It's fun answering reader questions! Keep 'em coming!
Steve asked me, "In your books, Adam Hargrave, the magistrate's son, carries a pocket-watch. Did they really have pocket-watches back in the seventeenth-century?"
Actually by the 1660s, pocket-watches were a fairly common luxury item among the middling and upper classes, so I thought it would be in character for Adam to own one. Pocket-watches had been around for a hundred years by this point, as illustrated in this image of Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence, holding a golden timepiece. This painting represents the first known artistic depiction of a pocket-watch.
Initially, throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, nobles and other elites wore them either around their necks as pendants, or pinned to their clothes or attached to chains so that they could be placed in a pocket. The earliest of these simple watches seem to have had only a single hour hand, and they were not encased in glass, although they often had a protective cover of some sort.
As the mechanics of time improved, watch-makers from England, France and the Netherlands began to offer more watches that were more elaborate, beautiful and accurate. They seem to have come in all different styles. The English ones were more simple, while the European models were often far more elaborate. Indeed, there are some really interesting pocket-watches...check them out!
Tell me...Which is your favorite? (And here's a hint--one of them may be featured in an upcoming story...)
Historian. Mystery writer. Researcher. Teacher. Occasional blogger.