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The Art of Horology in Geneva

Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, November 13, 1999

LOT 6

Case enamelled by Pierre Huaud, le Jeune, Geneva, circa 1680, movement by Philippus Van Ceule (Ceulen), Hagae (Den Hague), circa 1720.Venus et AdonisVery fine 20K gold and enamelled watch.

C. Double body bassine form, the back exterior enamelled with Venus and Adonis, after a painting by Carlo Caliari, engraved by Aegidius Sadeler, "The Goddess striving in vain to retain Adonis from going hunting", the band with landscape vignettes, intersected by floral panels painted en grisaille, interior with a classical ruin in a landscape after Gabriel Perelle. Later pendant on later gold supporting plate and later gold bezel. D. Gold enamel, the white chapter ring with Roman numerals and ouer gold applied Arabic minute ring, the centre painted with a scene depicting Venus and Cupid. Blued steel "poker and beetle" hands. M. Later custom made hinged gilt brass full plate with square baluster pillars, fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain brass three-arm balance, flat balance spring, gilt brass pierced and engraved Dutch balance cock.Signed Van Ceulen on the back plate.Enamelled scene signed: P. Huaud Fec.

C. Double body bassine form, the back exterior enamelled with Venus and Adonis, after a painting by Carlo Caliari, engraved by Aegidius Sadeler, "The Goddess striving in vain to retain Adonis from going hunting", the band with landscape vignettes, intersected by floral panels painted en grisaille, interior with a classical ruin in a landscape after Gabriel Perelle. Later pendant on later gold supporting plate and later gold bezel.
D. Gold enamel, the white chapter ring with Roman numerals and ouer gold applied Arabic minute ring, the centre painted with a scene depicting Venus and Cupid. Blued steel "poker and beetle" hands.
M. Later custom made hinged gilt brass full plate with square baluster pillars, fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain brass three-arm balance, flat balance spring, gilt brass pierced and engraved Dutch balance cock.Signed Van Ceulen on the back plate.Enamelled scene signed: P. Huaud Fec.

CHF 40,000 - 50,000

Sold: CHF 37,030


Grading System
Grade: AAA

Excellent

Case: 3 - 6
Movement: * 30
Dial: 17 - 04

Notes

Cases painted by members of the Huaud family were among the finest examples of painting on enamel from the Geneva School and were therefore not only highly prized when originally made, but remained as art treasures in the centuries that followed, as evidenced by this watch case, which was deemed of sufficient quality to merit a custom made movement by Van Ceulen at the beginning of the 18th century. Apparently several examples of cases enamelled by members of the Huaud family were still availabe at the period, for many watches with later movements by other Dutch makers, such as J. B. Vrythoff, specially made to be housed in Huaud cases, are known to exist.For more information on the engraving by Gabriel Perelle (1603-1677) see Dr. Hans Boeckh, Emailmalerei Auf Genfer Taschenuhren, etc., Freiburg, 1982.Pierre Huaud, le Jeune, (1647-1698)Known as Pierre II, born in Geneva, he was the eldest son of Pierre Huaud the eldest and was responsible for tutoring his brother, Ami, in the art of painting on enamel. He worked in partnership with his two brothers Jean-Pierre and Ami. Two watches bearing his signature survive, the majority being of later date when he was in partnership with Ami and they worked for the Elector of Brandenburg in Berlin.Caliari Carlo or Carletto, (1570-1596)The son of the eminent Paolo Veronese, he was born in Venice and died in the same city. Very young, he showed a great ability in the imitation of his father's celebrated work. However, Veronese wishing to see in his son better than a pale reflection of his own genius, sent him to work with Bassano and, when he was 18, Carletto acquired his own style.Venus and AdonisAccording to the legend, Adonis was born from an incestuous union between Myrrha and his father Cinyras, King of Paphos in Cyprus (or possibly Belos, King of Egypt, or even Theias, King of Assyria). The gods transformed Myrrha into the myrrh-tree and in due course Adonis was born from the tree when the trunk was split open by a wild boar. Venus (or Aphrodite) was struck by the beauty of the child Adonis and put him in the care of Persephone (or Proserpine), the queen of the underworld. But Persehone too loved the youth and refused to give him back to Venus. Jupiter (or Zeus) had to pass judgment to resolve the question between the two goddesses. There are two versions of this judgment: in the first, Adonis was to spend a third of the year with each goddess while the rest of the time as he preferred and chose to spend that time with Venus; in the other version, the judgment was made by the Muse Calliope, Jupiter not wishing to arbitrate, and each goddess was allowed to have Adonis for hlf of the year. Both versions are indicative of Adonis' function since he was the god of vegetation and nature. The cause of Adonis' birth became also that of his death because he died after being attacked by a wild boar while hunting. Venus was overcome with despair and from the blood of his wounds, created a new flower, the red anemone, a wild flower that each year blooms briefly and then dies.Adonis, imported probably from the Phoenicians, came to be revered as a dying-and-rising god. In midsummer, Athenians held Adonia, a yearly festival representing his death and resurrection.