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125
Uhrenfabrik Union Glashütte Bei Dresden
A VERY FINE AND RARE GOLD HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER WATCH WITH POLYCHROME ENAMEL PORTAIT OF KAISER WILHELM II BY JOHN GRAFF RETAILED BY GEBR. EPPNER, BERLIN, CIRCA 1900, NO. 44033
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125
Uhrenfabrik Union Glashütte Bei Dresden
A VERY FINE AND RARE GOLD HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER WATCH WITH POLYCHROME ENAMEL PORTAIT OF KAISER WILHELM II BY JOHN GRAFF RETAILED BY GEBR. EPPNER, BERLIN, CIRCA 1900, NO. 44033
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Details & Cataloguing

Masterworks of Time: Adolf Lange, The Golden Era of Glashütte

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Geneva

Uhrenfabrik Union Glashütte Bei Dresden
A VERY FINE AND RARE GOLD HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER WATCH WITH POLYCHROME ENAMEL PORTAIT OF KAISER WILHELM II BY JOHN GRAFF RETAILED BY GEBR. EPPNER, BERLIN, CIRCA 1900, NO. 44033
Movement: 1st quality, gilded ¾ plate, gold lever and escape wheel, bi-metallic compensation balance, swan-neck regulation, signed and numbered Glashütter Uhrenfabrik Union no.44033
Dial: white enamel with sunken centre, black Arabic numerals, outer minute track with red Arabic 5-minute markers, gold Louis XV style hands, recessed subsidiary seconds, signed by the retailer Gebr. Eppner, Berlin
Case: 18ct pink gold, the cover with polychrome enamel painted portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II signed J. Graff, the back with matt yellow metal finish, the case band heavily chased and engraved with scrolling flowers and foliage, slide for hand-set beneath bezel at 4 o'clock, plain matt yellow finished case back, bow decoratively chased and engraved with repeated geometric motif, glazed movement cover, plain polished gold cuvette, case covers and cuvette signed Uhrenfabrik Union Glashütte Bei Dresden, back and cuvette numbered 44033, front numbered 33  
diameter 57mm
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Provenance

Antiquorum Geneva, 14 November 2004, lot 71

Literature

Reinhard Meis, A. Lange & Söhne Watchmakers of Dresden Vol I, 2012, pp. 398-399, figs. 1130-1132

Catalogue Note

Kaiser Wilhelm II, who ruled from 1888 until his abdication in 1918, is perhaps best known as the last German Emperor and King of Prussia.  

Two significant events, both political and personal, occurred early in Wilhelm's life and would go on to have a significant influence for years to come. The political event was the formation of the German Empire under Prussia in 1871. As second in line to the throne under his father, Frederick III, this event led to a swell in nationalistic pride for Wilhelm, who was determined to "win a place in the sun" for Germany during his reign. Unfortunately, he had a sharp temper, which led to some damaging political decisions, such as firing the chancellor Otto von Bismarck. He also meddled negatively in foreign relations, and caused major financial strain on the government in an attempt to build a naval fleet to rival the British. By World War I, he became a shadow leader, having very little real power for himself, and abdicated shortly before the end of the war in 1918.

The main event happened at his birth. Due to a traumatic breech, Wilhelm was left with a withered left arm that remained some 6 inches shorter than his right arm. Thus, when depicted in Royal portraits, he became adept at hiding the disfigurement. While his arms are not visible on the present piece, one can notice how he sits at an angle presenting the right side of his body further forward, so he can more easily obscure the view of his left.

Masterworks of Time: Adolf Lange, The Golden Era of Glashütte

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Geneva