Geneva, Nov 07, 2021

LOT 281


CHF 10,000 - 20,000

HKD 85,000 - 170,000 / USD 10,900 - 21,700 / EUR 9,400 - 18,700

Sold: CHF 16,250

Very fine, large and heavy 18K yellow gold, hunting-case, key-winding, round-shaped, pocket watch, with subsidiary seconds at 6. Cover and case-back guilloché (engine-turned) and, in the centre, engraved in taille-douce (fine cut); on the cover, the coat-of-arms of Argentina; on the case-back, an allegory of abundance represented by a huge collection of exotic fruits, including pineapples, bunches of grapes, etc; case-band chiselled. Inside cover and case-back decorated en suite; inside the cover, a romantic scene depicting what appears to be the farewell of a couple of lovers; inside the cover, a probably mythological scene showing a man, perhaps Bacchus, holding a child in his arms, while a woman, probably one of the Bacchae or Maenads, amuses herself by handing him a bunch of grapes.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-6-01

Very good

Slightly oxidized

HANDS Original

Brand Unsigned, probably Neuchâtel mountains

Year Circa 1850-1860

Movement No. 1 824

Case No. 1 824

Caliber 24’’’, gilded brass, going barrel, lateral lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensated balance with gold poising screws, large brass weights and blued steel flat hairspring, polished steel index-regulator; plate and bridges very finely engraved in taille- douce (fine cut); main-plate with foliage; bridges representing an allegory of the hunt, cut out in the shape of various classes of animals: fishes, birds, mammals and insects.


The engraved decoration on this watch, both on the case and on the movement, suggests an allegory of fertility. On the cover is the coat-of-arms of the Republic of Argentina, founded in 1816. One can imagine that this watch was made to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this country or another important event; country which was at the time considered to be a “Pays de Cocagne”, a Land of Plenty.

In the imagination of certain European cultures, a “Pays de Cocagne” (Land of Plenty) is a kind of earthly paradise, a miraculous land where nature overflows with generosity for its inhabitants and guests. Far from famines and wars, Cocagne is a land of parties and perpetual bombast, where play and laziness are advocated and work is outlawed. Thus, in many European countries, the idea of a “brighter tomorrow” was born, bringing a large population to various transatlantic or transoceanic countries.

The watch is typical of the production of the Neuchâtel mountains in the third quarter of the 19th century. At that time, engravers on precious metal enjoyed a great reputation, notably H. Grandjean-Perrenoud, A. Dubois, various members of the Courvoisier family and Jule-Louis Jacot, etc.