The Sandberg Watch Collection

Hotel Richemond, Geneva, Mar 31, 2001

LOT 402

La Madonna della SediaPiguet & Meylan, Genève, Nos. 5854 and 6524, circa 1820.Magnificent and extremely rare asymmetrical pair of 18 ct. gold and enamel pearl-and ruby-set, two-train, music and automaton hour-striking and repeating, centre seconds watches with original matching key, made for the Chinese market.

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Sold: CHF 828,500

C. Two-body, 'bassine', the backs with a finely painted enamel scene depicting 'La Madonna della Sedia', after the 1514 painting by Raphael. The bezels with inlaid graduated pearls forming horseshoes when the watch is closed, on a ground of turquoise and enamel set with small ruby accents, the bow and pendant en suite. D. White enamel radial Roman chapters and outer minute and half-second divisions, set at the top of the automaton background painted with Alpine scene with a lake and a chalet inwoodland setting. The automaton in applied chased and engraved multi-coloured gold, represents two musicians, a lady playing the harp and a boy playing the mandolin, moving their arms in time with the music. M. 35.7 mmo, gilt brass bridge calibre, fixed barrel, cylinder escapement, gold three-arm balance, blued-steel flat balance spring. The musical movement with a revolving disc with pins on both sides, playing on 18 tuned teeth arranged in a fan shape, the automaton animated by a ratchet-wheecam of irregular teeth mounted on the musical disc, a slide for the music and automaton on demand at 5 o'clock.Stamped PM on the plate under the dial.Dim. 44 mm. Published in the Sandberg book, pages 316-317.

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Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2- 01

Very good


Most of the watches and singing bird boxes or automaton snuff boxes destined for the Chinese market were made as pairs, with asymmetrically painted scenes. The few that have survived together did so as single pieces rather than as pairs. To find a surviving pair in such condition is virtually unknown.Piguet Lot MeylanFor a biography, see page 224.