Ilbery, London, Movement No. 6869, 58 mm, 134 g, circa 1820
A very fine gold enamel pocket watch of museum quality, produced for the Chinese market: "The Hunting Party"; enamelling attributed to Jean-Louis Richter in Geneva Case: 18k rose gold, back with cartouche-shaped enamel medallion: miniature painting of an Alpine lake with two hunters on horseback and a small village in the background; framed by a half pearl-studded bordure and a champlevè enamel border of translucent red enamelling and engine-turned pattern; florally engraved case band, half pearl-studded bezels; pendant and bow with floral engraving and studded with half-pearls, gold dome with floral engraving. Dial: enamel, radial Roman numerals, centre seconds, spoon-shaped gold hands. Movm.: bridge movement according to Lepine, keywind, gilt, lavishly florally engraved, signed, lavishly florally engraved going barrel, duplex escapement, three-arm steel balance with three blued weights, open-worked balance cock with finely floral engravings, chatoned diamond endstone on balance.
Provenance: Part of a private collection since being sold at Kegelmann Auctioneers in Frankfurt (Lot 61), on November 5, 1994.
Jean-Louis Richter (1766-1841) He learned his art under David-Etienne-Roux and Philippe-Samuel-Théodore Roux. He specialized in landscapes, lake-side scenes and marine-scapes, often representing ships in a harbor or battles with Men-of-War, but also portraits and hunting scenes. Richter did not often sign his work, but he style and quality of his paintings make them clearly recognizable as being of his hand. He applied his art principally to watch cases and snuff boxes and these were largely destined for the Chinese, Turkish, British and Italian markets.
William Ilbery (ca. 1760 - 1839) William Ilbery began working in London’s Goswell Street in 1780 and moved to Duncan Terrace later. Influenced by the examples of James Cox in London and Pierre Jaquet-Droz in Switzerland, Ilbery specialized in producing luxury watches for the Chinese Market. At first he very much adhered to the traditional English style with its full plate movement and duplex escapement. For later movements Ilbery took his inspiration from the Lepine caliber with free-standing barrel, as did Jaquet-Droz with the watches he signed in London and William Anthony in London. Ilbery had the cases of his watches exquisitely decorated by the best enamellers from Geneva such as Jean-Francois-Victor Dupont or Jean-Louis Richter. William Ilbery initiated the production of opulently engraved movements for the Asian market in Fleurier in Switzerland; other makers in Fleurier such as Bovet and Juvet followed his example. Ilbery should therefore be considered one of the most renowned makers of the so-called "Chinese watches". Although he worked mainly in London, Ilbery kept in close contact with the trade in other countries; a watch signed "Ilbery Paris" is known and Ilbery & Son are recorded in London and Fleurier as well as in Canton.
Estimate 70,000 - 110,000 €
Price Realised 90,600 €
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