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ILBERY. A FINE 18K GOLD, PAINTED ON ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET CENTRE SECONDS DUPLEX WATCH, MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET
ILBERY. A FINE 18K GOLD, PAINTED ON ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET CENTRE SECONDS DUPLEX WATCH, MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET
ILBERY. A FINE 18K GOLD, PAINTED ON ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET CENTRE SECONDS DUPLEX WATCH, MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET
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ILBERYTHE MADONNA WITH ST. ANNE & THE INFANT ST. JOHN
ILBERY. A FINE 18K GOLD, PAINTED ON ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET CENTRE SECONDS DUPLEX WATCH, MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET

SIGNED ILBERY, LONDON, NO. 16631, THE CASE WITH LONDOND HALLMARKS FOR 1808

Details
ILBERY. A FINE 18K GOLD, PAINTED ON ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET CENTRE SECONDS DUPLEX WATCH, MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET
SIGNED ILBERY, LONDON, NO. 16631, THE CASE WITH LONDOND HALLMARKS FOR 1808
Movement: ‘Chinese’ caliber, manual, gilt engraved, standing barrel, duplex escapement, plain five-arm steel balance, diamond endstone, cuvette hinged to the movement ring
Dial: White enamel
Case: Two-body, the bezels, pendant and bow set with half-pearls, the back set with a painted on enamel panel depicting the Madonna with St. Anne and the infant St. John, London hallmarks for 1808, 59 mm., diam.
Literature
For biographical and historical information on William Ilbery, the inventor of the Chinese calibre, see La Montre Chinoise by Alfred Chapuis, pp. 180 - 184.

Brought to you by

Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Department, Geneva

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Lot Essay

This very attractive watch combines a lavishly decorated case and a high quality movement, presenting a fine example of a timepiece made for the Chinese market in the early 19th century.

William Ilbery or Ilbury (c1760-1851) was a celebrated watchmaker from London, renowned for his exceptional timepieces made for the Chinese market. In 1836 Ilbery settled in Fleurier, left to Macao in 1839 and then to Canton. There he was known to have become friendly with Bovet and they met regularly, even though they were rivals not only in business but also in their private lives. Both were courting Anna Vaucher, daughter of Charles-Henry Vaucher of Fleurier, one of Bovet's competitors in Canton. Ilbery was in fact engaged to Anna Vaucher and even though he was constantly on travels Anna remained faithful to him and resisted the proposals of Bovet who hoped one day to win her over. Sadly no marriage ever took place since Anna became ill and died in 1845.

Ilbery's early watches were very much in the English style, fitted with full plate movements and duplex escapements. His later movements showed the influence of the free standing barrels of the Lepine calibre as used in Jaquet Droz's Swiss production signed in London and that of William Anthony, who worked in London. William Anthony (1764 - 1844), another celebrated watchmaker of his day, was sixteen years senior to Ilbery. He influenced greatly the latter's work and contributed substantially to the development of Chinese watches, however it is still William Ilbery who is known as the "father" of the Chinese watches. The cases Ilbery used for his timepieces were always of highest quality, lavishly decorated by the best Genevan enamellists of the time.

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