Attributed to Piguet & Meylan à Brassus and Jean-George Rémond à Genève, Case No. 181, 61 mm, 137 g, circa 1820
A gentleman‘s important gold enamel pocket watch with centre seconds, studded with half pearls; produced for the Chinese market: "A heart plays false" Case: 18K rose gold, back with exquisitely executed polychrome enamel medallion showing a baroque genre scene in a taverna in the style of Flemish painter Théodore Rombouts (1597-1637): two men in a game of cards, a lady holding a mirror behind the back of the older man, thus helping the younger man to win his game; case band, pendant and bow with Champlevé ornamentation; half pearl-studded bezels, pendant and bow. Dial: enamel. Movm.: bridge movement, cylinder escapement, three-arm ring balance.
Provenance: - Collection Leonard Sax, Chicago (Sax was one of the most important collectors of enamel watches produced for the Chinese market in the first half of the 20th century) - Marouf Auction VII, April 27th, 1974 Front cover, Lot 65 - Catalogue of the Watch Museum, Wuppertal, fig. 174 - 71st Auction Auctioneers Dr. Crott, November 19th, 2005, Lot 361
This piece is a perfect example from the heyday of enamel painting in Geneva during the first half of the 19th century - an unrivalled quality that had never been reached before and likewise, was never achieved again in later days. Enamel painting is the ultimate in enamelling work such as "Cloisonné" and "Champlevé". The miniature painting of this genre scene is of a resplendent perfect beauty that is further enhanced by the dazzling and finely hued array of colours. The individual colours were applied in layers and burned at 800-900 degrees of heat - a skill that required extreme craftsmanship, patience and expertise. The process itself comprised 20 or more layers and burning sequences, where each sequence posed a danger to the work carried out previously. Finally a transparent layer of enamel was applied to protect the painting and intensify the colours; this was known as the "Fondant de Genève". The whole process demanded utmost care and patience, it often took four to six months to finish an enamel miniature of such supreme quality.
J.D. Piguet et S. Meylan à Genève Piguet was an expert craftsman who produced his watches in partnership with Henry Capt and Philippe Samuel Meylan, and later also with his sons. Philippe Samuel Meylan came to Geneva at the age of 20 to work for Audemars Frères. He opened his own workshop near Le Brassus in 1811, but returned to Geneva later. He met Piguet and formed the partnership with him; they worked in Geneva under the name "Piguet & Meylan" from 1811 to 1828. The company was well known for the production of early ”China-watches” and became famous for its pocket watches with special functions; they created automatons with man and animal shapes and intricate musical mechanisms as well as skeleton watches.
Estimate 50,000 - 100,000 €
Price Realised 52,100 €
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