A George III pair-cased engraved silver and tortoiseshell quarter-striking and repeating clock watch with alarm
Markwick Markham & Recordon, Movement by Thomas Grignon, London, No.2035. Case with hallmarks for James Reasey, London, 1808.
The silver case with foliate pierced and engraved borders and engraved with a stylised garter to the rear, hallmarks for James Reasey, London 1808, fitted with a bell, the piqué-studded brown tortoiseshell outer case resting on a folding four-legged stand and with circular plaque to the rear inscribed with symbols to the appropriate winding squares Watch, Alarum and Strike, also inscribed All the parts wind to the left, the white enamel dial signed RECORDON LONDON, with Roman chapters and Arabic quarters, subsidiary rings for alarm and seconds, gold main hands and blued steel subsidiaries, the movement with chain fusee for the going train and spring barrels for further trains, cylinder escapement, foliate pierced and engraved bridge set into engine-turned cover plate, the back plate signed Thomas Grignon London No.2035, the silvered regulation disc with Turkish chapters, signed Markwick Markham No.7218 and RECORDON LONDON on the movement cover plate with sprung release catch, repeat operated by depressing the pendant, strike/silent lever by VII, strike/repeat/alarm via six hammers to inside of bell; together with a rosewood and cut brass inlaid travel/display box, probably made shortly after, box key
4 in. (10 cm.) diameter dial, 8./14 in. (21 cm.) high, handle down on stand, 8./14 in. (21 cm.) high travel box
Sir Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846-1916), his gift to a friend and thence by descent.
An Italian composer and music teacher, Tosti received most of his music education in his native Ortona, Italy, as well as the conservatory in Naples. After an initial career as singer and voice teacher in 1875 he visited London and stayed in the city. In 1880 he was made singing master to the royal family and in 1894 he joined the Royal Academy of Music as a professor. In 1906 Tosti became a British citizen and was knighted two years later by his friend, Edward VII. He returned to Italy in 1910, spending most of his remaining years in Rome.
Tosti is remembered for his light, expressive songs. His style became very popular during the belle epoque and is often known as salon music. His most famous works are Serenata (lyrics: Cesareo), Addio (lyrics: Rizzelli) and the popular Neapolitan song, Marechiare, the lyrics of which are by the prominent Neapolitan dialect poet, Salvatore di Giacomo.