With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming dates of manufacture and sale.
The enamel of the present watch is signed by G. Menni who produced approximately 50 miniature enamels for Patek Philippe from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. With Susanne Rohr who celebrated 35 years of collaboration with Patek Philippe in 2002, these are two of the last artists who are able to perpetuate the supremely exacting art of miniature painting on enamel.
The enamel miniature on the present watch is after Albert Samuel Anker's painting, The Village School of 1896. The painting is in the collection of the Kunstmuseum, Basel.
Albert Samuel Anker (April 1, 1831 - July 16, 1910)
The renowned artist is known as the "national painter" of Switzerland because of his popular depictions of 19th-century Swiss village life. He drew inspiration from the daily lives of people in rural communities which he portrayed with great skill and finesse, providing vividness and brilliance to everyday scenes. His paintings continue to appeal to a wide audience due to their honest and unpretentious depiction of the subjects and their general accessibility. Indeed, Anker summed up his approach to art as follows: "One has to shape an ideal in one's imagination, and then one has to make that ideal accessible to the people."
In The Village School, not only did Anker successfully depict the lively atmosphere of a make-shift classroom in a village by detailing the different expressions and activities of the children, he also imbued the scene with a social commentary about the importance of education for both genders and all social classes. In doing so, Anker echoed the beliefs and teachings of his fellow Swiss educational reformer, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (January 12, 1746 - February 17, 1827), who advocated education of the poor and emphasized teaching methods designed to increase the student's own abilities. The influence of Pestalozzi's method was immense and most of his principles were incorporated subsequently in modern elementary schools in the West.