Excellent Silver Niello Pocket Watch with Chain 1900
You are bidding on an excellent nicely decorated Silver Niello Art Nouveau, open face pocket watch, made in Switzerland in the 1900’s. The pocket watch is keyless wind, set at the stem and comes with an original matching Niello silver chain.
Dial: The clear and easy to read white enamel hand written dial is in excellent condition, there are no cracks or hairlines on the dial. The dial has black Arabic numerals, outer minute divisions and red outer 13-24 hour numerals. The dial has nice chased hands and a subsidiary seconds dial at the six. The dial is protected by an original bull’s eye glass and signed: “DOMINA” in the upper centre.
Movement: The anchor lever movement has 15 jewels, a plain cock with polished steel regulator. The movement is signed: “Swiss Made” and is in working condition; however we cannot guarantee accuracy for an antique watch.
Case: The watch is lying in a silver Niello Art Nouveau sunburst open faced case. Please look at the pictures for the nice back of the case. The inner side of the case is numbered: 123691. The inner side of the cuvette is numbered the same, showing this is all original. The outer side of the cuvette is decoratively signed: “Ancre – 15 Rubis, Ligne droite – Double plateau, Levees visible – Spiral Breguet”.
Signed: DOMINA - Diameter: 48mm - Swiss Made - Circa: 1900
The NIELLO Case: The term Niello comes from the Latin word nigellum that is the diminutive of niger (black). Niello is a black or blackish-blue composition of lead, silver, copper, sulphur and ammonium chloride. The mixture is fused onto an engraved or cut out metal base by firing the mix in a process similar to champlevé enamelling. Silver was the most often used metal for Niello objects since the soft white silver colour contrasted beautifully with the darker Niello, and tri-colour 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.
Niello: Niello is a type of silverware decorated with engraved designs filled with a clack compound. Particular case is needed when cleaning niello, as the piece will be damaged if the compound is removed. Never use a dip, but lightly clean the surface with a long-term silver polish to reveal the design.