George Charle, London, ca. 1800
Gilt bronze, brass
case: gold, embossed and pierced
hands: blued steel; spring with chain and fusee
height 6 cm, width 4 cm, thickness 2.3 cm
diameter of outer case 4.7 cm
The signature, "Charle in London", is engraved in italic script on the back plate. Its author was almost certainly George Charle, who is recorded in London from shortly before the end of the C18 until 1842. The two hands indicate the hours in Roman numerals (I-XII) and the minutes in division lines. The back of the richly embossed outer case shows a boisterous company of musicians with (from right to left) viola da gamba, harpsichord, lute, together with a singer and two drinking companions. The image surely derives from the engraved frontispieces typical of musical publications of the late C17 and the C18.