DIAM. 41 mm.
Accompanied by a chatelaine with its clip, decorated with enamelled and diamond-set plaques forming a trellis with
under ribbon knot two neo-classical allegorical panels painted en grisaille on maroon background; the largest with
an Allegory of Marriage surmounted by a Dove or an Allegory of Equality between Man and Woman, the smallest with
Cupid Riding a Dolphin; and five breloques: a gold and enamel key with two panels painted en grisaille on maroon
background, with Putto;a gold seal set with several rose-cut diamonds in the shaped of a Royal closed crowns with
six tiaras and red translucent enamel bonnet; a gold seal set with several rose-cut diamonds and an amethyst ;a gold
locket contain a magnifying glass set with several rose-cut diamonds and emeralds with Masonic emblems (Eye of
Providence, Pyramid, The Sprig of Acacia, Anchor, Wing) and the motto "TOI PAR / LES PERE", probably referring to a
Chaitelaine: ~ L. 152 mm.
Referenced by the owner of the Collection as coming from Empress Catherine II of Russia.
Catherine II (......... II, Ekaterina II; Sophia Frederique Augusta Anhalt-Zerbst)
Stettin, Pomerania (Kingdom of Prussia), May 2, 1729 - St. Petersburg, November 17, 1796
Empress consort of All the Russias (January 5, 1762 - July 9, 1762), then Empress and Autocrat of All the Russias (July 9,
1762 - November 17, 1796). She was known as "Figchen", then "Catherine the Great".
George Michael Moser (1706-1783)
On January 30, 1783, the "Gentleman's Magazine" reported that Moser "was followed to his grave in grand funeral
pomp by all the capital artists, Sir Joshua Reynolds at their head as chief mourner, Sir William Chambers, etc. Ten
mourning coaches, besides two gentlemen's coaches, were in the procession". In his obituary, published the same
day, Reynolds said that as a gold chaser Moser "has always been considered as holding the first rank" and as the first
Keeper of the Royal Academy "he possessed a universal knowledge in all branches of painting and sculpture which
perfectly qualified him for the place that he held". Reynolds considered Moser the "Father of the present race of
Artists," and said: "Few have passed a more inoffensive or perhaps more happy life; if happiness or the enjoyment
of life consists in having the mind always occupied, always intent upon some useful art..." (Malone, l xxvi n). Moser
worked as a chaser, enameller, medalist and designer not only for watchcases and gold boxes but for such things as
candlesticks. He contributed to the decoration of the Rotunda at Vauxhall Gardens.
Born in Schaffhausen on January 17, 1706, he learned chasing and gilding from his father Michael, a coppersmith. He
moved to Geneva in 1725 and then to London in 1726. By the early 1730's Moser appears to have started to work for
John Valentine Haidt, goldsmith and "Watch Chaser". Moser began what was to be a life-long course of study with him
which was, according to the diary of Joseph Farington, "a little Academy for drawing from a living model". By 1737 Moser
was working from his own address, Craven Buildings off Drury Lane, and his reputation was soon firmly established.
He was at the vanguard of the revival of interest for enamel watchcases in the early 1750's. He was introduced to royal
patronage by Lord Bute and, among other works for the royal family, designed the great seal of George III. For Queen
Charlotte he painted enamel portraits of the royal children. Moser continued to work at least until the late 1770's, and
was active for the Royal Academy until the end of his life. His association with Thomas Mudge began early in both their
careers. Mudge's watch number 22 has an inner case hallmarked for 1738-39 and has the earliest recorded signed
repoussé scene by Moser, while the last known association is a watch by Mudge and his partner Dutton, number
1062, from about 1775. There are approximately twenty surviving enamel cases signed by Moser, of which only two or
three are after Sir Joshua Reynolds. One of these is of a portrait of Lady Caroline Spencer, wife of the fourth Duke of
Marlborough, and another is, of course, Hope Nursing Love.