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Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, Apr 14, 1991

LOT 13

A Monsieur le Duc de Praslin Watch No. 443, sold on 22 Ventose an 7, (12 March 1799) for the sum of 600 Francs. Silver "souscription" watch.

Case: Three body, collier form, by Mermillot, No. 164, engine-turned n grains d'orge, with the joints and bow in gold, a very small monogram engraved in the centre of the back.
Dial: White enamel, signed: "Breguet", with Breguet numerals, secret signature beneath "12" ( some scratches). Blued-steel souscription hand.
Movement: Gilt brass, 25"', signed: "Breguet, No.443", souscription caliber with central barrel, overhanging ruby cylinder escapement, three-arm plain brass balance, with parachute on the top pivot. Flat balance spring with bimetallic compensation curb on the index regulator.
In good condition, with a green leather fitted case from Chaumet. Diam. 61 mm.

CHF 25,000 - 30,000

Sold: CHF 34,500


History: The last entry in the repair books for this watch, dated 24 March] 842, indicate that it was still the property of the Comtes de Praslin. For a note on this watch see lot 21.
ANTOINE CÉSAR Duc de Praslin (1756-1808) Antoine César, the third Duc de Praslin, soldier and politician, was born in 1756 and died in 1808. After a career in the army, during which he served in several regiments, the Duke entered into politics. He was elected as the representative for Sénéchaussée in Anjou to the Etats Généraux which became, after the Revolution on July 14, 1789, the Assemblée Constituante. Himself a Freemason, the Duc de Praslin made no attempt to defend the unfortunate Louis XVI on the infamous days of 20th June and 10th August, 1792 when the angry crowds demanded his deposal. Arrested with his wife Charlotte de Thomond, he was quickly released at the end of the Terror on the 1 Thermidor an 2 (27 July 1794), thanks to the intervention of his children's tutor Joseph François Beaudelaire (the father of Charles Beaudelaire, the celebrated French poet). Elected to the Senate in 1799, the Duke did not forget the debt he owed to his former employee, and obtained for Beaudelaire an important post at the Questure du Sénat (civil service). A strong supporter of Napoleon, as First Consul, the Duke virtually abandoned his commitment to his Masonic Lodge in the latter years of his life.