Ladies from previous eras were expected to be most proficient in needlework and other crafts. Many patterns for all types of items were published in their magazines of the day. This example would be one of these projects and destined for the work box or possibly to be worn as a “fausse montre” (the false watch was an item definitely used in the 18th and early 19th centuries - a more economical way of appearing to wear a watch). This is a beautifully constructed pin wheel covered with deep cream silk with finest bead work on front and back with tiny turquoise-coloured and gilt beads, the edges being surrounded with gilt cord. The “watch face” has been hand-painted and the numerals are very clear as well as the two hands. The centre of the hands has one single black bead. This example attaches to a “bow” covered with gilt braid and there is the addition of a chain-stitched long cord so that this could be readily worn from a sash or belt at the waist. This “watch” is of a very similar style to a Regency gold and turquoise watch which is shown in one of the images. The side of the piece is of deep cream narrow braid decorated with two rows of pins, confirming that it was intended as a pin wheel. The condition of the watch and chain and bow components is excellent for age although the watch is currently not attached to the bow as can be seen in one of the images. To someone talented with needle and thread this could be re-attached. This is a remarkable survivor from the early 19th century and demonstrates great skill in its construction. Once re-connected, this, with great care could possibly be worn on a display gown, but would be safer kept as a precious piece in an exquisite sewing box of the era. Please note that a similar, slightly later example without chain is currently listed on this site. Diameter 1.7 ins (4cm). Weight 10 grams. This Item appears in my book, How the Watch was Worn, A Fashion for 500 Years” on page 214.
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