Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin dated 1 March 1975, brochure and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with enamel painting "La Plage près d'Egmund ann Zee" in 1973 and its subsequent sale on 17 March 1975.
For over 3,000 years, fine enamelling has decorated and enriched watches, jewellery and objets d'art. Patek Philippe maintains this rare craft of miniature enamelling, traditionally associated with the finest Geneva timepieces, and in many ways the most difficult of the decorative arts.
Since the 1960s, when Patek Philippe re-launched the production of watches with enamel miniatures, only a handful of these masterpieces were created in collaboration with famous artists such as Suzanne Rohr or G. Menni. Such watches were usually cased in the traditional openface style whereas only very few were finished as hunting cased watches (see lot 213 in this auction, enamel signed G. Menni).
The enamel of the present watch is signed by Mrs. Suzanne Rohr, one of the last artists able to perpetuate the supremely exacting art of miniature painting on enamel. Mrs. Rohr, who celebrated 40 years of collaboration with Patek Philippe in 2007, reserves her talent for the company. In her hands, the secret alchemy of the coloured enamels offers a second life, of unequalled depth and finesse, to some of the world's greatest art treasures.
The present enamel miniature is after Jacob van Ruisdael's "The Shore at Egmond-aan-Zee", circa 1675, oil on canvas, 53.7 x 66.2 cms, The National Gallery, London.
Egmond-aan-Zee, on the north sea coast to the west of Alkmaar, can be identified by its church (on the right of the picture), which survived until 1743, when it was engulfed by the sea. The painting is primarily a study of the natural forces of sea and sky, water and waves contrasted with the grey and white cloud formations. Though mainly a specialist in landscapes, van Ruisdael also painted a number of seascapes and beach scenes.
Jacob van Ruisdael (b. about 1628 Haarlem, the Netherlands, d. 1682 Amsterdam) learned to paint from his father, a framemaker, art dealer and painter, and from his uncle Solomon van Ruysdael. His dramatic, naturalistic rendering of landscapes and his emotional use of color support his reputation as the principal Dutch landscape painter in the second half of the 17th century. In addition to creating around seven hundred paintings and one hundred drawings, Ruisdael received a medical degree in 1676 and probably pursued a successful second career as a surgeon.