View full screen - View 1 of Lot 560. A FINE GOLD, PEARL AND POLYCHROME ENAMEL PAINTED DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1840, NO. 823 [黃金鑲珍珠彩繪琺瑯懷錶,為中國市場製造,年份約1840,編號823].
560

Bovet, Fleurier

A FINE GOLD, PEARL AND POLYCHROME ENAMEL PAINTED DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1840, NO. 823 [黃金鑲珍珠彩繪琺瑯懷錶,為中國市場製造,年份約1840,編號823]

Bovet, Fleurier

Bovet, Fleurier

A FINE GOLD, PEARL AND POLYCHROME ENAMEL PAINTED DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1840, NO. 823 [黃金鑲珍珠彩繪琺瑯懷錶,為中國市場製造,年份約1840,編號823]

A FINE GOLD, PEARL AND POLYCHROME ENAMEL PAINTED DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1840, NO. 823 [黃金鑲珍珠彩繪琺瑯懷錶,為中國市場製造,年份約1840,編號823]

Bovet, Fleurier


A FINE GOLD, PEARL AND POLYCHROME ENAMEL PAINTED DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET

CIRCA 1840, NO. 823 

 [黃金鑲珍珠彩繪琺瑯懷錶,為中國市場製造,年份約1840,編號823]


• Movement: gilded decoratively engraved Chinese calibre with scrolling flowers and foliage against a stippled ground, similarly decorated hanging barrel, skeletonised balance cock and central bridge, duplex escapement, bi-metallic compensation balance with timing screws and blued steel 'devils', ruby endstone, signed and numbered Bovet, Fleurier, no. 823

• Dial: white enamel, Roman numerals, blued steel hands and centre seconds, outer ring for minutes/seconds with Arabic quarter hour divisions

• Case: gold, the back with polychrome enamel painted bouquet of flowers, split-pearl-set bezels and bow, the band decorated with stylised foliage heightened with translucent red and amber enamel, pusher through pendant to open case back, glazed hinged cuvette with milled bezel, case numbered 823 to the bezel and the back of the main case panel, panel additionally numbered 6


diameter 48mm


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Movement: not running at time of cataloguing, however, with slight impulse given to the balance it will briefly run engaging the escapement and the centre seconds hand will move as expected. Quite possibly just old oil and would benefit from a clean and overhaul. Dial: inspected only through crystal at time of cataloguing but appears to be in good condition. The tip of the minute hand is broken. Case: enamel panel in good overall condition. The band with a few small chips and scratches. Approximately half a dozen of the pearls appear to have been drilled for stringing and have therefore presumably been replaced. Small pusher at the edge of the cuvette for opening the hinged cuvette, the release is a little stiff at present.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report 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. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. 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. Please be advised that wristbands 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Between 1807 and 1815, watchmaking in Fleurier suffered a significant slowdown in trade, caused in large part by the Continental Blockade and, as a consequence, many watchmakers were forced to change career. It was during this period, in 1814, that three Bovet brothers, all skilled watchmakers - Frédéric (b.1786), Alphonse (1788-1850) and Edouard (1797-1849) - left Fleurier to work in London. In 1818, Edouard was hired as a watchmaker by the Maison Magniac, a firm involved in the watch trade in Canton, China. Arriving in Canton in August 1818, Edouard quickly recognised the trade potential with China and contacted his brothers to discuss developing their interests in the region. The brothers began forming their company in January 1820, with Edouard working in Canton, Frédéric and Alphonse remaining in London and another brother, Gustave (1790-1835), engaged in Fleurier. On 1 May 1822, the Bovet company was officially registered in London, however, operations were soon to be headquartered back in their hometown of Fleurier where the brothers’ sister, Caroline (b.1807), would also later join the firm.


Maison Bovet’s successful introduction of a new style of watch, destined for China, quickly allowed the firm to secure a dominant position within this export market. As a consequence, Bovet transformed the fortunes of Fleurier, giving a new energy to the watchmaking trade and ushering in an era of prosperity for the town. From the outset, in addition to selling good quality watches, Edouard Bovet was determined to offer a range of exceptional and highly luxurious watches, decorated using the finest techniques and materials, that would be aimed at the wealthiest Chinese clientele. These watches would invariably incorporate a highly decorated movement with duplex escapement and a glazed cuvette above, through which the so-called Chinese calibre could be admired by its owner. Among the decorative scenes skilfully painted in enamel to the backs of cases, flower arrangements were a particularly popular theme.


In 1824, Edouard was joined in China by his brother Charles-Henri (b.1802) who, from 1830-1836 was the Maison Bovet’s main representative in China; he returned to Switzerland in 1839. Meanwhile, Edouard had returned to Fleurier and would go on to establish a further factory in Besancon with Charles Lorimier, the factory there producing Chinese market watches which were exported together with Bovets other products. The sons of the second eldest founding brother, Alphonse, would continue the Bovet firm – they were Frédéric known as Fritz (1824-1914), Alphonse 1828-1918), Gustave who was born in Chang-hai (1835-1906) and Charles (b.1838). They were joined by Louis (1818-1882), the son of Gustave the elder. Louis would travel to Canton in 1836 to work with his uncle Charles and was joined in 1838 by his childhood friend Auguste Jeanneret when Charles returned to Europe. In 1880 the firm changed its name to Bovet Frères. For a detailed history of the firm, see: A. Chapuis, La Montre Chinoise, 1919.