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    Sale 1357

    Important Watches

    17 November 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 72

    Patek Philippe. A fine and possibly unique 18K gold and Limoges-style enamel openface keyless lever watch with matching brooch


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. A fine and possibly unique 18K gold and Limoges-style enamel openface keyless lever watch with matching brooch
    Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Genève, movement no. 100'632, case no. 211'664, manufactured in 1893
    Cal. 10''' nickel-finished jewelled lever movement, gold cuvette with engraved inscription 1892 The World's Columbian Exposition Chicago U.S.A. Hors Concours 1893, translucent burgundy enamel dial, gilt Breguet numerals, circular case, bezel decorated with raised white enamel floral and foliage decoration on translucent burgundy enamel background, Limoges-style translucent burgundy enamel back with painted en grisaille enamel scene depicting the "Triumph of Amphitrite", matching gold and enamel brooch, rectangular Limoges-style burgundy and en grisaille enamel panel surrounded by gold openwork scroll, dolphin and seashell decoration, hinged pin, case, cuvette and movement signed and numbered
    28 mm. diam. & 83 mm. overall length

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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with Limoges-style "Triumph of Amphitrite" enamel in 1893 and its subsequent sale on 26 December 1893.

    According to the engraved inscription on the cuvette, this watch was exhibited at the 1893 World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago before being sold in December of the same year.

    The World's Columbian Exposition, also called "The Chicago World's Fair", took place in Chicago from May to October 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World. The fair had a profound effect on architecture, the arts, Chicago's self image and American industrial optimism.

    The International Exposition was held in a building which for the first time was devoted to electrical exhibits. It was a historical moment and the beginning of a revolution, as Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse introduced the public to electrical power by providing alternating current to illuminate the Exposition. The general audience observed firsthand the qualities and abilities of alternating current power. All exhibits were from commercial enterprises. Thomas Edison, Brush, Western Electric and Westinghouse were amongst the exhibitors and General Electric Company (backed by Edison and J.P. Morgan) proposed to power the electric fair with direct current at the cost of one million dollars.

    46 nations participated in the fair, it drew nearly 26 million visitors and left a remembered vision which can be recognized even in the Emerald City of L. Frank Baum's "Land of Oz" and in Walt Disney's majestic theme parks Disneyland and Walt Disney World (his father Elias had been a construction worker on some of the buildings).

    A similarly enamelled pendant watch is illustrated in Patek Philippe by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, p. 128, pl. 54 a, b.