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 pin wheel has in fact been made in watch-form. The basic fabric is of deep cream silk. The back is decorated at the edge and centre with minute turquoise-coloured and gilt beads in floral pattern as well as braid surrounding the peripheral flowers. The “watch face” has a similar border of the beads with the centre as a hand-painted watch face with two hands. At the top of the “watch” is a circular ring acting as the watch “bow”, covered with gilt braid. The edge of the “watch” is of fine deep cream braid with two rows of pins currently in position, giving a decorative effect and confirming its usage as a pin wheel. Amongst our images is included a genuine Regency watch which shows the potential inspiration for an item such as this. The condition of this piece is very good for age. There are three tiny gilt beads missing on the back, the dial is slightly rubbed but totally readable and it is possible that the bow may have been re-connected at one stage. This is a rare and highly collectible item that would be lovely in an early needle box but could also be attached to and worn from a chatelaine of the date. Please note that there another example listed at present which is of earlier date and has an attached chain. Diameter 1.75 ins (4.5cm). Weight 8 grams. This item appears in my book, “How the Watch was Worn, A Fashion for 500 Years” on page 227. Insured Air Mail Post with tracking to the USA would be $32.00 USD - with no tracking is cheaper. For shipping cost to other countries, please contact us.
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