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Lot No. 370 (89th Auction)
Robert Allam, London, Movement No. 1628, 48 mm, 108 g, circa 1775

A very fine gold enamel pair-cased verge pocket watch with corresponding gold enamel chatelaine - with finest enamel paintings "en grisaille" in the manner of by George Michael Moser and Augustin Toussaint
Case: outer case - 18K gold, the case band on the front and back side with stylized white and gold champlevé enamel flowers against a translucent cobalt blue ground, the back side with white and blue enamelled flower festoons; an oval enamel plaque in the centre depicting a classical scene "en grisaille" on a brown ground: Venus, the Roman goddess of Love and a nymph with pigeons in their hands attending a flower-bedecked altar. Inner case - 18K gold, polished, case maker's punch mark "PM", signed and numbered movement protection cap. Corresponding chatelaine with four enamel medallions: at the top the depiction of Abundantia with cornucopia, the divine personification of abundance and prosperity; below a winged putto, playing with two pigeons; a further medallion with military trophies and a vase. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, arrow shaped gold hands. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, firegilt, florally engraved applied ornaments, signed, chain/fusee, gold train, baluster shaped movement pillars, three-arm steel balance, very finely florally engraved, pierced balance bridge with mascaron, large chatoned diamond endstone.

The neoclassical grisaille on a brown ground enamel decoration was particularly popular in late 18th century London.

Robert Allam
Robert Allam was apprenticed to Thomas Smith, master and citizen clockmaker in London for 7 years, and was free between 1742-1765.

Augustin Toussaint
Louis Toussaint was a London based jeweller and enameller. His son Augustin was apprenticed in 1768 to the renowned enameller and gold chaser George Michael Moser as enamel painter (for the enormous fee of 200 guineas).
Augustin Toussaint's works were exhibited at the Royal Academy (1775 to 1788) and are recorded on watches signed Emery for example.

George Michael Moser (1706-1783)
George Michael Moser was born in Schaffhausen on January 17, 1706. He studied chasing and gilding under his father Michael, a coppersmith. He moved to London in 1726 and worked for John Valentine Haidt, goldsmith and watch chaser. By 1737 he was working on his own account at Craven Buildings off Drury Lane. In addition to chasing he also produced fine enamel cases of which only about twenty are known to survive. He designed the great seal of George III and painted enamel portraits of the royal children for Queen Charlotte. In the 1740's Moser became a leading figure at the St Martins Lane Academy and later, in 1769 he became the first Keeper of the Royal Academy. His repoussé watch case work is among the finest to be found. Moser continued to work at least until the late 1770's, and was active for the Royal Academy until the end of his life. On January 30, 1783, the "Gentleman's Magazine" reported that Moser "was followed to his grave in grand funeral pomp by all the capital artists, Sir Joshua Reynolds at their head as chief mourner, Sir William Chambers, etc. Ten mourning coaches, besides two gentlemen's coaches, were in the procession".
In The Art of the Gold Chaser in Eighteenth-Century London, Richard Edgcumbe devotes over 40 pages of text to Moser's work in addition to the many illustrations included.
Estimate  7,000 - 9,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

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