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18k Gold Napoleon and Cornwallis – Chess Fusee Verge Pair Case Pocket Watch 1802

  • Handmade item
  • Vintage from the 1960s
  • Materials: silver, gold
  • Power: Mechanical
  • Readout: Analog
  • Style: Art deco

£4,050.00

A mint and very rare condition solid 18k gold Georgian era verge chain driven fusee pair-case pocket watch made by Goldsmiths of Liverpool fully serviced, overhauled and keeping good verge time. The watch with a white enamel dial, in fabulous condition, The watch has been fully serviced and overhauled by my watchmaker, and is keeping good verge time. This is a beautifully made English key-wound man's verge pocket watch, dating from ca. 1802.

UNUSUAL FEATURES: The watch in simply magnificent condition and from a private collection where it has clearly been looked after very well. Watches from this period with no pinholes, excess solder filling or stretch marks are very uncommon today. The movement with fine baluster pillars and equally superbly made period hands. The watch is a very handsome piece indeed and further complimented by very fine condition cases. The watch is best described as a time-capsule from the early 19th century in simply stunning condition.

THE DIAL: 99% mint, the poly chrome enamel dial with black Roman numerals in stunning condition with no chips, but a few hairlines. Finely made gold spade hands. The bullseye glass in very fine condition. The diameter is 47 mm.

The dial with a picture of Emperor Napoleon (Boney) playing chess against Lord Cornwallis clearly out maneuvering him and at the time still the dominant force in Europe. Bonaparte (left) and Lord Cornwallis play chess. Bonaparte, not caricatured, alert and military, wearing his large plumed cocked hat, leans forward, pointing to his move; his left arm lies on the table and in his left hand is his sheathed saber. He says: "Check to your King, remember it is not the first time, and I think a very few Maneuvers more will completely convince you that I am better acquainted with the Game I am playing than you are aware of." Cornwallis, plump and civilian despite his regimental and profession, sits without a hat, scratching his head apprehensively. He says: "Curse it I shall lose this Game; You are too much for me." He wears his ribbon and star, 'Honi soit' on his garter. The chairs are symbolical: that of Bonaparte has ormolu laurel wreaths, the legs are formed of faces and axes; that of Cornwallis, with plain oval back, suggests an English drawing-room.

Cornwallis was British plenipotentiary to negotiate peace with Bonaparte. He left England on 3 Nov. 1801 and after an interview with the First Consul proceeded to Amiens, where he was no match for Joseph Bonaparte, prompted by Talleyrand. He was blamed by Jackson, British Minister in Paris, 'for "his drowsiness" and his total want of practice and experience in matters of that kind'. 'Diaries and Corr. of Malmesbury', 1844, iv. 71. The peace of Amiens was signed on 25 Mar., the terms, a triumph for France, repeated those of the Preliminaries of London,

This political cartoon was published by S. W. Forbes and a print made by Charles Williams in 1802 in London.

MOVEMENT: 100% mint, with richly gilded full plate in wonderful condition. The well engraved and carved rococo style balance cock and large foot in superb condition with beautifully engraved rococco design and Liver bird to base. The back plate with further gilded decoration and finely made Tompion time regulator plate with finely pierced and decorated balance cock. The movement with number 1016 and signed Goldsmiths of Liverpool and number 8037. The watch is key-wind, comes with a key and is ticking very strongly indeed and movement size is 46 mm diameter.

The movement with baluster pillars. Polished steel movement bolt with its original blued steel ornate screw. Pierced gilded fusee stop work with iron hinge. The movement with several high quality features. These consist of the fusee ratchet on the outside of the fusee, the third wheel is positioned at the top of the movement and the mainspring setup is under the dial and a highly decorative and carved case spring. The screws are original, and the gilding is still bright and fresh.

THE CASE: 96% mint, the solid 18k gold outer case measures 57 mm outside diameter. The matching silver inner case measures 50 mm and with some fine patination marks as shown. The five knuckle square outer case hinge is excellent with the case closing tight and like-wise the inner case hinge also closes tight. The inner 18k gold case with London hall-marks clearly visible, with case maker mark of "WR". The pendant and d-shaped bow, in good condition. The outer case with no holes or any damage, but some small dings as expected, and dents to case button. The surface is complete and in very fine and bright condition. The cases of heavy gauge and a good weight and feel in the pocket.