Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, Nov 13, 2016

LOT 158

ILBERY LARGE CHINESE MARKET WATCH "A GRAND VIEW OF THE SEA SHORE" GOLD AND ENAMEL Ilbery, London, No. 6539, the enamel in the manner of Claude Vernet (1714-1789), attributed to Jean-Louis Richter (1766-1841), Geneva. Made for the Chinese market, circa 1820. Extremely fine and very rare, large, 18K gold, champlevé and painted on enamel and pearl-set pocket watches with center second and duplex escapement.

CHF 60,000 - 80,000

HKD 480,000 - 650,000 / USD 61,000 - 81,000

Sold: CHF 129,800

Three-body, spring-loaded back cover very finely painted on enamel with a very finely painted on enamel view in the manner of Claude Vernet of sheep and cattle and a fisherman in the foreground in a calm harbor landscape with ships and mountains in the distance,a tree lavishly enhanced with half pearls forming a portal,champlevé enamel band, pendant and bow forming foliate and geometrical patterns, scalloped edges decorated with champlevé enamel in a foliate pattern, gold hinged cuvette decorated with repeated patterns. White enamel, Roman numerals, outer minute track, center seconds. Gold "heart" hands 49 mm. (22'''), gilt brass fully engraved "Chinese" caliber, free-standing barrel, ruby duplex escapement, plain steel three-arm balance, flat balance spring, diamond endstone.

Click to full view

Grading System
Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original


Signed on the movement. DIAM. 58 mm.THICKNESS 21 mm. WILIAM ILBERY (ca. 1760-1839). Active in London from 1780 in Goswell Street, he moved to Duncan Terrace towards the end of the 18th century. Following JAMES COX in London and JAQUET DROZ in Switzerland, he also specialized in the production of luxury watches for the Chinese Market. His early production was very much in the English style, featuring a full plate movement and an English type single wheel duplex escapement. However, for his highest quality watches, he incorporated a spring detent escapement. Later, the watch movements he produced were much inspired by the Lepine caliber with free-standing barrel, as were Jaquet Droz's Swiss production signed in London and that of WILLIAM ANTHONY, who worked in London. The cases of his watches were sumptuously decorated by the best Genevan enamelers, such as JEAN-FRANCOIS-VICTOR DUPONT, who usually signed his work, and JEAN-LOUIS RICHTER, who signed rarely. He organized the production in Switzerland, mainly in Fleurier, of profusely engraved movements for the Asian market. He was followed in this by makers such as Bovet and Juvet who also worked in Fleurier (Val de Travers). Ilbery can therefore be considered one of the most representative makers of "Chinese" watches. JEAN -LOUIS RICHTER (1766-1841) Learned his art under DAVID-ETIENNE-ROUX and PHILIPPE-SAMUEL-THÉODORE ROUX, becoming a most renowned enamel painter. His speciality was the painting of landscapes and particularly lake-side scenes and marine-scapes, often representing ships in a harbour or battles with fighting Men-of-War, but, on occasion, also portraits and hunting scenes. He did not often sign his work, but it is clearly recognised as being in his hand from the style and quality of the painting. He applied his art principally to watch cases and snuff boxes and these were largely destined for the Chinese, Turkish, British and Italian markets. In 1828 he was in partnership with AIMÉ-JULIEN TROLL (1781-1852) and one can find work signed RICHTER ET TROLL. Richter, like other great enamel painters of the time, often found inspiration for his work from paintings or engravings by the artists then in fashion particularly CLAUDE VERNET.