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Watch: M/P.35 & A-D-1913

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unidentified Swiss maker (Probably)
Watchmaker: Prior, George




Verge watch in gold pair case and tortoiseshell outer case.

MOVEMENT: Full plate movement engraved 'Ge. Prior 15736 LONDON', also on cap. Dial inscribed 'George Prior', 'LONDON'. Balance cock, pierced and engraved table. Crossed fasces under a phrygian cap at top and lyre at neck. Blued steel end piece with faceted red end stone. Cock foot engraved. Brass balance. Engaged slide plate, extended over barrel, with silver regulation dial with radial Arabic figures 5 to 30. Plain rectangular fusee iron post. Polished steel case bolt in brass edge. Adjustable potance, counter-potance screwed to underside of top plate with polished steel end plate and adjustment screw. Plain repeating barrel. Pillar plate with 4 plain turned pillars. Sunk centre wheel. Third wheel double cock under dial. Second wheel of repeating train sunk. Fusee and chain, barrel with one lip, set up click under dial. Verge escapement. Train planted clockwise. Polished steel hammers, planted clockwise, hour under contrate wheel and quarter outside runners. Runners with five pinions and depthing pinion.

REPEATING WORK: Polished steel 1/4 work with repeating rack chain and pulley. All-or-nothing lever with hour snail and star wheel mounted under. Swiss work. By pushing the repeater button at the top, it would be possible to 'hear' the time sounded out to within a quarter hour

BRASS EDGE: Plain, fixed to pillar plate by three clamps. Stamped '64' under dial. 'D' scratched next to dial screws.

CAP: Raised oval signed as above. Half circular cut out for regulation dial. Blued steel slide.

DIAL: White enamel on copper, counter enamel scribed '64', two feet. Radial Turkish 5 minute figures, dotted ladder minute ring, radial Turkish chapters, inner ring. 'GEORGE PRIOR' inscribed under 12 o'clock and 'LONDON' inscribed above 6 o'clock. Counter enamel inscribed '64'.

HANDS: Blued steel 'Breguet' type.

BELL: Curved shaped with raised central pad.

INNER CASE: Gold bright cut and pierced band with plain back. Plain pendant with stripe bow. Inside gilt, stamped '15736' and makers stamp 'I.E' inside lozenge with arrow heads pointing outwards from ends. Stamped with small horse's head, looking to right. Scratched inside under pendant '8.07.8'. Plain bezel and slide dumb piece.

OUTER CASE (A): Gold, bezel and body edge with four coloured foliage pattern, and pierced. Back with four colour gold and silver decoration of a vase and foliage. Inside body stamped '15736', makers mark 'I.E' in lozenge. Fake set of London Hall Marks (upper case 'U' no tail). Both halves of the pendant stamped with maker's mark, square stamp with 'ET' in top half, with triangle or division mark below.

PROTECTIVE CASE (B): Tortoiseshell on gilt brass. Chased edges, bezel and body covered with tortoiseshell having band of pins. Sets of four gilt pins with enamel and gilt pins between. The enamel pins have a central green spot with outer red and white spots on a pale blue ground.

The watch has a triple case to protect the movement from dry and dusty environment

WATCH PAPER (C): Printed on white paper 'George Prior / Clock and Watch Maker / in Prescot Street, / Goodmans Fields / London.'

WATCH KEY (D): Four coloured gold panels, crossed swords and flowers one side, and flowers on the other.


History note: Unknown before Frank Gray Smart

Legal notes

F.G. Smart Bequest

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ Switzerland

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1913-06-05) by Smart, Frank Gray


Late 18th century
George III
Production date: circa AD 1790


This watch was made on the Continent, probably in Switzerland, for George Prior, for the Turkish market. The use of enamel headed pins on the protective case is most unusual and is indicative of the quality of the cases. The movement is made in the 'English' manner from the back but the mechanism is typical Swiss work. The outer case has a set of false London hallmarks. George Prior (1765-1812) worked in Prescot Street from 1765 to 1788, and is recorded as working in Rosemonds Row in 1794.

Components of the work

Dial, Outer Case composed of enamel ( white)
Movement composed of iron silver steel brass (alloy)
Protective Case composed of gilt-brass gilt tortoise shell Diameter 73 mm Height 78.25 mm Thickness 29.25 mm
Dial composed of copper
Inner And Outer Case composed of gold
Movement (top Plate) Diameter 38.75 mm
Movement (pillar Plate) Diameter 41.25 mm
Movement (brass Edge) Diameter 47.5 mm
Inner Case Diameter 53 mm Height 68 mm Thickness 25 mm
Outer Case Diameter 61.25 mm Height 72.25 mm Thickness 27.75 mm
Movement (pillar) Height 3.25 mm
Movement, Inner Case

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: i

  • Text: Ge. Prior 15736 LONDON
  • Location: On movement
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Inscription
  • Location: On dial
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: 15736
  • Location: On inner and outer case
  • Method of creation: Stamped
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: letters inside a lozenge with arrow heads pointing outwards from the ends

  • Text: I pellet E
  • Location: On inner and outer case
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Maker's mark
  • Text: horse's head pointing to right
  • Location: On inner case
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: George Prior /Clock and Watch Maker / in Prescot Street, / Goodmans Fields / London.
  • Location: On watch paper
  • Method of creation: Printed
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: ET
  • Location: Outer case
  • Method of creation: Stamped
  • Type: Import mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M/P.35 & A-D-1913
Primary reference Number: 200552
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 10 February 2015 Updated: Wednesday 14 March 2018 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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