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Auctioneers Dr. Crott 90th Auction

Like his parents, Demidov was a great admirer of Napoleon I of France, and built a museum below the house of San Martino on Elba where Napoleon had lived during his first exile and caused a mass to be sung at Portoferraio every 5 May (which is still sung today). In 1839 he was introduced by Jules Janin into the circle of Jérôme Bonaparte, former king of Westphalia, who was living in exile at the Villa di Quarto in Florence. A plan to marry Jérôme’s daughter princess Mathilde-Létizia Bonaparte to Demidov was quickly formed. It was agreed she would receive a dowry of 50,000 francs in jewels (bought by Demidov for 1 million francs from Jérôme, always short of money) and 240,000 francs in money, payable in instalments. A decree of 20 October 1840 also made Demidov “prince of San Donato” to allow the princess to hold onto her title, though Demidov’s princely title was never recognised in Russia. The marriage took place in Rome or Florence on 1 November 1840. In March 1841 the couple went to Saint Petersburg, where the Tsar was full of attention for his cousin (through the Wurttembergs) the princess and losing no opportunity to humiliate Demidov by any means possible. In spite of this, Anatole began his own infidelities. On 17 August 1841 the couple arrived in Paris, where they lived at hôtel Demidoff at 109 rue Saint-Dominique until June 1842, when they moved to spend a year in Saint Petersburg before finally setting up home at the villa San Donato. Their relationship soon soured, with the princess taking count Émilien de Nieuwerkerke as a lover, and Demidov taking Valentine de Sainte- Aldegonde, duchesse de Dino, as a mistress. Source:,_1st_ Prince_of_San_Donato, as of 09/16/2014. Mortimer & Hunt, London (1839-1843) John Hunt, son of John Samuel Hunt, became a third partner in the company Storr & Mortimer when Paul Storr retired on December 31, 1838. From then on the firm traded as Mortimer & Hunt. Upon the retirement of John Mortimer in 1843, new partners Robert Roskell and C.F. Hancock joined the company, which now continued to do business as Hunt & Roskell. Louis Comptesse Louis Comptesse first registered his mark on 8th November 1804. Little information is available on this watch case maker, located at Soho Square, London. But he doubtlessly was a highly skilled and talented craftsman. Terence Camerer Cuss states: “The best known maker by far from the beginning of the period is Louis Comptesse, who worked in London and used the Goldsmiths’ Hall for assays.” His initials can be found in the cases made for the most celebrated English watchmakers of the time, notably Recordon, Barraud, Fatton, Viner, Barwise and Charman. Historical and technical comments: Despite the signature “à Londres” the case was most likely produced in Geneva. It bears the so-called quality marks similar to the London hallmarks and the marks of casemaker Louis Comtesse, who was the most eminent English maker of his time. At the time Geneva specialized in engraving and enamelling, and artists often faked the signatures of the most famous watchmakers. This annoying habit had started around the end of the 17th century and went on until the second half of the 19th century, when contracts were signed between Switzerland and the other industrial countries during and after the International Exhibition in Vienna in 1873. After these agreements were made, Switzerland established agencies for the registration and filing of trademarks as well as a patent office. The clickwork has been designed in a very specific space-saving way to create an extra flat movement that could be fitted into an elegant case. The escapement is set between the bridges and has a 3/100-4/100 mm spring, while its gold spring is not more than 4/100 mm thick. Along with the inverted balance and its lower balance wheel this makes the watch one of the flattest pocket chronometers ever produced. The manufacturing cost for this timekeeper’s movement must have been very high and it is not surprising at all that it was fitted into a similarly costly gold case with allover enamelling. Mortimer & Hunt 倫敦 — 極精緻,極富歷史意義的黃金琺瑯女 仕懷錶,為貴族所有,轉贈法國公主Mathilde-Létizia Wilhelmine Bonaparte (1820-1904)與俄羅斯工業界Anatole Nikolaievitch Demidoff (1813-1870),意大利San Donato王子的結婚禮物。附 Mathilde-Létizia Wilhelmine Bonaparte公主的交換文件 39462 C: 2, 10 D: 2 M: 2, 41 90.000 - 130.000 EUR 112.500 - 162.500 USD 900.000 - 1.300.000 HKD

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