The Sandberg Watch Collection

Hotel Richemond, Geneva, Mar 31, 2001

LOT 287

Ilbery, London, No. 5966, enamel painting attributed to the workshop of Jean-Louis Richter, circa 1810.Very fine and rare gold and enamel pocket chronometer with a special escapement, made for the Chinese market.

CHF 40,000 - 60,000

USD 24,000 - 36,000

Sold: CHF 40,250

C. Three-body, 'Consular', the spring-loaded back cover painted with an Alpine scene with a young couple in the foreground about to go fishing, the Imperial blue translucent enamel sky over guilloché giving an impression of depth, the bezels, pendant and bow decorated with blue, white and red champlevé enamel in a repeated geometrical pattern, fixed engine-turned cuvette, gilt engraved dust cap. D. White enamel, Roman chapters, outer minute divisions, Arabic 15-minute numerals, subsidiary second. Gold 'heart' hands. M. 49.3 mm, hinged, gilt brass full plate, circular pillars, 8 jewels, fusee and chain for the going train, spring detent escapement was designed to have a Peto cross detente escapment, four curved arm gold balance with four screws, blued-steel flat balance spring, index regulator, one-footed English style cock engraved with scrolling and geometrical patterns.Signed on the back plate.Dim. 58 mm o. Published in the Sandberg book, pages 292-293.

Click to full view

Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2 - 01


William Ilbery, London (ca. 1760-1839)Active in London from 1780 in Goswell Street, he moved to Duncan Terrace towards the end of the 18th century. Following James Cox in London and Jaquet-Droz in Switzerland, he also specialised in the production of luxury watches for the Chinese Market. His early production was very much in the English style featuring a full plate movement and an English type single wheel duplex escapement. However, for his highest quality watches, he incorporated a Peto cross detent escapement. Later, he used thestandard bridge calibre with free-standing barrel, also called the 'Chinese' calibre. The cases of his watches were sumptuously decorated by the best Genevan enamellers, such as Jean-Francois-Victor Dupont, who usually signed his work, and Jean-Louis Richter, who signed rarely. He seems to have maintained close contacts with the continental trade since a watch signed 'Ilbery Paris' is known and Ilbery Lot Son are recorded in London and Fleurier, as well as in Canton.Jean-Louis Richter (1766-1841)He learned his art under David-Etienne-Roux and Philippe-Samuel-Théodore Roux, becoming a most renowned enamel painter. His speciality was the painting of landscapes and particularly lakeside 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 in his hand from the style and quality of the painting. He applied his art principally to wtch 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, Van der Myn (1684-1741), Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727-1785), John Francis Rigaud (1742-1820), John Hoffner (1748-1810) and Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815), or even from particularly famous scenes such as the 'Rape of Helen' from the engraving by Guido Reni (1575-1642), now in the Cabinet des Estampes, Paris.