At our 96th auction on November 18, 2017: Selected pieces of one of the most important private collections in Europe
At Auctioneers Dr. Crott we are proud to present - together with a wide range of fine pocket and wristwatches, table clocks, precision pendulum clocks and rare ship's chronometers - a number of pieces from one of the most important private collections in Europe at our upcoming 96th auction on November 18, 2017 in Frankfurt. 39 superior timekeepers and mechanical works of art from different eras of horological history that have been part of the collection for over 30 years will now be put to the hammer - a feast for any collector of such objects.
Among them are five gold and enamel automaton pocket watches of museum quality with various sequences, such as an important gold and enamel pocket watch with as many as seven automation sequences: "The Dutch Kitchen". This is one of the most perfect and complex automaton watches produced in the early 19th century in Geneva - only very few of these fine pieces have survived until today.
There is also a historically important quarter repeating gold and enamel singing bird watch of museum quality with two flutes and three automatons - we know of only two other pieces like it and both of them are owned by renowned museums. In addition to two gold and enamel boxes - one of them created by Les Frères Toussaint in Hanau and dating from 1780 - six so-called form watches (gold and enamel watches in fanciful shaped cases) dating from the late 18th and 19th century will be auctioned.
The collection also contains three magnificent single-hand pendant watches dating from the late 16th and early 17th century. Made by Jean II Rousseau (1606-1684), a member of the famous watchmaking dynasty Rousseau in Geneva, is a tulip-shaped pendant watch; the gilded and engraved brass case has three hinged lids with bevelled rock crystal panels and the gilt brass dial is fitted with an applied silver chapter ring and finely engraved with the view of a city in the centre. The twisted and engraved lug resembles a flower stalk.
Certainly one of the highlights of this marvellous collection is a gold and enamel "Montre Médaillon de Souscription à Tact à Diamant" studded with large diamonds and pearls that was created by no other than Abraham Louis Breguet. According to the original Breguet company records, the timepiece was sold on June 2, 1801 to jeweller to the imperial court of Napoleon and founder of the house Chaumet, Marie-Étienne Nitot. The watch is one of a small series of luxurious souscription watches embellished with large diamonds - only five of them were made and all of them were sold to the Bonaparte family or their close circle.
Another highlight - a fascinating gold and enamel snuff box of museum quality decorated with half pearls, with singing bird automaton and integrated quarter repeating clock. It was made by the famous Parisian maker Jean-Hilaire Bassereau (1743-1810), Horloger de l'Empereur et Roy. Bassereau was a gifted and versatile maker who created many luxury pieces such as watches with carillon or singing bird watches. The singing bird mechanism was most likely produced by Frères Rochat; two brothers who created these exquisite mechanical marvels - the birdsong as well as the movements of the bird, the supreme complication and the small size of the mechanism are unrivalled. These objects of art were highly sought after by connoisseurs and collectors and sold to the most important courts in Europe.
The case is a gold box decorated with translucent royal blue and gold Champlevé enamel and was made in Paris by Étienne-Lucien Blerzy, a famous maker of gold boxes.
96th Auction, November 18, 2017
Hotel Sheraton, Frankfurt Airport