Although I would never use a fabulous thing like this to wind a watch, that was the practical purpose it was intended for. It was also created for whimsy and it's decorative value. Back before watches were wound by twisting the stem you had to use a key and fit it to a gear at the back of the watch. And since it was necessary to carry the key with the watch, these keys often took fanciful forms and were used as decorative fobs on the watch chains alongside the watches. I love to wear watch keys and fobs on my long chains as pendants. I especially love these little flintlock pistols. This one is in sterling silver and has wonderful details. When hanging from a hook on a chain it hangs at just the right jaunty angle.
Measurements: 42.6mm long, 14.1mm high, the ring to attach it to a chain measures 3.7mm. It weighs 6 grams.
Era: Late 1800's
Material: Sterling Silver
Condition: Very Good, with wear in keeping with its age.