Lot No. 373 (92nd Auction)
class=Normal> Jaquet-Droz, London, 64 mm, 196 g, circa 1777
class=Normal> A gentleman's extremely rare pocket watch with flying fourth of a seconds indicator "Seconde Foudroyante", regulator dial, moon age and visible balance
class=Normal> Case: silver, polished, case maker's punch mark "EL". Dial: regulator dial, enamel, eccentric hour chapter ring with radial Roman numerals, five subsidiary chapter rings for the indication of: minutes, auxiliary seconds, flying fourth of a seconds indicator "Seconde Foudroyante", regulator scale, moon age; aperture for visible balance with paste-set arms and one-armed bridge against a blued steel ground, filigree gold hands. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, gilt, lavishly florally engraved, signed, chain/fusee, cylinder escapement, chatoned diamond endstone on balance.
class=Normal> Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790)
class=Normal> Pierre Jaquet-Droz was a Swiss-born watchmaker of the late eighteenth century. He lived in Paris, London, and Geneva, where he designed and built animated dolls, or automata, to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds.
class=Normal> Constructed between 1768 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis (1752-1791), and Jean-Frédéric Leschot (1746-1824) were The Writer (made of 6000 pieces), The Musician (2500 pieces), and The Draughtsman (2000 pieces).
class=Normal> His astonishing mechanisms fascinated the kings and emperors of Europe, China, India, and Japan.
class=Normal> Some consider these devices to be the oldest examples of the computer. The Writer has an input device to set tabs that form a programmable memory, 40 cams that represent the read-only programme, and a quill pen for output. The work of Pierre Jaquet-Droz predates that of Charles Babbage by decades.
class=Normal> The automata of Jaquet-Droz are also considered to be some of the finest examples of human mechanical problem solving. Three particularly complex and still functional dolls, now known as the Jaquet-Droz automata, are housed at the art and history museum in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
class=Normal> Source:, as of 09/09/2014.
Estimate  9,500 - 12,500 €

Price Realised  11,200 €
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