Lot n° 186
30000 - 50000
Result with fees
: 347 760EUR
SENE & NEISSER, goldsmiths - PUYROCHE, watchmaker... - Lot 186 - Audap & Associés
SENE & NEISSER, goldsmiths - PUYROCHE, watchmaker - SWITZERLAND around 1805.
Chased yellow gold and polychrome enamelled lorgnette, decorated with friezes of shells and alternate foliage, rosette with ogives and festoons. The central part consists of four panels in gold chased and enamelled alternating, two children picking cherries, a still life with flowers and fruit, an urn in bloom and a child at prayer in front of a church, between two moldings of half pearls.
The sliding panels discover, successively, a watch and a window animated by automatons. The watch with white enamelled dial, Arabic numerals for the hours, signed PUYROCHE.
The window, like a theater scene, reveals a fountain with a column topped by an urn, on either side, two streams of water escape from masks, on a polychrome enamel background depicting a loggia.
In the foreground, a horse chasing a dog. The scene is bordered by a palm tree and shrubs in gold of several shades.
This is a "carousel" decoration revolving around the bezel.
The automatons are described in the work of Alfred Chapuis, Le monde des automates "in front of a portico surrounded by trees with two fountains from which flow streams of water, a carriage, a rider, a peasant behind his donkey, parade to the sound of music. The movement of the water is represented by two twisted glass nets.
The magnifying glass with screw, the central tube marked S & N, for SENE & NEISSER Geneva, around 1805. In its red morocco case gilded with small irons (wear and accidents)
(Accidents, restorations and damages, watch, automatons, music box to be restored.)
Height 7.5 cm; Gross weight: 189.5 g.
COMPLEMENT: The movement was presented to a restorer who confirmed the presence of a music box inside. The movements (watch, automaton and watch) to be restored.
- Possibly former collection of banker John-Henry HARJES (1829-1914) and then by succession to the present owner.
The automaton watches knew their apogee between 1800 and 1840. In addition to watches, artists made small luxury objects, mirrors, lorgnettes, snuffboxes... in which were inserted lilliputian automatons and musical movements.
Geneva, in the 19th century, became a center specialized in the manufacture of these luxurious musical objects revealing the ingenuity of the artists in the creation of miniature animated theaters. These objects brought together the talents of watchmakers, jewelers, gem setters and enamel painters who worked together.
Swiss watches and snuffboxes owed part of their success to the quality of their enamel decoration. Enamel painting, which originated in France, was introduced in Geneva in the 17th century and was perfected thanks to new processes, allowing the realization of very fine decorations and a better solidity of the enamel. The decoration of our lorgnette is alternately engraved and enamelled, it shows two still lives with flowers and two animated scenes of children: a child at prayer and a child picking cherries. The enamelled decorations were most often anonymous, unsigned, and it is through the game of comparisons that they are attributed to this or that artist. The theme of children picking cherries appears on other boxes where it is attributed to the enamel painter Jean-Louis RICHTER (1766-1841), Sotheby's Sales June 2015 No. 108 and June 8, 2016, No. 83. This painter is particularly known for his alpine landscapes and animated scenes of children.
The watch is signed PUYROCHE, watchmaker. The central bezel is engraved S&N for Sené & Neisser, goldsmiths.
Philippe SENÉ joined forces with Philippe DETALLA from 1795 to 1805, then with his brother-in-law Henry Neisser in 1805.
In 1808 SENÉ dies. Swiss box automata and lorgnettes dated in the 1800s are commonly attributed to PIGUET & CAPT.
Henri-Daniel CAPT (1773-1841) and Isaac-Daniel PIGUET (1775-1841), partners from 1802 to 1811, specialized in the creation of objects of virtue and were the first to associate automata and music boxes.
A part of the Geneva production of watches and snuffboxes with automata was made for the Orient and the Far East. They were often made in pairs, in mirror effect. Chapuis writes "Collectors like to own twin watches... this is a result of the taste for symmetry that the Chinese have had for centuries... when it comes to gifts, a pair has great value. It was even a rule for gifts made to a superior..." Chapuis specifies "music boxes were also sold in pairs". The enamelled scenes of these objects made in pairs were "mirrored", the image being reversed, like the reflection of the other. This is one of the specificities of the Geneva production for the Chinese market. We have compared our lorgnette and the photos of the one reproduced in the catalog of the sale of Me Dernis, Galerie Charpentier, 1956, the enamelled decorations
Return to catalogue