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Details & Cataloguing

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

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Geneva

Swiss
A RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL GOLD AND ENAMEL QUARTER REPEATING MUSICAL AUTOMATA WATCH WITH ADDITIONAL CONCEALED EROTIC AUTOMATON CIRCA 1820
Movement: gilded, full plate, cylinder escapement, plain balance, repeating on coiled gongs
Dial: polychrome enamel painted scene depicting a lake and waterfall within a wooded landscape, decoratively engraved subsidiary gold time dial with engraved decoration, Arabic numerals, outer minute ring, the foreground with applied vari-colour gold chased and engraved panel of trees and plants and the figures of a young man and lady playing a lute and a harp, their arms moving and 'strumming' their instruments in time with the music, on depression of the pusher to the case band, a dove appears and moves to repeatedly touch its beak to the beak of the static dove at the left side of the scene whilst the music is playing, apertures for music and going trains, plunge pendant repeat
Case: pink gold, sunburst engine-turned case back, a blank cartouche to the base, milled band, a pusher beneath 5 o'clock for activating the music/automata, cuvette with polychrome enamel painted monastic scene with an amorous couple in the background, the foreground with an automaton of a monk and a nun in flagrante delicto behind whom a female figure observes a skull, slide above 10 o'clock to lock the case back
diameter 59mm
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Catalogue Note

For a similar watch with closely related scenes, see Antiquorum Hong Kong, 22 June 2013, lot 156. This exquisite watch with concealed erotic automaton scene is a rare example, displaying an additional three automata to the dial. Not only do the two musicians' arms move, but one also finds a pair of billing doves - one dove moves towards the other and repeatedly touches the latter's beak. The interior erotic scene within a monastic setting is of high quality. Within the background the young female figure looking upon a skull behind the amorous couple alludes to the brevity of youth and the inevitability of death.

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

|
Geneva