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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 195

    Théophile Vallette. A very fine, rare and unusual 20K gold, enamel, pearl and diamond-set openface verge watch with animated dial

    SIGNED TH. LE VALLETTE À GENÈVE, NO. 3937, CIRCA 1790

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Théophile Vallette. A very fine, rare and unusual 20K gold, enamel, pearl and diamond-set openface verge watch with animated dial
    Signed Th. le Vallette à Genève, no. 3937, circa 1790
    MOVEMENT: manual, chain fusée, cock foliate pierced and engraved “TheVallette”, verge escapement
    DIAL: white enamel, Arabic numerals, decorated with two gold paillon vases and a sunburst, aperture above displaying a scene of six nymphs as an allegory of spring revolving constantly while the movement is ticking
    CASE: 20K gold, bezel with engraved gold flowers on a light blue champlevé enamel ground, back with a very finely painted scene of a mother and child on a translucent royal blue enamel ground, graduated pearl-set border, engraved gold and blue enamel stripes below, pale blue champlevé enamel above with rose-cut diamond-set flowers, centered by a painted on enamel cherub’s head with diamond-set border, outer gilt metal protecting case with glazed back, 59 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: dial and movement, movement numbered 3937


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    The very finely painted on enamel scene of a mother and child is a classic example of the high quality work being done in Geneva at the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The present watch is further enriched with pearls and rose diamonds.
    The dial has the very unusual feature of an “animated” scene where an enamelled disc decorated with dancing nymphs is driven by the escapement and rotates constantly in the aperture to delightful effect.

    Théophile Vallette
    Born in Geneva in 1763 he was active as watchmaker specialising in repeating and automata watches and "montres fantaisie" between 1788 and 1800.