The Private Collection of Theodor Beyer

Hotel Baur Au Lac, Zurich, Nov 16, 2003

LOT 59

Attributed to Jaquet Droz, circa 1785. Very fine 18K gold and painted on enamel, split pearl-set watch, made for the Chinese market.

CHF 8,000 - 12,000

EUR 5,200 - 7,800 / USD 6,000 - 9,000

Sold: CHF 12,075

C. Two-body, spring-loaded bezel, back finely painted on enamel with a portrait of a seated lady, her hand resting on an urn, azure background, split pearl-set bezels, pendant decorated in champlevé white and blue enamel. D. White enamel, radial Arabic numerals, outer minute divisions, winding aperture at 2 o'clock. Gold pierced "cathedral" hands. M. 42 mm, hinged, frosted gilt full-plate with cylindrical pillars, fusee and chain, verge escapement brass balance with flat balance spring, continental cock.Diam. 51 mm.

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Grading System
Grade: AA

Very good

Case: 3-51


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-15-01


Slightly rusted

HANDS Original


Jaquet Droz. Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790) studied humanities and philosophy in Basel from 1738 to 1739 and then became interested in horology. In 1758, Jaquet-Droz made the long and difficult journey to Spain, to present his works to King Ferdinand VI. When he returned, the sum he brought back enabled him to devote himself to the making of the famous Jaquet-Droz automata, writing, draughtsmanship, and music, and to found the successful Jaquet-Droz firm, in London and Geneva, for the making of the extraordinary mechanical and musical pieces which made him famous throughout Europe. Henry-Louis (1752-1791) was the second child of Pierre Jaquet-Droz and his wife Marianne. His father sent him to Nancy when he was young to study music, science, mathematics, physics and drawing. Upon his return from Nancy in 1769, Henry-Louis took his place in his father's workshop, side by side with Jean-Frederic Leschot (1746-1824), a neighbor child who had come to live and work with Pierre around 1756. This was the beginning of a close and fruitful partnership between the three men. When Pierre Jaquet-Droz grew old, the firm was taken over by his son Henry-Louis and Jean-Frédéric Leschot, and the firm was called Jaquet-Droz & Leschot. A London branch of the Jaquet Droz firm was opened in 1783, with Henry Maillardet as associate and manager, although Henry-Louis traveled often to London to look after business. The Jaquet Droz company moved to Geneva, center of the "Fabrique", in 1784. Pierre Jaquet-Droz died in Biel in 1790, aged 69 years old. Henry-Louis died in Naples in November 1791, at the age of only 41. After their deaths, Jean Frédéric Leschot took over the firm.