Lot 7
  • 7

A GOLD, ROCK CRYSTAL, ENAMEL, MOTHER OF PEARL AND BLACK ONYX PORTICO TIMEPIECE, VACHERON & CONSTANTIN AND VERGER FRERES, RETAILED BY LINZELER & MARCHAK, CIRCA 1926 |

Estimate
280,000 - 400,000 GBP
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Description

  • 19 cm. high
in the form of a Chinese temple portico, the octagonal mother of pearl dial inlaid in hardstones with dragons and flaming pearls amidst billowing clouds, the bezel with diamond-set numerals, the Vacheron & Constantin 8-day movement with 17 jewels and lever escapement with cut bi-metallic balance, the portico case with hardstone and enamel cresting inlaid with flowers and supported on rock crystal pillars, the stepped plinth similarly inlaid and decorated, the movement signed Vacheron & Constantin, the case with Verger Freres lozenge and French assay stamps, signed Linzeler & Marchak and numbered 9399

Provenance

Antiquorum, Geneva, 12th April 1987, Lot 160

Condition

Flawless dial. Movement No.386588 is complete but not running as it requires a clean and fresh oil. Case in generally good condition throughout, some minor surface scratches to the case back, portico in good condition, some restoration to red enamel latice brackets, otherwise very good.
"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

The watchmaking firm of Vacheron & Constantin was established in 1819 by a partnership between the firm of Vacheron, founded in Geneva in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron, and Francois Constantin. Renowned for the high quality of its watches and their movements, Vacheron & Constantin marketed their products throughout the world with the motto 'Do better if possible and that is always possible' and have an unbroken line of manufacture from 1755 to the present day. Ferdinand Verger (1851-1928), was apprenticed at the age of eleven at the Parisian watchmaking firm of L├ępine and just ten years later he established himself as a jeweller and watchmaker. He must have made quite an impression because in 1875 he became the Paris agent for Vacheron & Constantin, an association that was to last for sixty years. Verger assembled a group of exceptional in-house craftsmen who created cases and dials for Vacheron & Constantin movements using the finest hardstones, gemstones and precious metals. In 1911 he took into partnership his two sons and the firm became Verger Freres, their maker's mark changing from F.V. to V.F. at the same time. Their business went from strength to strength and, embracing the age of Art Deco, by the 1920s they were supplying major jewellery houses and retailers worldwide with their own designs.

Linzeler & Marchak was formed in 1922 as a short-lived partnership between Parisian jeweller Robert Linzeler and Russian jeweller Joseph Marchak. Working from their gallery at 4 rue de la Paix in Paris, they became famous for their fine Art Deco jewellery and desk clocks. In just three years they produced and sold some of the most outstanding pieces of the Art Deco age. Following the Paris Exhibition of 1925 the partnership was disolved but the business continued using the name Linezler & Marschak under the ownership of Joseph Marschak until 1927. The present timepiece, dating from 1926 was supplied by Verger Freres to be retailed by Joseph Marchak.

This jewel-like timepiece is one of the finest examples of the collaboration between Vacheron & Constantin and Verger Freres.  The symmetry of the case combined with the use of hardstones perfectly frames the inlaid dial with its diamond-set numerals. The Art Deco Chinese theme of the case was the height of fashion in Paris in the 1920s and is just as chic today. Almost certainly unique, this timepiece crosses the many boundaries of horology, design, jewellery and craftsmanship.