Important Watches, Wristwatches and C...

Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, Oct 18, 1997

LOT 658

Unsigned, No. 103, attributable to Piguet & Capt, Geneva, circa 1810. Extremely rare and magnificent 18K gold and enamel, diamond-set quarter repeating, musical fan with automaton scene and built-in centre second watch.

CHF 0 - 0

Sold: CHF 509,500

Fan: The guards of blue flinque enamel within narrow white champleve enamelled borders and applied with rose-cut diamond-set ribbon and floral decoration, the lower enamel panels painted with flowers and doves, large rose-cut diamonds set at each end of the pivot. On the front guard, a small circular enamel panel painted with flowers, discloses the dial. A spring loaded rectangular lid on the rear guard discloses the painted enamel automaton scene of two children on a seesaw in a park to the music of their harpist mother. Lyre-shaped gold sticks, pierced and engraved with foliage, the paper leaf painted in colour with a scene featuring "L'Ecole d 'Athenes" after Raphael, the reverse with a spray of gilt bees. Dial: White enamel with Roman numerals and outer minute and second ring. Blued steel "spade " hands. Watch movement: Gilt brass full plate, shaped to fit the guard of the fan, with cylindrical pillars, going barrel, plain brass three-arm balance, flat balance spring with regulator. Repeating on two straight line gongs with slide in the side of the guard. Musical movement: Gilt brass full plate, also tapered to fit the other guard with pin-drum and six stacked steel blades, driving the automata by means of cams and levers, activated by opening the cover. Dim. 19.5 x 2.5 cm.

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Grading System
Case: 18


Movement: 2

Very good

Dial: 26-51


Partially reprinted


Provenance: Francois, Prince de Joinville (1818-1900); his son, Prince d ' Orlcans, Duc de Penthievre (1845-1919); ,his daughter, Jeanne Lehesgue (born 1879); her son, Rene Lebesgue; his wife, Yvonne Lehesgue, nee Maellec; thence by gift to the present owner. Three other examples only of gold and enamel fans with built-in watch and musical train are known to exist. One in the collection of Sir David Salomons, it is described and illustrated by George Daniels and Ohannes Markarian in Watches and Clocks in the Sir David Salmons Collection, Sotheby Publications, pp. 168-169, No. 99. The second, Formerly in the collection of Eing Farouk of Egypt was included in the Palace Collections Sale in 1954 as lot 609 (Sotheby ' s Catalogue) and subsequently sold by Antiquornm on October 16th, 1994, lot No. 615. The third, enamelled in red with split-pearl decoration and containing a quarter repeating watch with music, is described by Roy Mosoriak in The Curious History of Musical Boxes, Chicago, 1943, pl. 11, pp. 66-67. The present example appears to be the most complicated, incorporating an automaton scene, driven by the musical train.