Early Watch Case Makers of England 1631 to 1720

by Philip Priestley
8-1/2" x 11" hardcover, 100 pages, and 48 photos or drawings.

The author covers the 90 years of the so-called Golden Age of clock- and watchmaking, beginning with 1631 when the Clockmakers’ Company was incorporated. Despite frequent wars, pestilence, natural disasters, and changes in the head of state with the waxing and waning of the spending power of the aristocracy and Court, the watch and clock trade grew rapidly during the last two decades of the seventeenth century. The term box referred to the inner part of the watch movement where it was hinged; the outer part was called the case. Four kinds of case materials were used: gold or silver, which was the most expensive; fire-gilded brass alloys; animal or fish skins (e.g., shark); and tortoiseshell, which was the most attractive, coming from the belly shell of a hawksbill turtle and inlaid with gold of silver wire and foil.
Priestley provides a biographical dictionary of the box and case makers and detailed tables of the punch marks that each used.


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