Submitted by jays on 28 January 2014 - 3:55pm

This highly decorative fob watch once belonged to William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872), early Australian explorer, author, barrister, landowner, and statesman. It is an early nineteenth century watch, wound in the French style through the white enamel dial. The bezel is set with a circle of half pearls and the case back is decorated with translucent royal blue enamel over an engine turned ground and embellished with half pearls and rose-cut diamonds in a floral design. The gold oval pendant with its attached watch chain, buttonhole fastener and key is also decorated with pearls and blue and white enameling. Wentworth may have bought the watch while living in London in 1816-1824 where he was studying for the bar at the Middle Temple. The details of the acquisition have been long since lost and the watch itself was lost for many years. It came to light in 1957 following the death of Wentworth’s granddaughter, Miss Dorothy Wentworth (1873-1956) when her trustees found that her house was packed with family treasures, some hidden under floorboards. The watch was discovered in a secret drawer of an escritoire.

Photograph: George Serras, 2011
Gift of Friends of Vaucluse House, 1999
Back of pocket watch set with half pearls and rose cut diamonds on blue enamel ground, circa 1816 Face of pocket watch with white enamel dial, circa 1816 Back of pocket watch set with half pearls and rose cut diamonds on blue enamel ground, circa 1816
Portrait
Vaucluse House
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