Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object


Watchmaker: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800)
ca. 1770–72
British, London
Case: moss agate, mounted in gold and set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds; silver; Dial: white enamel, with frame pavé-set with paste jewels
overall, confirmed: 3 3/8 × 3 9/16 × 2 1/8 in. (8.6 × 9 × 5.4 cm) Other (of b-e): 1 1/16 x 1 x 13/16in. (2.7 x 2.5 x 2.1cm) Other (of f): 15/16 x 7/8 x 13/16in. (2.4 x 2.2 x 2.1cm) Other (of g,h): 3/4 x 1 3/8 x 15/16in. (1.9 x 3.5 x 2.4cm) Other (of i): 1 1/8 x 2 7/8 x 7/8in. (2.9 x 7.3 x 2.2cm) Other (of j-m, each): 2 13/16in. (7.1cm) Other (of n): 2 3/8in. (6cm) Other (of o): 1 5/16in. (3.3cm)
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence Harris Van der Kemp, 1957
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 510
Containing dark inclusions that resemble moss or ferns, the milky white mineral decorating this sumptuous nécessaire is known as moss agate. It is found in multiple areas around the world, including Central Europe. In addition to various toilet implements, the case contains a watch and an automaton and is an excellent example of the complex and ambitious objects made in the workshop of James Cox.
Signature: (painted on watch, in script) Jas Cox/London

Inscription: SLOW FAST (inscribed on silver plaque)
[ A La Vieille Russie ] ; Rear Admiral Frederic R. Harris (until d. 1949) ; Florence van der Kemp (until 1957; to MMA)
Related Objects

Pair-case automaton watch

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: ca. 1770 Medium: Outer case: gold, partly enameled and set with gemstones and paste jewels; Inner case: gold; Dial: white enamel, with frame set with paste jewels; Movement: with diamond endstone Accession: 1977.436.4 On view in:Gallery 510

Miniature secretary incorporating a watch

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: ca. 1766–72 Medium: Case: agate, with gold mounts, gilded brass, pearls, and paste jewels set in silver; Dial: white enamel; Movement: wheel balance and cock set with paste jewels Accession: 46.184a–c On view in:Gallery 510

Jewel cabinet with watch

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: probably ca. 1765–70 Medium: Case: agate, mounted in gilded copper and gilded brass and set with painted enamel on copper plaques, and fruitwood; Dial: white enamel Accession: 64.101.829 On view in:Not on view

Automaton in the form of a chariot pushed by a Chinese attendant and set with a clock

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: 1766 Medium: Case: gold with diamonds and paste jewels set in silver, pearls; Dial: while enamel; Movement: partly gilded brass and steel, wheel balance and cock of silver set with paste jewels Accession: 1982.60.137 On view in:Gallery 540