Lot No. 113* (92nd Auction)
Romilly à Paris, Movement No. 851 12/F, 125 mm, circa 1750

A very fine cylindrical Louis XV gold enamel etui with integrated watch, date indicator and compass
Case: 22k gold, cylindric shape decorated with enamel cartouches: painted polychrome compositions of summer flowers and crimson camaieux landscapes divided by engraved cartouches. The upper part with integrated watch, the unscrewable base with adjustable date indicator on the top and finely engraved and glazed compass rose on the inner back side. Dial: Hour chapter dial - enamel, radial Roman numerals, signed, gold Louis XV hands. Calendar dial - enamel, Arabic numerals, blued single spade hand. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, firegilt, signed, 1 barrel, cylinder escapement, three-arm steel balance, fine florally engraved and pierced balance bridge.

Jean Romilly (1714-1796)
Romilly was a Swiss watchmaker, journalist and encyclopedist. He was born in Geneva as one of the four sons of watchmaker Pierre Romilly and his wife Jacqueline Balexert. The family originally came from Gien-sur-Loire in France and had emigrated to Switzerland after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Jean Romilly first worked in his father’s family business with his uncle and his three brothers. He left Geneva in 1734 and went to Paris, where he settled at the Place Dauphine and became a master in 1752.
Romilly wrote several horological books. He knew Denis Diderot and Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert and penned about 12 articles for the Encyclopédie, for example on the technical aspects of watchmaking. In 1754 he presented a paper on escapements to the Académie des Sciences in Paris. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a friend of Romilly and they were in close contact all through his life.
In addition to watchmaking Jean Romilly was also interested in meteorology. He is said to have presented a marine chronometer to the Académie des Sciences around 1766, more or less at the same time as Pierre Le Roy and Jean-Pierre Tavernier (1714-1795). However, the chronometer was allegedly damaged during a revision in the country and Jean Romilly was forced to withdraw it from the test.
In 1777 Romilly and his son-in-law Guillaume Ollivier de Corancez (1780-1816) founded the first French daily newspaper, the Journal de Paris that was considered to be "the organ of the enlightened bourgeoisie”.
Source:​macher%29, as of 10/05/2015
Estimate  80,000 - 120,000 €
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