Important Collectors’ Wristwatches, P...

Hong Kong,the Ritz Carlton Hotel,harbour Room, 3rd Floor, Jun 02, 2007

LOT 311

?Barking Dog with Cat, the Smallest Known? I.D. Piguet & P. Meylan, Geneva, No. 282. Made for the Chinese market, circa 1820. Very rare and very small 18K gold pearl-set quarter-repeating "barking dog" automaton watch.

HKD 300,000 - 400,000

USD 40,000 - 55,000 / EUR 30,000 - 40,000

Sold: HKD 495,600

C. Four-body, "Empire", band and bezels set with half-pearls, original blue enamel back replaced by a glass, showing the cuvette decoration with champlevé enamel, gold hinged cuvette in polychrome champlevé enamel with musical trophies, pearl-set pendant, bow with translucent green enamel, aperture for the sound at six o'clock, opening automatically when barking is activated. D. Eccentric, set at the top of translucent Imperial blue enamel engine-turned plate, white enamel, Breguet numerals, outer minute track. Blued steel "lozenge" hands. The lower half with applied varicolored gold and silver automaton scene of a dog barking at a cat, the dog moving its head with each movement of the bellows, the whole on applied gold grass with a tree behind. M. 31.6 mm. (14'''), gilt brass half plate, free-standing barrel, cylinder escapement, brass escape wheel, three-arm gold balance, flat balance spring. The repeating barking mechanism with a round bellows and whistle is activated by depressing the pendant. Punched on the movement and inside the cuvette with maker's trademark and serial number. Case numbered. Diam. 39.5 mm. Property of an Italian Gentleman

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Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3


Dial: 3-53-01



HANDS Original


The watch repeats the hours and quarters with the sound of a barking dog, the rarest form of repeating. There are only about 20 of these watches known, of which the majority are after Jean-Baptiste Oudry's painting "Dog Attacked by a Swan". The present watch with the more realistic scene of a dog barking at a cat, is extremely rare. Additionally, the majority of barking dog watches are based on 44 or 45 mm. movements (20'''), while this one is only 14'''. We know of only one other such watch, which may in fact be its pendant. The original back of the present watch, in this case probably enameled in blue, was replaced by a glass so that the enamel scene featuring musical instruments could be more easily admired.

Isaac Daniel Piguet
Born in 1775 in Le Chenit in the Vallée de Joux, Isaac Daniel Piguet was the son of Pierre Moïse Piguet and Elisabeth Nicole. He married Jeanne Françoise Capt around 1795, and around 1800 settled in Geneva with his family. Isaac Daniel Piguet went into business with Henry Daniel Capt, his brother-in-law, on February 10, 1802. The association between Piguet & Meylan came to an end in 1828. Piguet and his son David Auguste established a new company, Piguet père & fils, located at No. 69 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He died in Geneva, on January 20, 1841.

Philippe Samuel Meylan
Born February 15, 1772, in Bas-du-Chenit, died in 1845. At 20 years old he came to Geneva where he worked for the Godemar Frères in quality of Master worker. Afterwards he went back to Brassus where he founded a little factory in 1811. He then returned to Geneva where he definitively settled. He met another watchmaker from his own village, Isaac Piguet, with whom he entered into partnership, founding the Piguet & Meylan firm, which would last from 1811 to 1828. It specialised in minute cadratures, musical watches, skeleton or automaton watches, mechanical animals and figures, he is also credited with the invention of the bagnolet caliber. The present lot was previously sold by Antiquorum Geneva on April 12 & 13, 2003, lot 568.