The following three lots, 98 to 100, are from the property of an important Italian collector. His focus on highly decorative timepieces of superb quality is shown in these wonderful specimens of Patek Philippe's enameled production.
Lots 98 and 99 are beautiful examples of Patek Philippe's dress watches embellished with enamel miniature paintings, small works of art in their own rights. The paintings on the present watches are signed by J.L. Pter and G. Menni, celebrated artists who created miniature enamels for Patek Philippe from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Dated from 1990 and 1993 respectively, they were most probably used for exhibition purposes by Patek Philippe until their sale in 2005.
For over 3,000 years, fine enamelling has decorated and enriched watches, jewellery and objects 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.
Nowadays, only very few artists still master this art. These rare Patek Philippe timepieces are, in general, unique pieces made to special order with the subject matter to be represented chosen by the client. They often include famous landscape or portrait paintings, celebrities or even family members of the future owner.
The presently offered watch is accompanied by a Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with white lacquered dial, 11 black Roman numerals and painting on enamel "Barques sur la plage", Vincent Van Gogh in 2005 and its subsequent sale on 6 October 2005. Furthermore delivered with the original presentation box, leather wallet and product literature.
Consigned by a private collector, the present reference 652 has never been offered in public before and is furthermore preserved in like new overall condition.
The enamel miniature on its back depicts a detail of Vincent Van Gogh's celebrated painting "Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer" and is signed by J.L. Pter, one of the few artists mastering this art.
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
One of the most famous Post-Impressionist painters, Vincent Van Gogh was born on 30 March 1853 in Zundert in the southern Netherlands, the son of a pastor. His work, notable for its beauty, emotion and color, highly influenced 20th century art. Van Gogh died in France on 29 July 1890.
Little appreciated during his lifetime, his fame grew in the years following his death. Today, he is widely regarded as one of history's greatest painters and an important contributor to the foundations of modern art. Van Gogh did not begin painting until his late twenties, and most of his best-known works were produced during his final two years. He produced more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. Although he was little known during his lifetime, his work was a strong influence by the Modernist art that followed. Today many of his pieces, including his numerous self-portraits, landscapes, portraits and sunflowers, are among the world's most recognizable and expensive works of art.
In June 1888 Van Gogh took a 30 mile stagecoach trip from Arles to the sea-side fishing village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. Van Gogh's week-long trip was taken to recover from his health problems and make some seaside paintings and drawings. At that time Saintes-Maries was a small fishing village with under a hundred homes.
In just a few days he completed two paintings of the sea, one of the village and nine drawings. One of the paintings was Van Gogh Museum's Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (F413), which he described to his brother, Theo: "I made the drawing of the boats when I left very early in the morning, and I am now working on a painting based on it, a size 30 canvas with more sea and sky on the right. It was before the boats hastened out; I had watched them every morning, but as they leave very early I didn't have time to paint them." Some of the work on the painting was finished in the studio, such as capturing the light in the sand, sea and sky.