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A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte
A VERY FINE PINK GOLD HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER WATCH WITH PROFESSOR GRAFF ENGRAVED DECORATION AND POLYCHOME ENAMEL PORTRAIT OF MINERVA WITH ORIGINAL BOX, NUMBERED CERTIFICATE, SPARE GLASSES AND SPRING CIRCA 1906 NO. 45762
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21
A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte
A VERY FINE PINK GOLD HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER WATCH WITH PROFESSOR GRAFF ENGRAVED DECORATION AND POLYCHOME ENAMEL PORTRAIT OF MINERVA WITH ORIGINAL BOX, NUMBERED CERTIFICATE, SPARE GLASSES AND SPRING CIRCA 1906 NO. 45762
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Details & Cataloguing

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

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Geneva

A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte
A VERY FINE PINK GOLD HUNTING CASED KEYLESS LEVER WATCH WITH PROFESSOR GRAFF ENGRAVED DECORATION AND POLYCHOME ENAMEL PORTRAIT OF MINERVA WITH ORIGINAL BOX, NUMBERED CERTIFICATE, SPARE GLASSES AND SPRING CIRCA 1906 NO. 45762
Movement: 1a quality, cal. 43 gilded ¾ plate, gold lever and escape wheel, jewels carried in screwed gold chatons, bi-metallic compensation balance, diamond endstone, swan-neck regulation, signed and numbered A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte b/ Dresden, 45762
Dial: white enamel, Arabic numerals, outer minute track, sunken centre, recessed subsidiary seconds, Louis XV style hands, signed A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte b/ Dresden
Case: 18ct gold, highly decorated Louis XV style, chased and engraved on both sides with decoration after Professor Graff, the front centred with a blank cartouche, the back centred with a polychrome enamel painted head of Minerva in profile, each of the central cartouches surrounded by baskets of fruit, a pair of doves above and a heart beneath, bezels and chased band engraved with flowers and foliage, the crown in the form of an urn and with ornate chased and engraved bow, plain polished gold cuvette, further glazed movement cover, case and cuvette signed A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, case back and cuvette numbered 45762, case front numbered 62
Accompaniments: A. Lange & Söhne fitted presentation box containing original numbered certificate, spare glasses and mainspring 

diameter 54mm
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Literature

Reinhard Meis, A. Lange & Söhne, The Watchmakers of Dresden Vol. II, 2012, Frontispiece and pp. 126-127 figs. 360-364
Kurt Herkner, Glashütte und Seiner Uhren, 1988, p. 141
Reinhard Meis, Klassikuhren “Glashütte Damals” pp. 12-31

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by a certificate of origin from the Deutsches Uhrenmuseum, Glashütte confirming the date of sale on 1st July 1906 to J.Diel, Kassel for 763.-M and "Prof. Graff" case design.

When Emil Lange assumed sole control of the firm after his brother Richard's retirement, he keenly promoted more decorative case styles.  At the same time, Germany was experiencing a period of heightened prosperity under Kaiser Wilhelm II and this led to a growing demand for more ornate timepieces.  The firm increased demand for their watches by creating lavishly decorated pieces, which turned a higher profit for the company. 
 
Professor Carl Ludwig Theodor Graff's (1844-1906) case designs, such as found on the present piece, were some of the most elaborate watches produced by the firm.  The Dresden school of applied arts produced, under the direction of Professor Graff, a great number of decorative designs for Lange, as well as other Glashütte firms. Graff served as the Firector of the Royal College of Arts and the Art Museum in Dresden.  The themes were mostly from Renaissance architecture or illustrated manuscripts. On the present watch, a central cartouche features a polychrome enamel painting of the head of Minerva wearing a feather cap and jewellery. The style of the headdress looks ahead to Art Deco design.  Meis further discusses Professor Graff and his cases in Watchmakers of Dresden Vol. II, 2012, pp. 122-127.

The firm produced a relatively small quantity of cases with enamel decoration after Professor Graff.  To the best of our knowledge, only six pieces have ever been offered at auction.

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

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Geneva