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Markwick Markham, Perigal. A very fine and extremely rare small 18K gold, gilt metal, silver and enamel diamond-set vase-form watch with concealed dial, made for the Turkish Market
Markwick Markham, Perigal. A very fine and extremely rare small 18K gold, gilt metal, silver and enamel diamond-set vase-form watch with concealed dial, made for the Turkish Market
Markwick Markham, Perigal. A very fine and extremely rare small 18K gold, gilt metal, silver and enamel diamond-set vase-form watch with concealed dial, made for the Turkish Market
Markwick Markham, Perigal. A very fine and extremely rare small 18K gold, gilt metal, silver and enamel diamond-set vase-form watch with concealed dial, made for the Turkish Market
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more MARKWICK MARKHAM, PERIGALTHE VASE FORM WATCH
MARKWICK MARKHAM, PERIGAL. A VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE SMALL 18K GOLD, GILT METAL, SILVER AND ENAMEL DIAMOND-SET VASE-FORM WATCH WITH CONCEALED DIAL, MADE FOR THE TURKISH MARKET

SIGNED MARKWICK MARKHAM, PERIGAL, LONDON, NO. 24'914, DATED DECEMBER 1781

Details
MARKWICK MARKHAM, PERIGAL. A VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE SMALL 18K GOLD, GILT METAL, SILVER AND ENAMEL DIAMOND-SET VASE-FORM WATCH WITH CONCEALED DIAL, MADE FOR THE TURKISH MARKET
Signed Markwick Markham, Perigal, London, No. 24'914, dated December 1781
Movement: Manual, gilt brass full plate with Egyptian pillars, fusée and chain, verge escapement, plain steel three-arm balance, flat balance spring, single-footed cock, signed
Dial: White enamel with Islamic numerals, signed
Case: Two-piece, decorated with translucent scarlet enamel over fine flinqué work, the central body with applied silver diamond-set garlands alternating with small painted on enamel cartouches resembling moss agate, the top with stripes of opaque white enamel with circular blue enamel cartouches, each centered by a rose-cut diamond, below narrow stripe of white enamel dots resembling half pearls, base with opaque white enamel with gold petals and diamonds, the underside of the base with the initials ‘EJ’ in white enamel and centered by a crest with an open right hand within a shield in blue enamel, translucent dark blue enamel frame with the gold inscription ‘DEC : 1781’, hinged top cover decorated to match with alternating rings with scarlet, opaque white and translucent blue enamel set with diamonds and surmounted by small gold pendant, height 74.5 mm.
Literature
A similar vase form watch is part of the Wilsdorf Collection, published in: ‘Rolex, Montres et Emaux de Genève’, p. 187.
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 7.7% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

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Lot Essay

This precious and exquisite timepiece is an important example of the highly fashionable neoclassical style that followed the architectural designs of the late 18th century. When neoclassicism is translated into a richly decorated gold and gem-set objet de luxe of the highest quality the result is one of supreme elegance.

The present watch was undoubtedly made by the finest Geneva goldsmiths and enamellers of the period and, in common with many Swiss-made pieces, it was retailed to the Turkish market under the English name of ‘Markwick, Markham, Perigal. Unusually, this watch is dated 1781 and bears the initials and crest of its original owner, it is therefore a significant and historic documentary piece.

Markwick Markham
The Markwick and Markham names appear on clocks and watches from the mid-17th to the early 19th centuries. The earliest clockmaker appears to be James Markwick (born about 1640) who was made free of the Clockmakers Company in 1666. His son James took over his father's business in 1696, was Master of the Clockmakers Company in 1720 and formed a partnership with Robert Markham shortly afterwards, it was short-lived as James junior died in 1730. James junior's daughter Catherine married Robert Markham in about 1729.

There are no contemporary directory records of the firm after Markham junior died in 1741. It is after this date that we see many other names written on the dials of clocks and watches in conjunction with Markwick Markham such as with the present watch. As well as Francis Perigal, others such as Louis Recordon, Dupont, Henry Borrell, William Story, Isaac Rogers, Peter Upjohn, Spencer & Perkins, William Kipling and John Johnson all appear. Both Ian White and Kurz cite Felix de Beaujour (A View of the Commerce of Greece, date unknown) writing of the trade with Turkey 'Markwick Markham are fictitious names. It is an old extinct clock manufactory whose name some London makers borrowed lest the Turks should be startled by new names'.

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