LES FRÈRES ROCHAT | NO 181, A VARI-COLOUR GOLD AND TURQUOISE SINGING BIRD BOX WITH QUARTER REPEATING WATCH, CIRCA 1820 | "NO181 多色黃金鑲綠松石鳥鳴盒子，備大三針及二問鐘錶，約1820年製"
PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT LADY
PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT LADY
LES FRÈRES ROCHAT
A VARI-COLOUR GOLD AND TURQUOISE SINGING BIRD BOX WITH QUARTER REPEATING WATCH, CIRCA 1820
Dial: enamel, bezel surrounded by turquoises and mounted on a rectangular panel with concealed hinge matched on the back for the key compartment
Calibre: cylinder escapement, key wound chain fusée with sliding cam stack to control the bellows and singing
Movement number: FR within an oval and numbered 181
Case: rectangular partly engine-turned and chased with vari-colour gold leafage set with turquoises, the bird concealed beneath an oval panel and rising from a bird-shaped reserve surrounded by a gold plate engraved with lattice work, the brightly feathered bird with swiveling body, flapping wings, moving head and beak, the front mounted with the watch with circular white enamel dial
Size: 84 mm length
Signed: case stamped and numbered
Accessories: fitted key
The movement is in working condition at the time of cataloguing. The quarter repeating is in phase and chimes with a nice tone and clarity. There is a small scratch to the dial to the right of the centre post. All turquoise are intact with minor abrasions and discolourations. The box itself is very crisp and in very nice condition. The bird is activating, singing a sweet tune and rotates on its axis flapping its wing and moving its head. It flaps its wing and moves its head. Please note the feather of the bird are bright and colourful and have been added later and have been painted.
Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of time and may need a service at the buyer's expense. Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts.
You are advised that watch straps or bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator or crocodile) are not sold with the watch and we reserve the right to remove these straps or bands prior to shipping. Furthermore, the watch may not come with its original manufacturers strap or band.
Prospective bidders should review the Conditions of Business, Authenticity Guarantee, the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and any Important Notice in the sale catalogue.
"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."
The mechanical singing bird is one of the most captivating of all automata. Frères Rochat were world renowned for their exceptional quality, realistic bodily movements and the tones of their songs. The firm worked with the finest case makers who housed their automata in exquisite gold boxes, richly adorned with decorative panels and sometimes embellished with enamel, pearls or other precious metals.
The present box has been retained in exceptional condition and what further highlights its rarity is the quarter repeating watch seldom seen on singing bird boxes. In addition to the quality, the present lot was purchased at Sotheby's in New York in the groundbreaking Masterpieces from the Time Museum auction and the box has remained in the same private collection ever since.