Exhibitions/ Art Object

Watch with alarm

Movement by Nicholas Vallin (recorded ca. 1590, died 1603)
ca. 1600
British, London
Case: gilded brass; movement: gilded brass, with an alarm train of iron
Diameter: 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
The son of the Flemish clockmaker John Vallin (ca. 1535–1603), Nicolas became the leading clock- and watchmaker in London. Both John and Nicolas emigrated to England, probably shortly before 1590 and undoubtedly as the result of political troubles in The Netherlands. Both father and son died in the London plague epidemic of 1603. The watch, which has a verge escapement, runs a little more than twenty-four hours per each winding, and originally it struck the hours in passing (a single blow on the bell at each hour).
Signature: On movement: N. Vallin at London
Frederick George Hilton Price ; J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1917; to MMA)
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