127
127
Swiss/German
A MAGNIFICENT GOLD, TURQUOISE ENAMEL AND DIAMOND- AND RUBY-SET HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER PRESENTATION WATCH MADE FOR KING LUDWIG II OF BAVARIA WITH MATCHING CHAIN CIRCA 1880
JUMP TO LOT
127
Swiss/German
A MAGNIFICENT GOLD, TURQUOISE ENAMEL AND DIAMOND- AND RUBY-SET HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER PRESENTATION WATCH MADE FOR KING LUDWIG II OF BAVARIA WITH MATCHING CHAIN CIRCA 1880
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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

|
Geneva

Swiss/German
A MAGNIFICENT GOLD, TURQUOISE ENAMEL AND DIAMOND- AND RUBY-SET HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER PRESENTATION WATCH MADE FOR KING LUDWIG II OF BAVARIA WITH MATCHING CHAIN CIRCA 1880
Movement: gilded, lever escapement, jewelled to the centre, bi-metallic compensation balance, regulation calibrated to the central bridge, plain polished gold cuvette, movement unsigned
Dial: white enamel, Roman numerals, outer minute ring, gilt filigree hands, subsidiary seconds
Case: 18ct gold, the cover with diamond-set monogram of two intertwined letters 'L' beneath a diamond-set crown, all against an opaque turquoise enamel ground, ruby-set border, the back with an applied diamond-set horse's head with ruby-set harness and eye, similarly set against an opaque turquoise enamel border with ruby-set border, the elaborate pendant with ruby and diamond setting, crown chased and engraved with oak leaves and acorns, the bow chased and engraved in the form of interlocking branches, lever for hand-setting beneath bezel at 4 o'clock
Chain: matching gold chain composed of linked gold knots interspersed with diamond- and turquoise-set ovals, terminating to one side with a pendant clip, to the other with a diamond- and sapphire-set crown from which emanate a diamond- and turquoise-set t-bar and a blank fob seal in the form of a rearing horse with cabochon turquoise to the base
diameter 53mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sotheby's New York, 22 June 1998, lot 289
Christie's Geneva, 14 May 2007, lot 54

Catalogue Note

King Ludwig II was a notable patron of the arts during his reign, and the present lot is an excellent example of opulent watches he commissioned as gifts for friends and family.  The front cover is set with his Royal monogram beneath a rose-cut diamond crown. The reverse is set with a  diamond and ruby-set profile of a horse's head. Both designs are set against a Bavarian blue background. The chain also contains four barrel links set with diamonds and turquoise to represent the Bavarian coat of arms. This pattern also appears in another watch commissioned by Ludwig sold at Sotheby's in the Masterworks of Time Part I: George Daniels, Visionary auction on 2nd July 2019 (lot 117). The chain terminates with a small figure of a horse. Ludwig was famously close to his equerry, and horse imagery adorns several of the presentation watches he commissioned.

Ludwig of Bavaria succeeded his father, King Maximilian II, in 1864.  As a ruler he became a devoted patron of the arts, and sponsored the work of the composer Richard Wagner. While Ludwig did not have much political success, he thrived in the artistic and cultural fields. Deeply interested in mythological history and convinced of his divine right to rule, he built the famous Neuschwanstein Castle and Schloss Linderhof. He gradually withdrew himself from state affairs in favour of focusing his attention and money on extravagant artistic and architectural projects. His passion projects ultimately plunged him into 14 million marks of debt. This led to a plot in 1886 by the government to depose him as king on account of mental illness. He was removed from the throne and sent to Berg Castle. A day later, he was found drowned in the Lake of Starnberg.

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

|
Geneva