The Art of Horology in Geneva

Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, Nov 13, 1999


Case enamelled by Les deux frères Huaut, les Jeunes, movement by J. B. Vrythoff, Hague, No. 152,circa 1686.Very fine 20K gold pair-cased watch.

CHF 80,000 - 100,000

Sold: CHF 82,700

C. Outer double body with glazed back, the bezels engraved with foliage. Inner double body, "bassine" form with split bezel and loose-ring pendant, the back painted in polychrome colours with a representation of Charity, Quantum vis magnos dulce? after an engraving by Crispijn de Passe (1630's), the band with landscape vignettes framed in sepia and yellow and interspersed with blue panels decorated with ribbon scrolls, signed at 6 o'clock in a cartouche: Les deux frères Huaut les jeunes, interiowith a ruin in classical landscape in the style of Gabriel Perrelle. D. White enamel with Roman numerals and outer Arabic minutes ring. Gold Louis XIV hands. M. Later custom made hinged gilt brass full plate with cylindrical pillars, fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain brass balance with mock pendulum, flat balance spring. Gilt brass Dutch cock with pendulum aperture, chased with a seated Bacchus drinking a glass of wine.Signed Vrythoff on the back plate.Diam. 49 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3 - 17
Movement: * 30
Dial: 30 - 02


For more information on the engraving by Gabriel Perelle (1603-1677) see Dr. Hans Boeckh, Emailmalerei Auf Genfer Taschenuhren, etc., Freiburg, 1982.Cases painted by Les deux Frères Huaut 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among the finest examples of painting on enamel from the Geneva School and were therefore not only highly prized when originally made, but remained as art treasures in the centuries that followed, as evidenced by this watch case, which was deemed of sufficient quality to merit a custom made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 J. B. Vrythoff, Hague, at the beginning of the 18th century. Apparently several examples of cases enamelled by members of the Huaud family were still avilable at the period, for many watches with later movement by other Dutch makers, such as Van Ceulen, specially made to be housed in Huaud cases, are known to exist.Jean Pierre and Ami HuaudSons of Pierre Huaud I, partners from 1682 to 1688. They were appointed painters to the Court of Prussia in 1686, and went to Berlin. In 1686 they signed Les deux frères Huaut Les Jeunes; after 1686 Les Frères Huaud or Les deux frères Huaud with the addition of peintres de son A. E. à Berlin or p.d. V. A. fct à Berlin. They returned to Geneva in 1700 and after that date their signature appeared as Les frères Huaut or Les deux frères Huaut or Peter et Amicus Huaut, they also signed Fratres HuaultThe name is spelt Huaud or Huaut and sometimes Huault.Among their most well-known works are: Diana and Actaeon, The Judgement of Paris, The Holy Family, St. John the Baptist, The Nativity, The Adoration of the Shepherds. Cases painted on copper by the Huaud family are more rarely found than those on gold, which is surprising considering the price of the latter. On copper, the colours are softer and the quality is better than that of many of the others painted on gold.