Higgs & Evans, London / Augustin Toussaint, Movement No. 7002, Case No. 7002, 48 mm, 116 g, circa 1780
An important pair-cased gold enamel pocket watch with corresponding gold enamel chatelaine - with exquisite "en grisaille" enamel painting by Augustin Toussaint Case: outer case - 22k gold, front and back rims with champlevé decor: gold flowers on a gold and opaque white enamelled pearl border on translucent green ground, back with central oval enamel plaque, classical scene "en grisaille" on brown ground: Caesar Augustus meets with the Tiburtine Sibyl, opaque white enamel pearl border, in a translucent cobalt blue enamel frame. Inner case - 22k gold, polished, signed and numbered movement protection cap. Matching three-part chatelaine with four enamel medallions "en grisaille" on brown ground: top medallion showing a woman making a sacrifice at the altar, signed "AT" for Augustin Toussaint ; below left Prudentia (prudence) holding a snake, to the right Abundantia with cornucopia, the divine personification of abundance and prosperity; below another medallion with a vase; length 11 mm, signed and numbered movement protection cap. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, signed, gold "Poker & Beetle" hands. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, firegilt, applied ornaments with floral engraving, signed, chain/fusee, cylinder escapement, three-arm steel balance, open work balance cock with very fine floral engraving of flags, helmet and a profile portrait, large chatoned diamond endstone.
The mythic meeting of Caesar Augustus with the Sibyl, of whom he inquired whether he should be worshiped as a god, was a favored motif of Christian artists. Whether the sibyl in question was the Etruscan Sibyl of Tibur or the Greek Sibyl of Cumæ is not always clear. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiburtine_Sibyl, as of 09/24/2015.
The neoclassical grisaille on a brown ground enamel decoration was particularly popular in late 18th century London.
Augustin Toussaint Louis Toussaint was a jeweller and enameller in London. His son Augustin began his apprenticeship as an enamel painter with London’s most famous enameller and chaser George Michael Moser in 1768, for a fee of no less than 200 guineas. Augustin Toussaint soon gained the same excellent reputation as his teacher. His work was exhibited in the Royal Academy from 1775 to 1788 and can also be seen on the timekeepers produced by other renowned London masters.
Higgs and Evans were highly respected makers of longcase, table clocks and watches. They worked in Sweetings Alley and later in the Royal Exchange. The firm was first established in 1775 and carried on until 1825. They specialised in making clocks for the Spanish market. Examples of their work are included in Science Museum and the Guildhall museum.
Estimate 60,000 - 80,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!
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