Nécessaires, Etui de Voyage or work boxes were ladies’ scent and cosmetics boxes that became very fashionable in the eighteenth century. A well to do lady staying with friends could state her position, taste and wealth by the quality of such travelling items. This would never be directly expressed of course but very subtly via the quality of one’s Nécessaire.

Commissioned by the wealthy, aristocracy and most powerful members of society, these boxes and nécessaires were incredibly well made and very skillfully designed to the highest of standards, using the most expensive materials available. These boxes and nécessaires were beautifully formed of gold, with jeweled decorations, enamel and pearls with secret hidden compartments for automata work, they sometimes featured watches and some sort of music. Inside the Nécessaire, was a velvet lined compartment where one can find a wide selection of various tools to keep one’s appearance, such as scissors, a scent bottle, winding key for the mechanisms of the music, automata and watch and many other wonderful curiosities. The leisured classes were fascinated by the virtuosity and elegance of these luxurious mechanical wonders.

Fresh to the market, this exceptional Swiss musical automata Necessaire is one of the largest of its kind. The present owner purchased it from the Private Collection of John Asprey in the early 1990’s. It was also part of an extraordinary exhibition, Exhibit 18 in the Asprey Magic, Music and Motion exhibition in New York.

The only other known Necessaire of equal size is prominently illustrated and described in Automata by Chapuis & Droz, pages 181-182. This example is part of the private collection of Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex.


首現拍賣,這個非凡的瑞士音樂活動人偶化妝盒為已知最大的一個。現有藏家在90年代初期從John Asprey 的私人珍藏購買。她曾在紐約 Asprey Magic, Music and Motion 被展覽,當時為18號展品。

另一個同等尺寸的化妝盒在Chapuis & Droz 的 Automata 叢書被仔細描繪及記錄,詳見181-182頁。她屬於勞力士創辦人Hans Wilsdorf 的私人珍藏。