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Watch and chatelaine: M.2 & A-C-1836

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Watch and chatelaine


Maker: Goujon, Stephen (Case)
Gold chaser: Moser, George Michael (Case)
Watchmaker: Webster, William (watchmaker) (Watch)




Watch and chatelaine. The gold watch case embossed and chased on the front with Venus presenting Arms to Aeneas watched by a river god and surrounded by Rococo scrolls

WATCH MOVEMENT: Full plate movement engraved 'Wm WEBSTER EXCHANGE ALLEY 2553' and on cap 'Wm WEBSTER LONDON 2553.' Balance cock, table engraved and pierced with lace edge, grotesque griffin mask on neck, polished steel end piece and diamond end stone, engraved foot with lace edge. Polished steel balance. Slide plate engraved with pierced lace edge, silver regulation disc with Arabic figures 5 to 30. Pierced fusee iron post. Polished steel case bolt with solid wings, in slot in plate, nib through dial. Potance with moulding at end of the foot. Pillar plate with four square baluster pillars, third wheel bar, recessed centre wheel. Under dial side stamped '2553' [partly obscured by case bolt spring], min. wheel pinned to post. Fusee and chain, one lip on barrel, tangent set up under barrel. Cylinder escapement, brass wheel. Train planted clockwise.

BRASS EDGE: Gilt brass, plain edge, four feet, dial recessed. [One hinge loop missing.]

CAP: Gilt brass, engraved on oval table as above, winding and regulation pipes, regulation sector. Polished steel clip. '2553' scratched inside table.

DIAL: White enamel on copper, three feet. Radial Arabic 5 min. figures, ladder min. ring, radial Roman chapters, inner ring, bold painting. Hands: Gold, Louis XV type, no tails.

INNER CASE: Gold, plain. Body with London hallmark for 1761, stamped '2553,' maker's mark, incuse 'SG' under cresting. Pendant plain with applied flower on top, stirrup bow with two grooves on outside and projection on top.

OUTER CASE (A): Gold repoussé bezel and body, the front decorated with Venus presenting Arms to Aeneas from Virgil's Aeneid, surrounded by Rococo scrolls. Body with maker's mark inside as inner case, scene of ? , signed at bottom 'G. M. Moser. f.'

WATCH PAPERS (B): a. Muslin?, polychrome painted with two roses with two buds surrounded by garland. b. White paper printed 'All sorts of / Repeating & other / WATCHES & CLOCKS / Made and sold by / W. Webster / in Exchange Alley / LONDON', edge with equation of time, in months.

CHATELAINE (C): Gold, cast with rococo designs, back of large central plaque with incused 'H' under a vertical line of five chevrons. Side drops, left hand with key and seal, cut with coat of arms, right hand with two seals, one cornelian cut with head of a philosopher, and one rock crystal cut with a head of a bearded man, possibly Socrates'. Centre drop at top with heart-shaped locket containing woven hair under under glass, above which is a white enamelled gold ribbon with gold lettering 'TOT SEUL ME FIXE.'


History note: A note from Miss Whitehurst stated that the watch and chatelaine were 'Presented to my mother on her marriage in 1755'. This cannot be correct, unless it referred only to the chatelaine, as the case is bears the date letter for 1761-2.

Legal notes

Given by Miss Whitehurst

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1836-07-27) by Whitehurst, Miss


18th Century, third quarter#
George III
1761 CE - 1762 CE


Georg Michael Moser was born in Schaffhausen in 1706,. He moved to Geneva in 1725, and to London by about 1726. By the late 1730s he was established as a gold chaser. From then until the late 1770s he decorated gold boxes and watchases for leading watchmakers, including Goerge Graham, the Ellicot family and William Webster. He was appointed Drawing Master to George III, and became the Keeper of the Royal Academy and Director of its School of Art. When he died in 1783, Sir Joshua Reynolds wrote an obituary in which he called Moser England's best goldsmith.

The case maker was Stephen Goujon of Porter Street, corner of Newport Alley, when he registered his mark in 1720. He was a member of the Clockmakers Company, becoming Master in 1760.

William Webster was apprenticed to his father in 1727, becoming Free of the Clockmakers Company on 20 January 1734, working in Exchange Ally from 1734 until 1766. He became Master of the Clockmakers Company in 1755.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Chatelaine composed of gold ( needs checking for gilt metal)
Ribbon composed of enamel ( white)
Intaglio composed of quartz crystal carnelian
Heart composed of hair gold glass
Watch Case composed of gold
Movement (pillar) Diameter 0.6 cm
Movement (top Plate) Diameter 3.2 cm
Movement (pillar Plate) Diameter 3.4 cm
Movement (brass Edge) Diameter 3.6 cm
Inner Case Diameter 4.2 cm Height 5.2 cm Thickness 2.2 cm
Outer Case Diameter 4.9 cm Height 5.6 cm Thickness 2.4 cm
Chatelain Length 112.9 cm Width 4.5 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Wm WEBSTER LONDON 2553.
  • Location: On cap
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Maker's name
  • Location: On plate of movement
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Maker's name
  • Text: G. M. Moser. f.
  • Location: On front of outer gold case
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Chaser's signature

Inscription present: incuse SG

  • Text: SG
  • Location: On inner gold case
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Maker's mark
  • Text: 2553
  • Location: On inner gold case
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Number

Inscription present: gothic letter F

  • Text: F
  • Location: On inner gold case
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Date letter
  • Location: On ribbon above heart
  • Method of creation: Gold letters reserved in white enamel
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: All sorts of / Repeating & other / WATCHES & CLOCKS / Made and sold by / W. Webster / in Exchange Alley / LONDON
  • Location: On watch paper
  • Method of creation: Printed
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.2 & A-C-1836
Primary reference Number: 118363
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 17 March 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 7 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Watch and chatelaine" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-20 20:02:50

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