Watch holder

Spanish (Valencia)
mid-18th century
Attributed to Alcora Manufactory (Spanish, active 1727–about 1858)

Object Place: Europe, Valencia, Spain


39.37 x 31.75 cm (15 1/2 x 12 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tin-glazed earthenware

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)





Faience, blue and white decoration with yellow outlines on off-white ground; swirling rocaille forms rising from base in triangular outline to scalloped peak which holds cluster of yellow flowers. Yellow flowers below at right. Circular opening top center (for watch). Irregular shaped base with blue and yellow outlines. Back undecorated.

Before the invention of the wristwatch in the twentieth century, a watch holder allowed a bulky pocket watch to stand upright and be visible throughout the day. The Alcora factory was famous for extravagant ceramics in the rococo style as King Philip V of Spain tried to match the example set by Louis XV in France. The open scrolls and shells of this watch stand almost exceed the limits of clay to hold its shape during firing in the kiln.


By 1967, R. Thornton Wilson (b. 1886 - d. 1977), New York; 1983, bequest of R. Thornton Wilson to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 12, 1983)

Credit Line

Bequest of R. Thornton Wilson in memory of Florence Ellsworth Wilson