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No.
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Lot No. 5
100th
Lot No. 5
100th
Estimate  30,000 - 40,000 €
Price Realised  33,800 €
This is a lot of the last auction!

Nicolaus Rugendas, Augsburg, 36 mm, 40 g

, circa 1650

A single-handed Augsburg miniature enamel pendant watch in museum quality "Mercury and Flora"


Case: polychrome enamel, gold mountings, brass bezel, ball-shaped pendant with ring. Dial: enamel, outer white chapter ring for the hours with Roman numerals, single steel hand. Movm.: full plate movement, chain/fusee, applied blued iron click work, plain two arm iron balance without balance spring.

The enamel case is allover decorated with opaque polychrome painting. The back shows an exquisite miniature of the deities Mercury and Flora as a loving couple, resting on the edge of a forest; the brushwork is brisk and the colours are bright. A fortress before a mountain range is just visible in the background. A canvas of marvellous, colourful spring flowers - tulips, lilies, daffodils and carnations - covers the case band and the dial on the front; the inside is painted a bright, light blue colour.

In his mention of Nicolaus Rugen in his book "Meister der Uhrmacherkunst" (masters of watchmaking), 2nd edition, Wuppertal 2010, Juergen Abeler refers to the renowned Augsburg family Rugendas, makers of watches and compasses:
Nicolaus I Rugendas, was born in Melsungen (Hesse) in 1582 and went to Augsburg in 1608; he became a master in 1616 and died in 1658. He was known to be a very capable watch and clockmaker and was also fortunate enough to marry well (1608, Sarah Schmidt). He was registered as master of the guild in 1638/39. Of his nine children, two sons Hans Jakob I and Nicolaus II (born in 1619) were also clockmakers. His son Nicolaus II Rugendas lived as clockmaker in Augsburg from 1619 to 1695. His master piece was a table clock, which was bought by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in 1661. Several dozen of mechanical clocks as well as sun- and moon dials by Nicolaus II remain; however, it is not completely clear whether the mechanical clocks may have been created by his father. His son Nicolaus III (1665 -1745) was also a compass- and watchmaker.

The colours used on the case and the brisk brushwork indicate that this piece was made in Augsburg; this assumption is further supported by the fact that no gold was used as a substrate for the enamel work – gold was not commonly used in Augsburg. In the 17th century the free imperial city of Augsburg boasted a great number of highly specialized goldsmiths’ workshops and was a stronghold of first-class enamel painting just like Geneva, Blois or Paris. In a paper on enamel painting in Augsburg and Geneva in the late 17th and early 18th century ("Les arts du feu à Augsbourg et à Genève 1680-1710") Hans Boeckh, the former curator of the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva writes that it is entirely justified to speak of an independent "Augsburg School" .
There are, however, hardly any examples of it remaining, no more than a handful of clocks have survived – this is one of them.

The iconographic interpretation of the two deities Flora and Mercury together may see this combination as an allegory of commercial success. Mercury, the god of commerce and thieves in loving union with Flora, goddess of flowers and the renewal of the cycle of life, and the fortune that comes with it.
#50736
Case: very good, hairlines
Dial: very good, hairlines
Movm.: very good, capable of running, cleaning recommended

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