Lot No. 79 (94th Auction)
Jaquet Droz, Case No. 7025, 56 mm, 140 g, circa 1780

A very fine, rare and massive quarter repeating verge pocket watch "à quatre couleurs" with two automatons and two jacquemarts - "The Knife Grinder"
Case: 18k pink gold. Dial: enamel chapter ring. Movm.: full plate movement, three-arm brass balance.

When the repeater is released, the assistant turns the wheel while the other man moves the knife to the grindstone. Two putti on a wall arching over the scene are seen striking a bell – this was a popular motif in the 1800s. The dome is signed Jaquet Droz and shows a lavishly engraved portrait of Apollo with his lyre.

Pierre Jaquet-Droz was born the son of a peasant and clockmaker in 1721 in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland; he died 1790 in Biel. Jaquet Droz attended the primary school in his native town and later the humanistic secondary school in Basel, where he also studied afterwards. In 1740 Jaquet Droz turned to clockmaking – which at the time had its stronghold in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1758 he travelled to Spain to sell pendulum clocks to King Ferdinand VI, two of which had automatic gears. In 1759 Jaquet Droz began setting up an international company for the production of high quality timepieces in La Chaux-de-Fonds. His son Henri-Louis (1752-1791) joined the business as a watchmaker. The company had branches in London, Paris and Basel. In 1774 the Jaquet-Droz company presented three androids to the public that were a striking success. They are Jaquet Droz’ most famous works of art and can be seen, still functioning, in Neuchâtel.
Source:, as of 09/22/2016
Estimate  26,000 - 33,000 €
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