16 May 2011
Berner. An early gilt metal openface "oignon" verge watch
Signed P. Berner à Paris, circa 1700
Gilt-finished verge movement, chain fusée, finely pierced and engraved silver balance cock decorated with a dog, squirrel, bird and rabbit, silver regulator with applied silver foliage mounts, white enamel dial, Roman numerals on raised cartouches, blued steel beetle and poker hands, chased and engraved foliage decorated case, the reverse centred by griffons, movement signed
56 mm. diam.
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The so-called "oignon" watches were made in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the name derived from their bulbous form resembling an onion. Such watches were commonly cased in chased brass, occasionally in silver and very rarely in gold.
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