34
34
William Allam, London
A FINE GOLD AND ENAMEL SINGLE CASED QUARTER REPEATING RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH ENAMEL SCENE BY AUGUSTIN TOUSSAINT CIRCA 1775, NO. 1451
Estimate
30,00060,000
JUMP TO LOT
34
William Allam, London
A FINE GOLD AND ENAMEL SINGLE CASED QUARTER REPEATING RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH ENAMEL SCENE BY AUGUSTIN TOUSSAINT CIRCA 1775, NO. 1451
Estimate
30,00060,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Celebration of the English Watch Part IV, George Daniels 20th Century Innovator

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London

William Allam, London
A FINE GOLD AND ENAMEL SINGLE CASED QUARTER REPEATING RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH ENAMEL SCENE BY AUGUSTIN TOUSSAINT CIRCA 1775, NO. 1451
Movement: gilded full plate, ruby cylinder escapement with brass wheel, decoratively pierced balance cock engraved with foliage, a mask at the neck, diamond endstone, fusee and chain, cylindrical pillars, two polished steel hammers repeating on blocks to the inside case back, signed and numbered Wm. Allam, London, 1451, signed gilt-metal dust cap
Dial: white enamel, Roman numerals, outer Arabic minute ring, gold beetle and poker hands, winding aperture below 12 o'clock
Case: gold and enamel, the back centred with enamel plaque painted en grisaille depicting a woman making a sacrifice at an altar and signed AT for Augustin Toussaint, framed by blue basse-taille and white champlevé enamel, surrounded by gold foliate scrolls on a green basse-taille ground, shells and ovals at the quarters, both bezels decorated with blue and white enamel, diamond-set push piece, case maker's mark PM incuse for Peter Mounier
diameter 46mm
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Provenance

Sotheby's London, Chester Beatty Collection, June 1963, lot 246

Literature

Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, p. 251, pl. 157

Catalogue Note

Augustin Toussaint was apprenticed to George Michael Moser. Moser was paid an astonishing £210 in 1768 for the apprenticeship [see Edgcumbe, Art of the Gold Chaser, p. 147] – this compares to what appears to have been a standard apprenticeship fee for chasers during the period of between £5 and £10 [see: R. Campbell, The London Tradesman, 1747, p. 333]. The enormous fee not only demonstrates Moser’s exceptional reputation, but also the wealth of Toussaint’s father, a jeweller. By the period of Toussaint’s apprenticeship, enamelling work appeared to have the most lucrative future and it is perhaps for that reason that Toussaint’s career concentrated on enamel work rather than chasing.   

The same scene as that on the present watch can be found on the chatelaine hook of a watch by Josiah Emery, No. 660, the case of which is hallmarked London 1774, and which also has an en grisaille scene of a neo-classical figure, both this and the scene to the hook are signed 'AT' for Augustin Toussaint. Emery no. 660 may be found in the Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva and the watch and chatelaine are illustrated in: Peter Friess, Patek Philippe Museum, The Emergence of the Portable Watch, Vol. IV,  2015, pp.490-491.

In Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World [21st century edition, 2006, p.11], Brian Loomes notes that William Allam was based in London’s Bond Street and was a Freeman of the Clockmakers’ Company between 1743 and 1785. For a watch numbered 1416, that has a similar movement by Allam with ruby cylinder and a case also by Peter Mounier, see: Antiquarian Horology, No. 3, Vol. 29, March 2006, p. 340.

The Celebration of the English Watch Part IV, George Daniels 20th Century Innovator

|
London