Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Watchmaker: David Ramsay (working 1600, died 1660)
Plaques by I. R. (probably Jean Reymond) (active ca. 1615–32) of Limoges
ca. 1620–25
British, probably London
Case: painted enamel on copper, partly gilt, and silver gilt; movement: gilded brass, steel, partly blued, and silver
1 7/8 × 1 3/8 in. (4.8 × 3.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 544
In the first quarter of the seventeenth century a small group of enamelers in Limoges produced polychrome painted enamels for watchcases. Most of the surviving enamels, including the one displayed here, were adapted from the woodcut illustrations by Bernard Salomon (1505/1510–ca. 1561) for the editions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses published in Lyon by Jean de Tournes beginning in 1555. The case of the watch was cleverly modified, probably at some time in the second half of the nineteenth century, to fit a movement of equal rarity.
Signature: On movement: David Ramsay fecit; on interior of front and back cover: I.R.
Carl Heinrich Marfels , Frankfurt ; [ J. & S. Goldschmidt , until May 18, 1910; sold to Morgan ] ; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until 1917; to MMA)
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