Lot No. 344 (89th Auction)
James Cowan, Edinburgh, Movement No. 537, 48 mm, 121 g, circa 1750

A fine, rare pair-cased verge pocket watch "Penelope and the Suitors"
Case: outer case - 18K gold, "repoussé" decoration depicting Penelope and the Suitors, chased volute and foliage border, large lateral hinge. Inner case - 18K gold, polished, case maker punch mark "IL". Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, blued steel "Poker & Beetle" hands. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, firegilt, signed, applied florally engraved ornaments, chain/fusee, squared baluster movement pillars, three-arm steel balance, set diamond endstone on balance, pierced and engraved balance cock with grotesque face.

Penelope is the wife of the main character, the king of Ithaca, Odysseus and daughter of Icarius and his wife Periboea. She only has one son by Odysseus, Telemachus, who was born just before Odysseus was called to fight in the Trojan War. She waits twenty years for the final return of her husband, during which she has a hard time snubbing marriage proposals from odious suitors.
On Odysseus's return, disguised as an old beggar, he finds that Penelope has remained faithful. She has devised tricks to delay her suitors, one of which is to pretend to be weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus's elderly father Laertes and claiming that she will choose a suitor when she has finished. Every night for three years, she undoes part of the shroud, until Melantho, one of twelve unfaithful serving women, discovers her chicanery and reveals it to the suitors.
Source:, as of 07/15/2011.
Estimate  2,800 - 3,800 €

Price Realised  3,600 €
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