Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, May 11, 2019

LOT 34

Piguet & Capt; Jean-Georges Rémond & Co; the enamel attributed to Jean-Abraham Lissignol

CHF 70,000 - 90,000

HKD 560,000 - 720,000 / USD 70,000 - 90,000

Sold: CHF 91,250

Extremely fine and rare, musical box; 18K yellow gold, enamel and pearls.

Grading System
Case: 3


Brand Piguet & Capt – Jean-Georges Rémond & Co.

Model The enamel attributed to Jean-Abraham Lissignol, Geneva

Year Circa 1810

Movement No.  249 and 258

Calibre  N. 249, musical train with a melody on a large pinned drum with double reeds in parallels of 34 polished steel vibrating blades mounted in two stacks of 17; N. 258, musical train with a melody on a large pinned drum with double reeds in parallels of 42 polished steel vibrating blades mounted in two stacks of 21

Material 18K yellow gold, enamel and pearls

Dimensions 25 x 88.5 x 61.6 mm

Signature Case (master’s mark “I / G R / C” inside a horizontal lozenge; circa 1807-1815)


18K yellow gold, enamel and pearls, musical box in the shape of a rectangular 18K yellow gold, enamel and pearls, musical box in the shape of a rectangular snuff-box with hinged lid; band and base decorated with chiselled and guilloché engine-turning panels with palmettos and a musical trophy with a lyra and trumpets; cover polychrome enamelled with a scene, inside a pearl-set frame, most probably depicting the Coronation of Homer; the painting on enamel on gold attributable to Jean-Abraham Lissignol (1749-1819), Geneva. The scene represents an old man, probably Homer unless it’s Epicurus, crowned by an angel. On his left side, a lyra and another angel serves him wine in a cup that he holds in his left hand, while with his right hand he embraces a beautiful and young woman with skirts already raised revealing alluring thighs; … after the pleasures of the spirit, the pleasures of the flesh! Inside the box, painted on enamel on gold a musical score where one can read a minuet (in C major and 3/8) in the style of Mozart or Haydn. The melody of the musical box is in F major and 6/8. Although not signed, the musical movements of this box are typical of the production of Piguet & Capt, active in Geneva, between 1802 and 1811. Henry-Daniel Capt (1773-1841) & Isaac-Daniel Piguet (1775-1841). Specialised in the production of complicated watches, musical and/ or automaton scenes incorporated into watches, snuff-boxes or objects. Among the first in Geneva to use the musical mechanism with pinned cylinder and tuned teeth comb. From 16 ventôse an X (March 7, 1802), to 1811, Henry-Daniel Capt (1773-1841) formed a partnership with IsaacDaniel Piguet (1775-1841), who was from the same village – Le Chenit – as he in the Vallée de Joux. Their signature was Piguet & Capt. In 1811, when Piguet broke off to join Philippe-Samuel Meylan (1772-1845) in a new partnership, Henry-Daniel Capt continued to work on his own. Following this separation, Capt restarted a numbering of his movements in the 300. In 1830, he went into partnership with Aubert and Son, Place Bel-Air. Their signature was “Aubert & Capt”. They were among the first Genevan makers to produce watches with chronograph. In 1844, the workshop was at 108, rue Neuve in Geneva. It was then managed by Capt’s son, Henry Capt Jr. After a short time, it moved to 85, rue de la Fusterie, and, in 1851, to 177, rue du Rhône. In 1880, the firm was bought by Gallopin and its name became “H. Capt Horloger, Maison Gallopin Successeurs”, a trademark registered on November 1, 1880, under the No. 44. This signature was only used for watches retailed in their own store, the watches supplied to other retailers being merely signed Henry Capt. Henry-Daniel Capt, along with Isaac-Daniel Piguet and Philippe-Samuel Meylan. They were the foremost makers of small musical automata in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Most of his work is not signed, although he sometimes scratched his name on his movements. Jean-Georges Rémond, Geneva Jean-Georges Rémond (c.1746-c.1820) was active from 1783 to circa 18151820. Became Master goldsmith on December 22, 1783, and struck his first Master mark. Seven years later he appears to have formed a company: Georges Rémond & Cie, which eventually became, circa 1800, Rémond, Mercier, Lamy & Cie. During the French occupation of Switzerland by Napoléon, Jean-Georges Rémond recorded marks. In 1792, the partners Joseph Guidon, Jean-Georges Rémond, David Gide, Laurent Guisseling and Jean-Noël Lamy informally began working as Guidon, Rémond, Gide & Cie, (the company was officially registered on January 1, 1796). In 1809, the firm took on the name of Jean-Georges Rémond & Cie, and had offices both in Geneva and Hanau. The partners were JeanGeorges Rémond, Jean-Noël Lamy, Jean Boëhm (domiciled in Hanau), Denis Blondet, Laurent Guiseling, and Daniel Berton. In 1811, Jean-Georges Rémond, JeanNoël Lamy, Laurent Guiseling, Pierre Mercier and Daniel Berton formed a company known as Rémond, Lamy, Mercier & Cie. Bibliography (to understand the importance of Jean-Georges Rémond as a gold box-maker in Geneva) • Chapuisat, Edouard, Le commerce et l’industrie à Genève pendant la domination française (1789-1813), d’aprés des documents inédits, Editions A. Julien, Georg & Cie, 1908, p. 489. • Haydn, Williams, & Clarke, Julia (ed.), Enamels of the World, 1700-2000, The Khalili Collection, London, The Khalili Family Trust, 2009, pp. 292-317 (see also: http://www. • Clarke, Julia, “Swiss gold boxes: myth or reality?”, in Murdoch, Tessa, & Zech, Heike (ed.), Going for Gold: Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes, Brighton, Sussex Academic Press, 2014, pp. 70-71. Lissignol, Jean-Abraham Geneva, May 1749 – Geneva, Plainpalais, June 28, 1819 One of the best enamel painters of the later part of the 18th century, he was the pupil of Jean-Marc Roux and later became his partner. He specialised in decorating enamelled snuff-boxes and watch-cases, working for Jaquet-Droz, Leschot, the Rochat brothers, and John Rich...