William Thornton, London, Movement No. 1308, 47 mm, 94 g, circa 1770
A fine, rare pair-cased verge pocket watch with "repoussé" decoration "The Triumph of Mordecai"
Case: outer case - gold, Repoussé in very high relief depicting Mordecai riding triumphantly through the streets of Susa, led by his enemy Haman; engraved and chased volutes and scrollwork, large lateral hinge. Inner case - gold, polished, case maker's punch mark "JW", seven-piece hinge. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, "Poker & Beetle" hands. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, firegilt, signed, applied floral decorations, chain/fusee, square baluster pillars, three-arm steel balance, fine florally engraved, pierced balance cock with mascaron.
The rarity of the watch stems from the very high relief and excellent condition of the repoussé. There are two types of repoussé techniques, one wherein the artisan hammers a single sheet of metal and eventually gets a desired motif, and another, where the desired motif is made from two or more parts soldered together. The former is restricted in depth by the malleability of the material. This watch exemplifies the second technique. The frontal figures’ depth was achieved by breaking the sheet and curving the edges thus making three-dimensional images. The background is made from another piece of gold sheet with relatively shallow figures which are then soldered with the front.
The Triumph of Mordecai
Mordecai is one of the central characters in the Book of Esther.
Mordechai was a Jew who lived in the town of Susa in Persia, where he worked in a position close to the Persian king. During that time he discovered a plot to assassinate the king and managed to foil it.
Mordecai adopted his young cousin Esther, whom King Ahasueros chose as his wife and queen after exiling Queen Vashti.
King Ahasueros eventually raised the official Haman to the highest position at court and it was decreed that all others should prostrate before him. When Mordecai refused to do so, Haman became incredibly angry and began planning the murder of all Jewish exiles in the Persian Empire. Moredecai discovers this and speaks to Esther; Esther discloses Haman’s plans as well as the fact that she is Jewish herself to the king, who orders Hamano be executed. Mordecai is appointed to a high position at court.
Source: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai, as of 01/22/2015
Dial: very good
Movm.: very good, to be restored, capable of running