Watch (1)

East, Edward

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Object Type
The movement has a verge escapement and a gut-driven fusee, which regulated the power of the mainspring. The two plates of the movement are held between baluster pillars. The hour ring is in silver, the figures inlaid with black enamel. The case is in the shape of a gourd made of rock crystal mounted in gilt brass.

Edward East was apprenticed to Richard Rogers of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1618, and became a Freeman in 1627. In 1632 he was made one of the first Assistants of the Clockmakers' Company which had been founded the year before. He was Master of the Company in 1645 and 1653. In 1660 he was appointed Chief Clockmaker to the king. He seems to have operated on a large scale and to have had Royalist and Roman Catholic connections.

Edward East's will suggests that he was resident in Hampton, Middlesex, in 1688, though his business continued in London. His will was proved in February 1697 but the exact date of his death is not known.

Subjects Depicted
The dial is engraved inside the hour ring with the birth of Jesus. Above the hour ring is a nude figure of Time with his traditional symbols of a scythe and an hour glass.

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  • Title: Watch (1)
  • Creator: East, Edward
  • Date Created: 1630/1639
  • Location: London
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 5.1 cm, Width: 3 cm, Depth: 2.3 cm
  • Provenance: Given by Miss E. M. Earle
  • Medium: Rock crystal case, with an engraved gilt-brass dial; the pendant has been replaced

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