Important Watches, Collector's Wristw...

Hotel Richemond, Geneva, Oct 13, 2001

LOT 777

A Monsieur Le Prince OrloffBreguet, No. 2664/3290, sold on 20 August 1814, for the sum of 2025 Francs to Mr. Hawley of London. Property of Prince Orloff in 1877.Very fine and important 18K gold extra-flat, astronomical watch with phases and age of the moon, constructed on the principle of the "garde-temps". Accompanied by later fitted leather Breguet box.

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Sold: CHF 157,500

C. Two-body, "quatre baguettes" form, by Tavernier, the back attached by bayonet fixing and engine-turned "à grains d'orge". D. Eccentric, engine-turned silver, with radial Roman numerals on a plain reserve, aperture for phases of the moon, the age of the moon engraved on the edge, a small sector indicating the slow/fast regulator position. Gold "Breguet" hands. M. Gilt brass, 23 "', bar caliber, twin going barrels with female winding squares, counterpoised straight line lever escapement with drw and long lever, two-arm bimetallic compensation balance, the adjustable screws inset in the rim, with pare-chute on both pivots. Blued steel flat balance-spring withterminal curve.Case stamped and numbered, signed on the dial and on the movement.Diam. 54 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2 - 01


Nikolai Alexeievitch,Prince Orloff(1827- 1885)A page to Czar Nicholas I in 1845, Orloff was commissioned as a Sub-lieutenant in the horse-guards and became an aide-de-camp to the Czar in 1846. Promoted to the rank of captain in 1848, he accompanied the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevitch on the Hungarian campaign, distinguishing himself at Debretchine. He became a colonel in 1852. He was an extraordinarily brave soldier, being wounded nine times and losing an eye in the battle of Arab-Tabiail. His courage was rewarded with the gift of a goldsword engraved with the words "Au Brave". In 1856 he was appointed Major General in the Cavalry of the Line. A member of the Czar's close circle of advisers, Orloff was dispatched as a delegate to Brussels with the title of Plenipotentiary Minister for Russia, and although he was appointed General aide-de-camp to the Emperor in 1861, he nevertheless remained in Brussels until 1869. He was Russian Ambassador to London from 1869 to 1870 and was in Paris from 1870 to 1874. Promoted General of the Cvalry in 1878, he was named Ambassador in Berlin, where he stayed from 1878 to 1884. In 1860, the estates of the Prince Orloff comprised 15900 hectares at Pady Bobrov, with some 1454 tenants. He was married to Princess Ekaterina, daughter of Prince Nikolai Ivanovitch Troubetzkoi and the Countess Anna Andreievna Goudovitch. Provenance: Purchased on 27 April 1816, for 1500 francs from Mr. Hawley. Sold to Monsieur Gerugross on 30 September, for the sum of 2000 francs. Overhauled for Prince Orloff, 79 rue de Grenelle, Saint Germain, on 23 March 1877. Purchased from Prince Orloff on 6 July 1922.This watch was exhibited in Paris at the Palais Galliéra, in October 1923, on the centenary of the death of Abraham-Louis Breguet, Cat. No. 17. It was sold by Antiquorum Geneva in the "Art of Breguet" thematic sale on 14 April1991, lot 53.