Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Watch

Maker:
Watchmaker: Isaac Penard (Swiss, 1619–1676)
Maker:
Casemaker: probably the Firm of Moulinié, Bautte & Moynier (Swiss, 1808–21)
Date:
case ca. 1810–20, movement ca. 1650
Culture:
Swiss, Geneva
Medium:
Case: silver; Dial: silver, partly nielloed; Movement: gilded brass and steel
Dimensions:
Overall: 2 × 1 3/8 × 1 9/16 in. (5.1 × 3.5 × 4 cm)
Classification:
Horology
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.1575
Not on view
The lower jaw is hinged to the base of the skull to make a cover for the dial of the watch. The dial is engraved and filled with niello marking the hours with Roman numerals (I–XII) and the half hours with fleurs-de-lis. The skull watch was a specialty of Geneva, and to a lesser extent of Blois, both prominent centers of Protestant watchmakers during the first decades of the seventeenth century. Isaac Penard was a native Swiss who was apprenticed to the Genevan master Jacques Sermand (1595–1651), a well-known maker of skull watches as well as watches in such shapes as tulip buds, crosses, and stars.

[Clare Vincent, 2009]
Signature: Signed on back plate of movement: Isaac Penard
Dunn Gardner ; Frederick George Hilton Price ; J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1917; to MMA)
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