Swiss Pocket Watch | Rare Roskopf Enamel Case Pocket Watch
Manufacturer: Roskopf; Country: Switzerland; Type: Women's;
Circa Date: 1890
Style: Open Face.
Material: .900 Silver with black Niello Enamel background and Rose Gold inlaid.
Decorations: This rare and unique one-of-a-kind case features a silver and
rose-gold bloodhound. The outer portions of the case are decorated with silver
tree and fern designs. The Roskopf emblem and award medallions appear on the
inner silver cuvette.
Conditions: Very Presentable - Some wear or loss of niello. May have more
extensive repairs but patterns and designs are still nice.
Numerals: Roman hour chapters and outside track of black Arabic 5-minute
Hands: Gilt filigree hands.
Signed: The round Roskopf emblem is found above, "CUERVO Y SOBRINOS UNICOS
Conditions: The dial is in Very Good condition.
Jewels: 10 Jewels.
Setting: Pin Set.
Escapement: Side lever escapement.
Layout: 3/4 Plate Layout.
Conditions: The movement is in Very Good condition - patinated.
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