Jewel cabinet with watch

Purveyor: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800)

Artist: After a design by Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne)

Artist: After a design by François Boucher (French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris)

Date: probably ca. 1765–70

Culture: British, London

Medium: Case: agate, mounted in gilded copper and gilded brass and set with painted enamel on copper plaques, and fruitwood; Dial: white enamel

Dimensions: Overall: 13 1/2 × 9 3/4 × 7 1/2 in. (34.3 × 24.8 × 19.1 cm)

Classification: Horology

Credit Line: Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964

Accession Number: 64.101.829


Probably made for the domestic market, the cabinet has doors that consist of enameled personifications of Winter and Summer after paintings of the Four Seasons by the British portraitist and genre painter Robert Pyle, who had a brief vogue in London between about 1760 and 1768. The anonymous enameler may have worked directly from the paintings or from contemporaneous mezzotints. With characteristic inventiveness, Cox included a secret drawer above the more obvious drawers in the interior of the cabinet, the secret one released by means of a jeweled button on the back of the cabinet. The watch, with white enamel dial, is supported by two playful cherubs of cast and painted brass and surmounted by a bust of a lady.