Lot 5
  • 5


30,000 - 50,000 CHF
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  • length 36mm, height 36mm
• Movement: gilded oval full plate, verge escapement, decoratively pierced and floral engraved screwed-on balance cock, lacking pinion and wheel connected to fusee, wheel and click set-up lacking click spring, fusee lacking gut line, vase shaped pillars, signed J. Sermand • Dial: silver, engraved with a townscape to the centre, applied gilded chapter ring engraved with Roman numerals and heart-shaped half hour divisions, outer silver border engraved with flowers and foliage, a cherub above 12 o'clock, single turned blued steel hand lacking tail• Case: silver in the form of a stylised dolphin, the tail forming a suspension loop, almandine-set eyes, the underside of the dolphin engraved with scales and fins and hinged to reveal the dial   


Movement: Not running, the balance is broken, lacking pinion and wheel connected to fusee, one blank hole to the edge of the backplate to the left of the signature where the fusee gate is missing, the end of the balance cock is broken and one side of the cock is missing. Two blank holes where the mount for the blued steel click spring is missing. Gut line missing. Light scuffs and scratches to the backplate. Dial: Decoration to dial remains clear. One flare to the right side of the tip of the hand is lacking. Case: The dolphin case is in attractive condition and remains well defined with some light rubbing, some small surface splitting along the thin edge of the tail.The cover closes securely.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

Catalogue Note

Watches in the form of animals appear to have been fashionable in the middle of the 17th century. From surviving examples, it would seem that these 'form' watches were often produced in Geneva although, ironically, the strict Sumptuary Ordinances and Laws concerning Clothing, Furnishings and Other Excesses of Similar Kind would have forbidden the wearing of such ornate watches within the Calvinist city of Geneva itself. In his book, Watches in the Ashmolean Museum (2007, pp.24-25), David Thompson notes a small number of silver animal-form watches dating to the mid-17th century including: a lion with movement by the Geneva maker Jean Baptiste Duboule, a rabbit with movement by Pierre Duhamel, a dog with movement by Jacques Jolly and a swan with movement by Henry Ester. Two very similar dolphin-form watches, one by Jean-Baptiste Duboule and one by Jean-Henry Ester may be found at the Patek Philippe Museum (inv. S-248 & S-326, see: P. Friess, Patek Philippe Museum, Vol. III, 2015, p.66).

An F. Sermand is listed as active in c.1640 by Brian Loomes in Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, 21st Century Edition, 2006, p.700.