This week our Object Highlight was chosen by our Museum Assistant Kathy.
‘Time like an ever rolling stream…’ Joanna Turner’s fob watch.
Although it would be difficult, if pressed to choose a favourite item from the Museum collection, I would have to choose a most beautiful 18th Century fob watch which belonged to Joanna Turner (1731-1782). Joanna was the daughter of a Trowbridge clothier and as a young woman was instrumental in bringing the Methodist movement to Trowbridge. Indeed, the fob watch came to the Museum as a donation from the United Reform Church in 2009.
The fob watch is silver inside a tortoiseshell case, with a decorative chain and key for winding. The glass face is missing but the
itself is marked with Joanna’s name, albeit spelled ‘Johanna.’ The case also contains a watch paper (like a sales slip) from William Bullock; a 19th Century Trowbridge watch and clock maker. And, printed on a circular piece of fabric in indiscernibly small text, there is the whole of Alexander Pope’s Universal Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer written in the centre. As though this wasn’t enough to fit inside a fob watch, the case also contained a friendship ‘token’ made from a fine gauze like fabric and a delicate piece of silk embroidery of a little girl!