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A small instrument for winding a pocket watch, used before the invention, c. 1680-1700, of the keyless watch. Some examples, especially those made of gold as ornaments in the 19th century, have an ornately decorated or jewelled shank or handle, sometimes with a figured head, and usually have a swivelled bow for suspension from a watch chain or chatelaine.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson