The present lot was given to Mr Paul Souvray in consideration of his exceptional and loyal service in the court of the Tsar of Russia, and it was gifted by the Tsar's son, Michel Isakoff, for whom the watch was customized. An original letter from 1913, written by Mr Souvray accompanies the present lot, a unique and exquisitely chased minute repeating hunting cased watch with independent seconds.
The letter attests to the many exceptional qualities of the timepiece. The award winning chronometer movement was especially ordered from Louis Audemars & Cie. Founded in 1811, Louis Audemars & Cie made high quality watch movements and precision complications ranging from repeaters to chronograph mechanisms. Their movements were arguably the finest available at the time and they were often sold unbranded to users all over Europe. It is interesting to note that that the cuvette of the present lot is signed and celebrates the firm.
The most striking feature of this timepiece is the chased case, the artistry of which took three years to complete by expert engravers from Russia. The fine texture to the case is derived from minuscule carving very much like scrolling foliate scrolls. One can imagine the immense effort involved in chasing an entire case with this delicate and whimsical pattern, only truly visible under close observation.