George Prior Triple-Cased Pocket Watch

Value (2007) | $8,000 Auction$10,000 Auction

It's a pocket watch that's been in my family for... a number of generations, maybe three, four. It came over with my ancestors from Germany or Austria, some place in there.

The first thing you notice is it's rather large.


Large as compared to a watch you would see today or a pocket watch made a hundred years ago. It has this very elaborate tortoiseshell case. And you can see also the tortoiseshell in the back has these little nail heads, what we call “piqué.” Not only is this a decorative cover, it's also a protective cover. A nice thing to have. Now, inside we have another cover, again, very protective. This one is made out of nickel silver. This is what we call a triple-cased watch. Now we go into the watch... and we open it up. If you look right down at the bottom, you'll see it's made by George Prior of London. We believe that this watch was probably made around the turn of the century, 1800 to 1820. Right in that time period. You'll see over here this has a pierced balance cock. This is very typical for the date. He didn't make his own movements. He would buy the movements, or what we call an “ébauche,” and it was basically a raw movement and then he would do all the fancy engraving and cutting to make the movement. This type of watch is very typical for the time period. Now I'm going to close it up here... and we're going to talk about... the front. The first thing you notice is... on top of the gold tone dial we have these, what they call “champlevé” enamels. They hollow out part of the metal and they put these enamel panels on top. But if you look, that type of numeral, those triangular type numbers, they're made specifically for the Islamic market. So this is something that would've been made in London and exported to the Middle East. They're very desirable today. They're back in vogue. Current market, at auction, I would say this would probably sell in the range of $8,000 to $10,000.


Not bad, huh?


Thank you for bringing it in.

Oh, thanks for having it.

Appraisal Details

Doyle New York
New York, NY
Appraised value (2007)
$8,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Louisville, KY (July 28, 2007)
Metal , Silver

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