Sunday, July 14, 2013

Precious Time: The Notebook Watch, 1840

Swiss, 1840
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This masterpiece of gold, enamel, silk , paper, and glazed miniatures under glass is a clever combination of useful items and attractive design. Made in Switzerland in 1840, this notebook boasts glazed miniatures of bucolic scenes on both covers and conceals an enamel and gold pen.

When opened, the notebook reveals, on one side, a scene of the Palais Royale in Paris, and on the other, a jeweled watch with an enamel face.

Curiously, though I have access to a dozen photographs of this work of art courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum, I have none of the watch or the scene of the Palace nor can I find any. There’s a picture of the paper lining, but none of the good stuff. So, we’ll have to imagine what they might look like. But, based on the opulence of the outside, I’d guess that the inside is quite grand.

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