Jean Pierre Huaud / Henry Massy, Charles Street, London, Movement No. 2796, 40 mm, 58 g, circa 1710
An important gold enamel verge pocket watch "The Flight into Egypt". This watch captivates us with its excellent condition and the outstanding quality of the work that is unusual even for such exceptional artists at the Huauds. Case: gold and polychrome enamel, back with polychrome enamel painting of a biblical scene: Joseph flees to Egypt with Mary and Jesus. Four lateral cartouches with landscape motifs separated by yellow and purple ornamental flower bands. Cartouche with monogram near the lower edge: "HLP" (Jean Pierre Huaud). Inside: picture of an idealized landscape with walking man, probably after a painting by Dutch painter Paul Bril (1556-1626). Dial: gold and polychrome enamel, chapter ring with radial Roman hours, in the centre a polychrome enamel plaque showing an angel appearing to Joseph in his sleep, telling him to get up and flee with his family; single blued "Fleur de Lys" hand. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, firegilt, applied florally engraved and pierced ornaments, signed, chain/fusee, Egyptian movement pillars, three-arm steel balance, engraved and florally pierced balance cock decorated with two birds and cherub face.
Henry Massy According to Brian Loomes in "Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World", London 2006, p. 516, Henry Massy worked in Charles Street in London and was a member of the Clockmakers’ Company from 1692 until 1745. His father Nicolas (II) Massy was born in Blois in France and had come to London as a refugee, where he worked in Cranbourn Street; he had been a member of the Clockmakers Company from 1682 on and died in 1698. Father and son Massy were descendants of Nicolas (I) Massy, a renowned watchmaker in Blois, who became a master in 1623 and married in the same year. He was elected juré of the guild in 1646 and died in 1658. It seems that the ties of the Massy family to Blois were never broken.
Jean Pierre Huaud Pierre, the founder of the Huaud dynasty, was born in 1612 as the son of the French goldsmith Jean Huaud. Pierre Huaud settled in Geneva in 1630 and of his eleven children, three became famous enamellers like their father: Pierre II (1647-1698), Jean-Pierre (1655-1723) and Ami (1657-1724). One can assume that the brothers trained and worked with their father; Pierre II started his own business around 1680. Jean-Pierre and Ami became partners in 1682. They were appointed painters to the Court of Prussia in 1686, and went to Berlin. They returned to Geneva in 1700. The name is spelt in the variants "Huaud" or "Huaut" and sometimes "Huault". Among their most well-known works are: Diana and Actaeon, The Judgement of Paris, The Holy Family, St. John the Baptist, The Nativity, The Adoration of the Shepherds.
In early 17th century France, Blois was stronghold of the enamel painting and watchmaking industry. However, many Huguenot craftsmen were forced to leave their homes because of their religion - Pierre Huaud, founder of the Huaud dynasty, was one of them. He settled in Geneva in 1630 to work as an enameller; the Huauds’ creations stood out from the work of the Geneva school because of their inimitable beauty. They were not only highly treasured at the time but continued to be admired as masterpieces of art in the centuries that followed.
Estimate 30,000 - 40,000 €
Price Realised 64,500 €
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