Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, May 14, 2017

LOT 212

THE FISHERMAN Geneva or Neuchâtel Mountains, circa 1790-1800. Extremely rare and very fine, large, 18 K gold, enamel and pearl-set watch, quarter-repeating on a bell by hammer striking Putti, automaton and wandering automata.

CHF 70,000 - 90,000

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

Sold: CHF 161,000

Double-body, "Directoire", invisible hinges; red translucent guilloché background with a painted on enamel vase of flowers bouquet inside a cartouche in the centre; bezels set with half pearls; polished gold and red enamel set pendant and bow. Small eccentric at 12 o'clock, white enamel with Breguet numerals. Blue steel hands. The automaton scene is set against a painted enamel multicoloured gold dial plate decorated with a temple with two applied cherubs flanking the dial appearing to strike the hours and quarters on a bell, also driven by the repeating train by means of cams and levers; another automaton scene in gold depicting villagers and animals walking under the temple; applied below an automaton fisherman with a fish on his line, and a revolving flowing water. 50 mm. frosted gilt brass, full plate with cylindrical pillars, fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain brass three-arm balance, flat balance-spring, gilt brass continental cock with polished steel end-piece, silver regulation dial, repeating on a bell mounted in the back of the case activated by depressing the pendant. Unsigned and unnumbered.

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Grading System
Case: 3-32


Slightly restored

Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original


DIAM. 59 mm. Provenance Bernard Franck (1824-1924), Paris. Farouk Ist (1920-1965), King of Egypt (1936-1952) Collection, Cairo (Egypt). Sotheby's Cairo, Koubbeh Palace, auction, March 13, 1954 (third day's sale) Galerie Koller, Zürich (Switzerland), auction, May 27, 1968, lot 802. Bibliograpy Chapuis, Alfred, & Gélis, Edouard, Le monde des automates: étude historique et technique, Paris and Neuchâtel, 1928, 2 vol. (348 pp., 352 pp., 800 ill.), vol. II, chap. XVII "Montres et Tabatières" (pp. 31-73), p. 62, fig. 344 (mentioned as Collection Bernard Franck, Paris). The second watch of this pair made for the Chinese market is kept in the Sandoz Collection and exhibited in the Musée d'horlogerie du château des Monts, Le Locle (Inv. I.18; ex-No. 20). Bibliography Collection de montres et automates Maurice et Edouard M. Sandoz, Le Locle, Edition du Château des Monts, 1976, pp. 60-61 (Inv. No. 20). Pin, Bernard, Montres & Automates, La collection Maurice Sandoz, Pully, Fondation Edouard et Maurice Sandoz, 2010, vo. I, pp. 116-119, vol. III, p. 72 (Inv. I.18). Similar Watch Uto Auktionen, Zürich (Switzerland), auction, October 3, 1975, lot 230