Lot No. 291 (95th Auction)
Les Frères Huaut / Julien Le Roy à Paris, Movement No. 765, 45 mm, 74 g, circa 1630/1730

An important gold enamel verge pocket watch "Angelica and Medoro". It captivates us with its excellent condition and the outstanding quality of the work that is unusual even for such exceptional artists at the Huauts.
Case: gold/enamel/diamond. Dial: enamel. Movm.: full plate movement, chain/fusee, three-arm brass balance.

The pocket watch is signed "Huaud Le Puisné fecit" and decorated on the back with a polychrome enamel painting showing Angelika and Medor, carving their initials in a tree. The bezel and the edge have cartouches with idealised landscapes that are separated by yellow volutes with flowers and the signature badge on pink-coloured ground. The inside is decorated with a hiker standing before a large waterfall and a magnificent building in an idealised landscape. A large diamond with a greenish hue opens the case.

Angelica and Medoro was a popular theme for Romantic painters, composers and writers from the sixteenth until the nineteenth century. Angelica and Medoro are two characters from the sixteenth-century Italian epic Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto.

In the MHL Collection (Musée d'Horlogerie du Locle) there is a similar "Blois" enamel pocket watch with a movement by Cabrier, London, circa 1670. The enamel is signed "Huot le Puisné fecit".

Les Frères Huaut
The cases painted by Les deux Frères Huaut on enamel were among the finest examples of their kind from the Geneva School and were not only highly valued when originally made, but remained as art treasures in the centuries that followed; a perfect example is this watch case, which was deemed of such excellent quality that it merited a custom made movement Julien Le Roy à Paris, at the beginning of the 18th century. Apparently several examples of cases enamelled by members of the Huaud family were still available at the period, for many watches with later movement by other makers, are known to have been specially made to be housed in Huaud cases.
Pierre was the founder of the Huaud dynasty and born in 1612 in Geneva as the son of French goldsmith Jean Huaud. He settled in Geneva in 1630 and three of his 11 children became famous enamelists like their father: Pierre II (1647-1698), Jean-Pierre (1655-1723) and Ami (1657-1724). The brothers were most likely trained by their father and worked with him; Pierre II started his own business around 1680. Jean-Pierre and Ami became partners in 1682 and were appointed painters to the Prussian court in 1686, when they moved to Berlin and started working for Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg (1620-1688).
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.

Julien Le Roy was one of the most outstanding clock- and watchmakers of his time and certainly played a decisive part in establishing the leading role French clockmaking had in the 18th century. He became a master in 1713, presented an equation clock to the Académie Royale des Sciences in 1717, and was appointed clockmaker to the king in 1739 (with his own rooms at the Louvre). Le Roy invented the adjustable bracket for the verge escapement wheel ("potence"), the repetition strike on springs instead of bells for pocket watches, and the "all-or-nothing" piece for repeating watches. His inventions and improvements were of such extreme importance that most watchmakers adopted them promptly for their own pieces. Later Le Roy was director of the Société des Arts; he and his son supplied the entries on watches and clocks in the encyclopaedia compiled by Diderot and d'Alembert.
Estimate  22,000 - 35,000 €
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