Geneva, May 12, 2024

LOT 365


CHF 10,000 - 20,000

HKD 87,000 - 174,000 / USD 11,100 - 22,200 / EUR 10,200 - 20,400

Sold: CHF 11,250

A very fine and unusual, 18k gold and enamel, manual wind open face, digital jump-hours, engraved gold and champlevé black enamel bezels, the back decorated with a finely engraved map of southern Italy with black detailing, overlaid with translucent blue enamel.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-6-01


Slightly oxidized

HANDS Original

Brand Lepine, Switzerland

Model cartographic decor

Year Circa 1810

Case No. 32

Diameter 54 mm.

Caliber 21''', Lepine caliber, cylinder escapement with standing barrel.

Signature Case


The crafting of these maps was a meticulous and demanding process. Initially, an engraver would meticulously chisel out gold, leaving the names of towns, rivers, and other geographical features in relief. This stage required precision and considerable expertise, as each detail had to be carefully rendered to ensure the readability and accuracy of the map. Subsequently, the enameler would fill the reserved spaces with colored enamels, leaving the contours and place names in gold.

This process combined two exceptional crafts: the precise and intricate engraving of metal, and the delicate application of enamel. The enameler had to master the complex art of fusing enamel powder to achieve the desired colors and ensure a smooth, even finish across the entire surface of the map. Moreover, the firing of the enamel had to be carefully controlled to avoid damaging the gold details and to ensure perfect adhesion of the enamel.

The final result was an artwork both precious and functional, merging the beauty of goldsmithing with the precision of cartography. These enameled maps were often integrated into pocket watches or decorative objects, adding an element of elegance and sophistication to their owner's possessions. Despite their rarity, these pieces continue to captivate collectors and serve as a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of artisans of the time.