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Josiah or Joseph Potts
Gold and enamel pair-cased verge watch
Inside inner case: casemaker's mark I.W
Inside inner case: partial London hallmark for 1720 or 1721
Inside inner case: the number 265
Movement: Josh Potts, Golborne, c. 1770 (1721? inner case, outer case c. 1780)
case; gold, enamel
outer case 48 mm diameter outer case 21.6 mm thickness inner case 41.8 mm diameter inner case 25.8 mm thickness movement 34.75 mm diameter pillar 7.15 mm height overall 28.45 mm thickness
Case: Plain gold inner case with the casemaker's mark I.W, the number 265 and a partial London hallmark for 1720 or 1721 on the inside. The gold outer case is set with panels enamelled en- plein within a gold frame. Around the bezel there are a series of rustic landscapes. The main back panel shows Venus, Mars and Cupid, between four landscape panels separated by embossing in the Régence style. On the inside, the pictorial counter-enamel has a landscape with two fishermen on a lake. The band of the back has panels showing a traveller with a mule, arriving at an Inn and resting in a garden. Inside the outer case is a silk 'watch-paper' on which is drawn a rustic landscape. Dial: A gilt-brass dial-plate supports a white enamel dial with minutes 5-60 around the outside and a dotted minute track surrounding hours I-XII. The centre of the dial is undecorated. Gold beetle and poker hands. Movement: Circular gilt-brass plates with four turned pillars. Barrel with tangent screw set-up between the plates. Fusee with chain and standard stop-work. Four-wheel train of gilt-brass wheels, the centre wheel solid, the third and contrate wheels with six crossings. The third wheel and contrate pinion are recessed into the front plate. Verge escapement, the screwed-on potence with a straight moulded foot. Steel three-arm balance with spiral balance spring and Tompion regulator, the silver index engraved 1-6. Balance cock pierced and engraved with foliate scrolls. The movement is signed: Josh Potts Golborne Josiah or Joseph Potts of Golborne, Lancashire, now an area of Greater Manchester, is an unrecorded maker. Notes: This watch shows inconsistencies which are difficult to interpret. The movement with its ringed pillars, and with a sliding case catch in the edge of the front plate dates from about 1770. The date letter in the inner case can either be for 1720 or 1721 or is perhaps 1800 or 1801. The style of the outer case however suggests a date of about 1780. The answer is probably that the watch is a marriage of pieces from different periods.
Bequeathed by J. Francis Mallett, 1947.