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Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jan 24, 2021

LOT 28

DE BELLE, POCKET WATCH, YELLOW GOLD AND ENAMEL

Yellow gold and enamel, open-face, key-winding, round-shaped, “Directoire” pocket watch. Royal blue flinqué enamel (translucent enamel over guilloché engine-turning) case-back with a decoration of white enamel, garlands and rosacea of gold paillons; invisible hinges. White enamel dial, numbered “1003”, with black painted radial Arabic numerals; gold “Fleur-de-Lys” hands.

16” full plate, gilt brass, with fusee and chain, verge escapement, monometallic balanc and blued steel flat hairspring, pierced and engraved gilded continental “Louis XIV” cock

Brand De Belle, Paris (Rue Saint Honore)

Year Circa 1790-1800

Movement No. 2733, “Coq”

Case No. 208

Caliber 16’’’, fusee and chain, verge escapement

Dimensions 47,5 mm

EUR 4,000 - 6,000

USD 4,800 - 7,200 / HKD 37,000 - 55,000

Sold: EUR 4,940


Grading System
Grade: AAA

Excellent

Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 3*

Good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3

Good


Notes

De Belle, Jean-François (died in 1804)
Jean-François De Belle (Belle or Debelle) is a watchmaker active in Paris in the last part of the 18th century. He was probably a pupil of Robert Robin (1742-1799). He was received as a master in the watchmakers' guild of Paris on July 8, 1781. It is located rue Saint-Honoré, at the corner of rue de l'Arbre-Sec (mentioned between 1787 and 1804). In 1793, he was deputy to the Jury in charge of deciding questions relating to the new decimal time system. He is eulogized in the various Parisian almanacs of the late 18th century. We know of him two important automaton clocks delivered by his widow in 1804 to the Spanish court on behalf of Charles IV (1748-1819), King of Spain (1788-1808); one represents “The Forge of Vulcan”, the other “The Barque of Caron”; today they are kept in the Royal Palace in Madrid (Spain). Other institutions preserve some of his clocks: Franklin Institute of Philadelphia (U.S.A.); Château de Fontainebleau (France); etc. A man named Lefevre (or Lefèvre or Le Fevre) was his successor; he was active on rue Saint-Honoré between 1804 and 1820.