David Ramsay (d. 1660)
Elongated octagonal gilt-brass and silver cased verge watch
Case: Engraved on the inside of the cover are the Stuart arms with a three-barred label, the shield surmounted by a royal coronet and flanked by the letters `P' and `H'
Movement: David Ramsay, Scotus, c. 1610
case; gilt-brass, silver; engraved dial; silver; engraved, gilt-brass, blued-steel movement; gilt-brass
case 60.5 mm length case 34.5 mm width case 21.9 mm thickness movement 42.3 mm length movement 30.85 mm width pillar 8.9 mm height
Case: Elongated octagonal gilt-brass case with hinged silver back and cover. The cover has a series of eight facets engraved with foliate scrolls, surrounding a larger central panel depicting Diana and Actaeon. The back is decorated in a similar manner with a depiction of Narcissus. The applied silver band is engraved with foliate scrolls and rabbits. Engraved on the inside of the cover are the Stuart arms with a three-barred label, the shield surmounted by a royal coronet and flanked by the letters `P' and `H'. Gilt-brass pierced foliate pendant with loose ring. No case finial is intended. Dial: Silver dial plate engraved with foliate scrolls, birds and squirrels and with a depiction of Leda and the Swan at the top and a female grotesque at the bottom. A large diameter gilt-brass dial has hours I-XII and star-shaped half-hour marks surrounding a double inner circle with dots at the hours. The central area is engraved with a pastoral scene with a river and a town. Blued-steel hand with long tail. The movement and dial are held in the case by two latches. Movement: Elongated octagonal gilt-brass plates with four solid Egyptian pillars of slightly unusual pattern. Around the edge of the back plate is an engraved border of foliate scrolls with rabbits. The movement, apart from the plates and pillars, has been professionally modernised at some time during third quarter of the 18th century. Movement signed: David Ramsay Scotus David Ramsay, thought to have been born in Dumfries, but spent part of his early working life in France. Returned to England at the behest of James I and became Royal Clockmaker in 1613. First Master of the Clockmakers' Company 1632, died 1660. Literature: D. Thompson, 'Watches in the Ashmolean Museum' Ashmolean Handbooks, 2007 Notes: The Stuart arms and initials HP appear to be those of Henry Prince of Wales (d. 1612) elder son of James I. The engraving of the letters HP is not, however, particularly elegant or well executed and the coronet is not that used by the heir apparent. It is possible that the shield of arms &c. have been added at a later date to enhance the importance of the watch. On the other hand, it may be significant that it is recorded that in 1612 Ramsay was paid ,61 for three watches for the Prince of Wales.
Henry, Prince of Wales
Thompson (2007) 7
Bequeathed by J. Francis Mallett, 1947.