Lot No. 182 (90th Auction)
Attributed to Pierre Jaquet-Droz, 68 mm, 249 g, circa 1780

A gentleman's very rare, very fine enamel pocket watch with concealed erotic automaton
Case: firegilt, the back cover engine-turned and translucent cobalt blue enamelled with geometrical paillon decoration; concealed erotic automaton with two-coloured gold figures on the backplate, outdoor scene, showing a couple in courtly clothes enjoying an amorous tête-à-tête at the foot of a mountain; large lateral hinge. Dial: enamel, polychrome painted, pastoral gallant scenery, eccentric hour dial with Roman numerals, centre seconds with blued hand, gilt hands. Movm.: full plate movement, frosted, gilt, chain/fusee, solid circular movement pillars, verge escapement, three-arm brass balance.

Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721 - 1790)
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.
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).
His astonishing mechanisms fascinated the kings and emperors of Europe, China, India, and Japan.
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.
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.
Source:, as of 09/09/2014.
Estimate  50,000 - 60,000 €

Price Realised  68,200 €
A lot from a recent auction!

Tell a friend ...

Send to the following address: (*)

My message
My e-mail address (*)

Place a bid on
Minimum bid 50000 €
Your maximum bid (100 € steps)

Bitte nur 100er Schritte

 Send me an e-mail when I'm outbid.

You are placing a binding bid for this item!