system that had the housekeepers of the stately homes throughout central Europe carry the keys to the gates of houses different castles, and was developed over the eighteenth century, to reach the form of that shown in the picture above from the second half of the century, and formed by a body central hanging articles of two or three pieces held together by the back by a large hook fastening to side chains used to hang in an indefinite number, at the ends dangling the keys to wind the clock, or seals to seal the letters or small perfume or any implement that could decorate.

Over time, these chains are lengthened or turned into films, which combined metal and fabric, especially after the French Revolution, becoming the so-called Leontine.

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