Swiss Pocket Watch | Art Nouveau Niello Enamel Flower Case with Rose Gold

Swiss Pocket Watch | Art Nouveau Niello Enamel Flower Case with Rose Gold

SWISS-WATCH-N82007-47-AI
$250.00
Swiss Pocket Watch | Art Nouveau Niello Enamel Flower Case with Rose Gold
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Swiss Pocket Watch | Art Nouveau Niello Enamel Flower Case with Rose Gold

SWISS-WATCH-N82007-47-AI
$250.00

1 available for immediate delivery

Product Details


15 Jewel Swiss Pocket Watch, 44mm Niello & Rose-Gold .800 Silver Open Face, Stem Set, Circa 1900
Description: A rose-gold leaf and silver swirl and flower accents form an Art Nouveau pattern on the back of this double hinged back case. The nickel lever movement carries a porcelain dial with Arabic hr. chapters which is signed “Speranza.”
CONDITIONS:
C 4-56 (The Case is in Good Condition - Chipped)
D 3-53-43-01 (The Dial is in Very Good Condition - Very Slightly Chipped - Original Hands)
M 3 (The Movement is in Very Good Condition)

Niello
The niello watch case became a canvas for outstanding art works that will likely never be duplicated. The term niello comes from the Latin word nigellum that is the diminutive of niger (black.) It was a technique used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Persians. Niello is a black or blackish-blue composition of lead, silver, copper, sulfur and ammonium chloride. The mixture is fused onto an engraved or cut-out metal base by firing the mix in a process similar to champleve' enameling. Silver was the most often used metal for niello objects since the soft white silver color contrasted beautifully with the darker niello. Rose-gold inlay work was also seen in combination with niello and tri-color effects were achieved by the use of rose-gold, niello and silver. When the niello was heated and fired onto a silver watch case, it actually fused with the silver very strongly, almost as if it were soldered in place. The niello would be filled, finished and polished, leaving the surface of the watch case smooth and flat. One can readily assume that the process of engraving the areas which were to be filled with niello, the firing stages, and the finishing stages were very time consuming and therefore costly. Aside from the production end, the niello cases also had to be designed by artists who would pre-determine the subject matter and then the cases were finished by engravers who produced the fine details.

On the dust cover you will notice Universal Exhibition Medals. Universal Exhibitions were World's fairs originating in the French tradition of national exhibitions, a tradition that culminated with the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 held in Paris. This fair was soon followed by other national exhibitions in continental Europe, and eventually the United Kingdom. Many of the dust covers on Pocket Watches from the 1900s exhibit the Universal Exhibitions Awards Medals.