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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118a

Watch

1750-1775 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This watch has an enamelled dial with Arabic numerals and an elaborate set of cases, indicating that although it was made in London, it was designed for the Eastern market, probably Turkey.

Makers
It is signed Markwick Markham London, and is numbered 14103. James Markwick and Robert Markham specialised in clocks and watches for the Turkish market, and a partnership under their joint names was in business in London from about 1725 to 1805.

Mechanism & Manufacture
The watch's mechanism comprises a going train with fusee and train, a verge escapement, steel balance and spring. It is fitted with Turkish gradations. It strikes the hours and quarters on a silver bell.

Design
Large watches of this form are known as clock-watches. Their large size allowed them to be hung from a hook in a room and used as a clock when travelling. The gilt-metal case is pierced and engraved with foliage. One of the two outer cases is similarly decorated. An extra outer case is pierced in openwork with Rococo scrolls and foliage and with panels of shagreen decorated with piqué in gold.

The Arabic numerals on the dial, the complicated chiming mechanism and multiple elaborately decorated outer cases were deliberately designed to appeal to the taste of Turkish clients for 'exotic' ornamental mechanisms from Europe.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Watch
  • Pair-Case
  • Pair-Case
Materials and Techniques
Clockwatch with quarter-repeating movement, verge escapement and enamel dial; gilt-metal cases, the outer case embossed, chased and decorated with gold piqué work on leather
Brief Description
Watch made for the Turkish market
Dimensions
  • Height: 12cm
  • Width: 9cm
  • Depth: 4.3cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Signed 'Markwick Markham London 14103'
Gallery Label
British Galleries: London was the centre of a thriving clockmaking industry and its watches were exported throughout Europe and beyond. The Arabic numerals and ornate casing on this watch are typical of the highly decorative work produced in London for Turkey, where clocks and watches were relatively rare.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Made in London by the firm of Markwick and Markham (active about 1725-1805)



Purchased on behalf of the South Kensington Museum (today the V&A) in 1897 from Edgar and Alice Whitaker, executors for the Istanbul estate of William Henry Wrench (1836-96), British Consul to Ottoman Turkey. During his diplomatic career, Wrench had assembled a private art collection of paintings, ceramics, metalwork, arms, textiles, carpets and other furnishings. These were well-known to curators at South Kensington: in 1892, the Museum purchased a set of four photographs, recording how Wrench had displayed the collection in his home in Pera, Istanbul.
Summary
Object Type
This watch has an enamelled dial with Arabic numerals and an elaborate set of cases, indicating that although it was made in London, it was designed for the Eastern market, probably Turkey.

Makers
It is signed Markwick Markham London, and is numbered 14103. James Markwick and Robert Markham specialised in clocks and watches for the Turkish market, and a partnership under their joint names was in business in London from about 1725 to 1805.

Mechanism & Manufacture
The watch's mechanism comprises a going train with fusee and train, a verge escapement, steel balance and spring. It is fitted with Turkish gradations. It strikes the hours and quarters on a silver bell.

Design
Large watches of this form are known as clock-watches. Their large size allowed them to be hung from a hook in a room and used as a clock when travelling. The gilt-metal case is pierced and engraved with foliage. One of the two outer cases is similarly decorated. An extra outer case is pierced in openwork with Rococo scrolls and foliage and with panels of shagreen decorated with piqué in gold.

The Arabic numerals on the dial, the complicated chiming mechanism and multiple elaborately decorated outer cases were deliberately designed to appeal to the taste of Turkish clients for 'exotic' ornamental mechanisms from Europe.
Collection
Accession Number
365 to B-1897

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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