Important Watches, Wristwatches, Cloc...

Basel April 21, 1990, Apr 21, 1990

LOT 376

Anonymous. Blois, circa 1640 Extremely rare and fine 20K gold and enamel early watch case with a later English specially made movement, signed Daniel Paillet, London, circa 1750, in a chagrin covered outer protecting case.

CHF 80,000 - 100,000

Double body bassine case, decorated overall with painted champleve pink flowers on a black background (slightly restored on the edge), extremely fine polychrome flowers on the enamel backing painted on a white background. Later gold bezel. White enamelled dial with Roman numerals and outer Arabic minute rings. Blued steel poker and beatle hands. Gilt brass full plate movement with baluster pillars, fusee and chain, verge escapement with a plain brass three armed balance and an Englich cock. Movement signed on the back plate. In good condition. Diam. 55 mm.

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A very similar watch in the Victoria and Albert Museum is described in "Watches" by Baillie, and by Philip Cool, previously curator of the Watch Departement in the British Museum. Philip Cool's judgement is that such a decoration on an early enamelled watch case "is probably unique and would command a unique price" (P.W. Cumhaill: "Investing in clocks and watches", page 19). The floral painted decoration of the enamelled backing is to be found on severae watches of the same period, for instance on the very well known watch by M. Wenzel a Strasbourg in the Musee International d'Horlogerie a la Chaux-de-Fonds, depicting the Babel Tower. It is drawn from different engravings of 17th century publications such as: J. Caillart, "Livre de toutes sortes de feuilles pour servir a I'art d'orfevrerie" (1629) or F. Lefebvre, " Livre de fleurs et de feuilles pour servir a I'art d'orfevrerie" (1635). Another watch from the M.I.H. (inv. no. 1219), a pendant in the same museum (inv. no. 1331) and a medaillon signed by the celebrated enameller Henry Toutin in the Wiener Kunsthistorisches Museum, show a similar floral decoration (Catherine Cardinal), " Tresors du Musee International d'Horlogerie, La Chauxde- Fonds".