De chalmes London hugonaut help

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Jeff Hess, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,748
    121
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #1 Jeff Hess, Mar 31, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
    Once again I'm reaching out for some expertise from our British and other experts
    This De Charmes watch is a real Beauty but it's a bit puzzling in ways. It weighs almost 200 grams and the gold tests between 19 and 22 carat! It's 59 mm wide and extremely thick! It also weighs almost 200 gram. I am assuming it is from around 1720. Is that correct?

    What worries me is the lack of Hallmark's. is this at all explainable? Also it looks like there is some kind of a signature on the tablet that the woman is holding. It looks like a two digit or two letter signature. Or perhaps just a design. I have added pics. Any suggestions or comments on this watch would be greatly appreciated as I'm trying to buy it. Jeff

    20180330_173157.jpg 20180330_173213.jpg 20180330_173300.jpg 20180330_173407.jpg 20180330_173420.jpg 20180330_173234.jpg 20180330_173234.jpg
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,321
    1,085
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Jeff,

    Simon De Charmes is recorded as working 1688-1730 and was indeed one of many Huguenot refugees from France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

    This does look as though it dates from the early 1720s, with fine engraving, balance cock foot almost straight across with 'wings' or streamers to the sides, beautiful crested Egyptian pillars and decorated screws. The cases will be 22 carat, since 18 carat wasn't a legal standard at this time, and there wasn't a strict requirement for watch cases to be fully hallmarked then. You may find a sponsor's (maker's) mark inside the bowl of the inner case, but it isn't a problem if there are no marks. Repoussé outers weren't hallmarked anyway, it would be hard to find a suitable spot to mark them! The marks on that tablet could be a signature but it's very hard to tell, many weren't signed, (it certainly isn't Moser or Dupont!). The outer looks as though it doesn't fit very well around the bezel, although it does have the early square joint, and indeed these repoussé cases were more common in the 1730s to 1760s, so it may possibly be a later replacement. The bow looks as though it swivels, which is quite correct; many of these early bows have been soldered in place, which is wrong. The wear apparent on the outer isn't surprising as 22 carat is quite soft, and it's very unusual to find one without significant wear.

    The dial is a later replacement because its style is more typical of the 1760s, as is the hour hand; the minute hand is quite inappropriate. The original dial would have been champlevé in silver or gold.

    It's an impressive piece and it isn't unusual to find some alterations after nearly 300 years of use.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,321
    1,085
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Jeff,

    The standard reference book for gold cases like this is by Richard Edgcumbe of the Victoria and Albert Museum, (Curator of Metalwork and author of “The
    Art of the Gold Chaser in Eighteenth Century London”).

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,748
    121
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    D*m. I have been properly schooled! thanks so much! I see from an internet search (and if it on the net you KNOW it must be true! right? :) that someof the artists did signed the repousee work. Is that correct? Jeff
     
  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,321
    1,085
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Jeff,

    Yes some did, at least initial it if not fully sign, and the two I mentioned, George Michael Moser and David Dupont did sign most of their work, although not all. I've had occasion to research a repoussé case which although un-signed was thought by Richard Edgcumbe to be very probably by Dupont, who did usually sign with just 'DP'. The signatures are often very well hidden in obscure parts of the design, in drapery or scroll-work, and are not in any way related to the legal hallmarking system.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  6. Rich Newman

    Rich Newman Chair
    Director NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    518
    102
    43
    Male
    Retired
    Illinois
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Edgcumbe's book, “The Art of the Gold Chaser in Eighteenth Century London" is really good. I recently found a copy to research this 22K repoussé case on an early American watch that was retailed by Joshua Lockwood (Charleston), circa 1763. Was then able to find the chaser's signature and also learn about the story depicted. The case is by Henry Manly, who immigrated from Augsburg to London in 1728 (changed his name from Heinrich Mannlich). He also did work for John Ellicott, Daniel Delander and George Graham. I learned a ton going through the book (which can be borrowed from the NAWCC library), for example, a number of these artists developed unique design characteristics and favorite story themes on their work which sometimes helps determine who made it.

    Lockwood case A.jpg Lockwood Case B.jpg
     
  7. Audemars

    Audemars Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 6, 2010
    1,012
    78
    48
    Male
    Retired
    Somerset, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    For what it is worth:

    I recently went to a lecture about the Huguenot refugees who came to London, and elsewhere in Britain.

    No mention, of course, of horology, but I learned for the first time about the Huguenot Society of London.
    They hold a wealth of very complete information about individuals, families and descendants, (I discovered several of my own extremely distant relatives, one of whom was a very naughty lady indeed) including occupations, where they lived, who was successful and who failed and ended up in the Huguenot “hospital” in Spitalfields (its lineal descendant still exists in the seaside town of Rochester in Kent, and they still take in hard-up Huguenot descendants).

    It occurs to me that this is a valuable resource, not only in relation to this particular thread, but also for other NAWCC users. There are affiliated Huguenot societies in other countries.

    Here is the link: Huguenot Society :: About the Society

    Paul
     
    John Matthews likes this.
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,321
    1,085
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Paul,

    The Society were most helpful when I was researching a few years ago into a Huguenot refugee who was a watchmaker and ended up in Southampton in 1688, where he continued in the same trade. They can supply sets of family records on CDs. There's still a 'French Church' in the old part of Southampton which he attended and was apparently a pillar of the community.

    Regards,

    Graham
     

Share This Page