Watch's origin: Swiss
Number of jewels: 15
Manufacturer: Misc. Swiss
Type of Watch: Pendant
Dimension: approx. 29mm wide by 32mm long
Well before the advent of the "wristlets" we now know as wrist watches, if a lady wished to wear a timepiece, it would have been a small pocket watch worn about the neck. This miniature version of a man's pocket watch also could be worn hanging from a breast-pin as a pendant. These watches were quite often fancifully decorated and hand-carved. Such is the case with late Victorian era, solid gold pocket watch with matching pin.
Without question, this ladies heart-shaped pendant watch is one of the finest we've had the pleasure of offering. SUCH an exceptional enameled gold case, adorned in busy Victorian chase work and embellished with remarkable enameling and artist hand carving.
Pocket watch case carving flourished through the latter half of the 19th century and into the first quarter of the 20th. Artisans flocked to the United States from around the world, eager to find a venue by which to earn a living and through which they could express their creative urges. For many, the artistic medium of choice was the pocket watch case.
These talented, anonymous artists worked throughout the day, quietly creating works of art on watch case after watch case, painstakingly carving freehand with hand tools on a graving ball. Taken for granted for nearly a century, these creations are finally being given the credit they deserve, as more collectors seek out watches based solely on the quality of their case carving.
Take a moment to admire the work of this artist: Starting with a smooth, heavy case of solid gold, he or she used a set of sharp graving tools to carefully carve a floral scene on the back. In the case of this timepiece, the artist created a Rococo floral scene with one of the most beautiful, lifelike purple/blue irises we've ever seen. I'm sure the symbolism of the iris was not lost on the artist: The purple iris is symbolic of wisdom and compliments; blue symbolizes faith and hope.
We've seen many examples of Late Victorian, early Art Nouveau pendants timepieces; however, we've never seen an enameled heart-shaped example such as this. It is, in a word, exquisite.
Pop open an equally fanciful back cover and you'll find gold mark. You'll find another treasure-within-a-treasure: a completely original, fully serviced Victorian mechanical pocket watch movement!
Not only is this timepiece stunningly beautiful, its history and origin are fascinating.
Its dial is marked "Le Palais Royal Habana" a luxury jeweler located in Havana, Cuba known for being the official distributors in Cuba for Patek Philippe. One of the most exclusive jewelry stores in the world at the turn of the 20th century, "The Palais" catering to everyone who was anyone. When Al Capone was in Havana in 1928 for an underworld "summit," he purchased three Patek Philippe wristwatches from Le Royal Palais at a cost of $6,000 – a staggering sum for the day.
The pin, in matching 9 ct. yellow gold, is hallmarked 1916 Birmingham, England. We suspect the heart pendant was given as a gift and later fitted with the pin.
Both enameled pendant and pin are offered in a handsome period presentation box.
Want stunning? You've found it.