Patek Philippe à Genève, Movement No. 30237, Case No. 30237, Cal. 8''', diameter 22 mm, 26 g, circa 1866
A very fine, rare and early gold enamel ball watch studded with diamonds, sold in July 1867 to Black & Murray, Calcutta - with Patek Philippe extract from the archives Case: 18k gold, ball-shaped case with applied scrolls made of gold wire and gold granulations, central blue enamel ring set with rose-cut diamonds. Dial: enamel, Arabic numerals, signed "Black & Murray, Calcutta", blued spade hands. Movm.: full plate movement, bezel-wound, frosted, gilt, signed, cylinder escapement, ring balance.
As far as we know this is the earliest known ball-form watch by Patek Philippe that was ever presented at an auction. In 2009 a nearly identical watch was sold at a Sothebys New York auction as lot no. 124. The watch was produced only a short time after the watch we have here; case and movement bear the number 30239.
Our watch has an ingenious keyless winding movement where one half of the ball is turned to wind the watch. It is quite possible that this is the earliest example of the design.
This extensive publicity generated a flow of orders for the charming ball-form watches (the so-called "Boules de Genève") from royalty all over the world. Patek Philippe delivered examples to Prince Hussein Kamil of Egypt in 1887 and to Empress Teresa of Brazil in 1888; both pieces are shown in the catalogue of the "Timepieces of Royalty" exhibition that took place at the the Patek Philippe Museum in the autumn of 2005. Today the museum's permanent exhibition holds a small number of later Boules de Genève models in various designs.
The Granulation in jewellery Granulation is a jewellery manufacturing technique whereby a surface is covered in spherules or granules of precious metal. The technique is thought to have its origins in Sumer about 5,000 years ago. In the first millennium B.C. the technique was used by Etruscans living in present-day Italy. Greek craftsmen also employed the technique, but it was the work coming from Etruria which became famous, in part due to the mysteries surrounding the process. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granulation_%28jewellery%29, as of 10/06/2014.
Estimate 25,000 - 40,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!
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