Lot 269
  • 269

F. White & Co. Bombay

60,000 - 80,000 CHF
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  • gold
  • diameter 55 mm
• two-trains minute repeating keyless movement, full ruby jewelled • presentation inscription to the 18k yellow gold cuvette • white enamel dial, Roman numerals, outer Arabic minute track, subsidiary seconds • 18k yellow gold hunter case, band with champlevé translucent orange enamel, both sides with polychrome enamel portraits of turbaned dignitaries dressed in embroidered robes and impressive jewels over opaque grey backgrounds, both signed J. G. • cuvette signed and numbered


The movement is running at the time of cataloguing however, the repeating mechanism is not functioning. This watch would benefit from a service is order to be fully operational. Visible chip to the dial at 8 o'clock. Enamel portraits in good condition with light scuffs. Some small areas of orange translucent enamel are missing to the band. Magnificent and highly complicated watch with beautiful enamel portraits. Cuvette Nº 41630
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

This example is believed to represent His Highness Thakore saheb Dajiraj of Wadhwan (with the feather to the turban) and his younger brother His Highness Thakore saheb Basingh Chandrasingh of Wadhwan, who succeed him after his death in 1855.
Watches made for the Indian market, known as 'Rajah watches', frequently made use of photographs sent from Indian dignitaries so that artists in Geneva could render the portraits in enamel. Of the half-dozen most esteemed artists specializing in this work, John Graff (1836-1902) rose to the top of his field. These subjects presented a particular challenge to enamellers, as the colour schemes favoured by the subjects' dress were so vivid that work by less talented Western artists appeared gaudy. Graff's portraits however, are a testament to his understanding of colour, and portray the dignitaries in their intended grandeur. Furthermore, the portraits were based on often-blurry photographs sent from India, rather than seeing the subject first-hand or working from a clear likeness. Because of his mastery in the field, John Graff's signature on watches and snuff boxes is highly sought-after.
Five examples of "Rajah Watches" with enamel portraits of high dignitaries signed John Graff are illustrated in Eugène Jaquet & Alfred Chapuis, Technique and History of the Swiss Watch, plate 139.
For more informations about Indian dignitary see : Sorabji Jehangir, the Princes and Chiefs of India, Vol. 3, p.71