• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1357

    Important Watches

    17 November 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 44

    Swiss. An 18K gold skeletonized openface quarter repeating jaquemarts watch with concealed erotic automaton

    UNSIGNED, CUVETTE BEARING THE SIGNATURE BREGUET & FILS, CIRCA 1820

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Swiss. An 18K gold skeletonized openface quarter repeating jaquemarts watch with concealed erotic automaton
    Unsigned, cuvette bearing the signature Breguet & Fils, circa 1820
    Full plate gilt-finished movement, engraved and pierced balance cock, plain three arm steel balance, gilt cuvette, skeletonized dial centred by a small enamel chapter ring with Arabic numerals, skeletonized surround surmounted by a vari-coloured gilt scene depicting two standing figures striking the bells, two steel shutters with applied vari-colour gilt cornucopia and a harp sliding open to reveal an automaton erotic scene, all activated in unison with the repeating, circular engine-turned case, eccentric small oval blank cartouche to the back, repeating through the pendant, pendant locking lever in the band, cuvette bearing the signature Breguet & Fils, No. 22581
    53 mm. diam.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Pre-Lot Text

    The following two lots, 44 and 45, are fitted with so-called "jaquemarts" automaton.

    Jaquemarts have a long tradition and figure already in the first edition of the French National Academy's dictionary, which appeared in 1694, with the following definition:

    "JAQUEMART. Figure de fer ou de fonte, représentant un homme armé, laquelle on met d'ordinaire sur le haut d'une tour pour frapper les heures avec un marteau sur la cloche de l'horloge."

    "Figure made of solid or cast iron representing a man in arms, which is usually put up on top of a (clock) tower to strike the hours with a hammer onto the bell of the clock."

    Watches decorated with the miniature versions of these clock tower "men in arms" were very popular in the 19th century.