The Sandberg Watch Collection

Hotel Richemond, Geneva, Mar 31, 2001

LOT 276

The Fountain of Love.Unsigned, Geneva, circa 1800.Magnificent and rare large 18 ct. gold and enamel, pearl-set double-dial two-train musical automaton watch with centre-seconds, made for the Chinese market.

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Sold: CHF 289,500

C. Double-body, 'Louis XVI', invisible hinges, glazed on both sides, bezels set with half pearls and decorated with polychrome champlevé enamel and floral engraving, pierced to let the sound out, the band pierced and engraved with scrolls. The automaton scene is set against a painted enamel Alpine background, in the foreground a varicoloured gold fountain set with pearls. It is surmounted by two children playing in the water as it spouts upwards into elaborate gold drapery laid over a deep blueranslucent sky. Further rotating twisted glass rods simulate water flowing into the fountain's pool from the mouths of a pair of swans and two lions. Polished gold and enamel pendant and bow. D. White enamel, Roman chapters, outer minute and seconds ring. Blued-steel 'spearhead' hands. M. 53 mm o, gilt brass, unusual mounting in the case by means of two suspension springs, the back plate crescent-shaped to accommodate the five bells, going barrel, cylinder escapement, plain three-arm brass balane, flat balance spring, rack and pinion regulator. The musical and automata mechanisms driven by a fusee and chain, with a pinned cylinder playing on five bells by five hammers, each hammer adjustable to regulate the strength of the blow. The automaton's wheelwork is mounted onto a separate thin plate fastened to the automaton scene, and is activated by releasing the fly at 11 o'clock.Diam. 65 mm. Published in the Sandberg book, pages 182-183.

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Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2 - 01


This watch issues from the former Marfels collection, published in his catalogue, pl. 33. It belonged then to the R. Lecoultre collection, Le Sentier, published page 133 in Uhren und Messinstrumente by Samuel Guye and Henri Michel.