DIM. 74 x 23 mm.
In a later fitted leather box stamped "Bulgari / Roma".
Galerie Neumarkt, Zürich (Switzerland), auction, October 8, 1971.
In this period, the musical movement can be made in Geneva by François Nicole (1766-1849), who
worked with Henry-Daniel Capt (1773-1841), Isaac-Daniel Piguet (1775-1841) and Philippe-Samuel
Meylan (1772-1845); all produced such types of musical objects. All came from the same village - Le
Chenit - in the Vallée de Joux.
The quality of the painting on the top of this box is exceptional. The Genevan enamelers had specialized
in flower painting from the 18th century onwards, and in particular used flower ornament for boxes and
watch cases intended for the Eastern export markets. Unfortunately, such pieces are not usually signed,
so it is not possible to identify the painters.
Jean-Geroges Rémond, Geneva
Jean-Georges Rémond was active from 1783 to circa 1815-1820. 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 Jean-Georges Rémond, Jean-Noël Lamy, Jean Boëhm
(domiciled in Hanau), Denis Blondet, Laurent Guiseling, and Daniel Berton. In 1811, Jean-Georges
Rémond, Jean-Noël Lamy, Laurent Guiseling, Pierre Mercier and Daniel Berton formed a company
known as Rémond, Lamy, Mercier & Cie.
Piguet & Meylan (active between 1811 and 1828)
Both originally from the village of Le Chenit in the Vallée de Joux, Isaac-Daniel Piguet (1775-1841) and
Philippe-Samuel Meylan (1772-1845) came to Geneva as young men, and formed a partnership, which
lasted from 1811 to 1828. The company specialised in elaborate and beautifully decorated musical
watches, including skeleton and automaton watches, and mechanical animals. The firm was established
rue Jean Jacques Rousseau 45 in Geneva. After their association came to an end, both Piguet and
Meylan continued for some time to work with their sons.
Isaac-Daniel Piguet (1775-1841)
Born in 1775 in Le Chenit in the Vallée de Joux. Isaac-Daniel Piguet was the son of Pierre-Moïse Piguet
and Elisabeth Nicole. He married Jeanne-Françoise Capt around 1795, and around 1800 settled in
Geneva with his family. Isaac-Daniel Piguet went into business with Henry-Daniel Capt (1773-1841),
his brother-in-law, on February 10, 1802. The association between Piguet & Meylan came to an end in
1828. Piguet and his son David-Auguste Piguet established a new company, Piguet Père & Fils, located
rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 69. Isaac-Daniel Piguet died in Geneva, on January 20, 1841, at the age of 66.
Philippe-Samuel Meylan (1772-1845)
Born on February 15, 1772, in Bas-du-Chenit in the Vallée de Joux. At 20 years of age, Philippe-
Samuel Meylan came to Geneva where he was a master worker for the Godemar brothers. He met
another watchmaker from his native region, Isaac-Daniel Piguet (1775-1841), and they entered into
partnership, founding the Piguet & Meylan firm, which was to last from 1811 to 1828. It specialized in
minute cadratures, musical watches, skeleton and automaton watches. Meylan is also credited with the
invention of the Bagnolet calibre. After Piguet & Meylan was dissolved, he continued to work with his
sons François and Auguste. Philippe-Samuel Meylan died in Geneva in 1845.
François Nicole (1766-1849)
Born on April 1st, 1766, in Le Chenit in the Vallée de Joux. Watchmaker, he left his valley around 1783
and settled first in Nyon (Canton de Vaud), then in 1789 in Geneva where he obtained residence in
1791. ''Citoyen'' (Citizen) in the Registre unique (Unique Register), he is referred to as ''watchmaker-
mechanician''. He is the inventor of the étouffoir (damper). It would also be in 1825 at the origin of
the introduction of cement in the cylinder of the musical movements. Nicknamed the Michelangelo of
the musical boxes, he would have made a total of nearly 440 of which only 40 are still known today.
François Nicole died at the age of 83 in Geneva on November 24, 1849. François Nicole is not the
founder of the Nicole Frères firm which was illustrated in the middle of the nineteenth century with its