Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, May 11, 2019

LOT 19


CHF 8,000 - 12,000

HKD 64,000 - 96,000 / USD 8,000 - 12,000

Sold: CHF 10,000

Very fine, snuff-box; yellow gold and enamel; the enamel attributable to Jean-Louis Richter

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Grading System
Grade: AA

Very good

Case: 3


Brand Illegible Maker's Mark

Year Circa 1800

Material Yellow gold and ename

Dimensions 15.8 x 69.5 x 40 mm


Yellow gold and enamel, horizontal shaped snuff-box with hinged lid; cover, base and band decorated with neoclassical frieze; in the centre of the cover, a horizontal panel polychrome painted on enamel depicting a scene with children feeding chickens, after an English engraving; the painting on enamel on gold attributable to Jean-Louis Richter (1766-1841), Geneva. Children Feeding Chickens The charming painted enamel scene decorating the present snuff-box derives from English genre paintings by artists from the Royal Academy, such as Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Francis Wheatley (1747-1801), William Hamilton (1751-1801), William Redmore Bigg (1755-1828), George Morland (1763-1804), etc., who specialised in images of romanticised English rural life in the last quarter of the 18th century. Their paintings were engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815), Thomas Burke (1749-1815), John Raphael Smith (1752-1812), Peltro William Tomkins (17601840), Henry Gillbank (fl. late-18th and early-19th c.), Thomas Gaugain (1756-c.1810), etc., and sold as prints which were published by John Boydell (1719-1804) and Josiah Boydell (1752-1817), engravers and print-sellers, James Daniell (fl.1771-1814), John Brydon (fl.1783-1806) and others. These genre prints were enormously popular and were used as models for Genevan enamellers, including Jean-Louis Richter (1766-1841). Richter, Jean-Louis (1766-1841) Learned his art in Geneva under David-Etienne Roux and Philippe-Samuel-Théodore Roux, becoming a most renowned enamel painter. His specialty was the painting of landscapes, 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 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 or the romanticised English and Irish rural life.