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A SWISS JEWELLED ENAMELLED MUSICAL GOLD NECESSAIRE SET WITH A WATCH AND AN AUTOMATON
A SWISS JEWELLED ENAMELLED MUSICAL GOLD NECESSAIRE SET WITH A WATCH AND AN AUTOMATON
A SWISS JEWELLED ENAMELLED MUSICAL GOLD NECESSAIRE SET WITH A WATCH AND AN AUTOMATON
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A SWISS JEWELLED ENAMELLED MUSICAL GOLD NECESSAIRE SET WITH A WATCH AND AN AUTOMATON
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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A SWISS JEWELLED ENAMELLED MUSICAL GOLD NECESSAIRE SET WITH A WATCH AND AN AUTOMATON

GENEVA, CIRCA 1830

Details
A SWISS JEWELLED ENAMELLED MUSICAL GOLD NECESSAIRE SET WITH A WATCH AND AN AUTOMATON GENEVA, CIRCA 1830 slightly tapering étui of rectangular section with canted corners, the obverse and reverse cover and base set with panels of translucent red enamel and black taille d'épargne enamel in a zig-zag pattern over an engine-turned ground, each centred by enamel plaques painted with scenes depicting Cupid amidst a colourful spray of flowers, a romantic couple seated in a wooded landscape, a family of doves and their nest, and an arrangement of fruit, the sides of the cover and base set with taille d'épargne enamelled panels depicting two serpents entwined around columns hung with flowers, with vases above, within sky-blue taille d'épargne enamel and seed-pearl borders, with gold push-piece, the fitted gold and enamel interior containing sky-blue and white taille d'épargne enamel gold implements, comprising a needle-case, a scent-bottle, a knife, a burin and a winding key, the hinged top of the cover inset with a glazed watch with two dials in white enamel, one for hours and minutes, the other for seconds, a winding square with a regulation screw to the right engraved A-R, the hinged base compartment concealing a gold and enamelled musical automaton, with a lady strumming a lyre and a seated cherub beating a drum in time to the music 3 3/8 in. (86 mm.) high

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David McLachlan
David McLachlan Head of Gold Boxes

Lot Essay

Although unmarked the present box is an exceptional example of the high quality of objects produced by the most eminent craftsmen in Geneva. The combination of music, automata, and time piece places this in the rarest class of boxes made in Geneva during the early years of the nineteenth century. These extraordinarily complex and beautifully decorated objects were much coveted by collectors in Europe and particularly in the Far East.

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