BLONNAY | A GOLD AND ENAMEL VERGE WATCH WITH PRESENTATION PLAQUE TO THE MOVEMENT ENGRAVED 'À LA BARONNE D'ARBERG FIDÈLE LECTRICE DE S M L'IMPÉRATRICE JOSEPHINE, NOTRE MÈRE REGRETTÉE QUI RENDIT SON AME A DIEU LE 29 MAI, JOUR DE PENTECÔTE 1814 LA MALMAISON L'AN 1814, HORTENSE-EUGENE' CIRCA 1814
10,000 - 15,000 GBP
10,000 - 15,000 GBP
A GOLD AND ENAMEL VERGE WATCH WITH PRESENTATION PLAQUE TO THE MOVEMENT ENGRAVED 'À LA BARONNE D'ARBERG FIDÈLE LECTRICE DE S M L'IMPÉRATRICE JOSEPHINE, NOTRE MÈRE REGRETTÉE QUI RENDIT SON AME A DIEU LE 29 MAI, JOUR DE PENTECÔTE 1814 LA MALMAISON L'AN 1814, HORTENSE-EUGENE'
gilded full plate movement, verge escapement, three-arm balance, pierced and engraved balance bridge, silver regulation plate, fusee and chain, engraved inscription to applied polished plaque, signed Blonnay, white enamel dial, Arabic numerals, outer minute ring with Arabic quarter hours, signed Blonnay, gold case, oval polychrome enamel scene to the back depicting Helen of Troy bidding farewell to Prince Paris as he goes to fight Menelaus, outer gilt metal glazed cover, accompanied by an associated gold and enamel chatelaine with four pendants terminating in a key, a blank seal and two decorative tassels
Movement: running at the time of cataloguing.
Dial: in good condition
Case: the back scene with soft enamel restoration overall
Associated chatelaine: soft enamel restoration,
The presentation plaque in excellent condition, and ultimately this is the underscores the importance of the watch
"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."
The engraved presentation inscription to the cuvette translates as: "The Baroness D'Arberg faithful reader to her majesty Empress Joséphine, our missed mother who handed her soul back to God on May 29, 1814, day of Pentecost la Malmaison 1814, Hortense - Eugene." The inscription suggests that the watch may have been given as a present by Josephine's two children Eugène (1781-1824) and Hortense (1783-1837) to the Baroness d'Arberg, a confidant and friend of the Empress. The Château de Malmaison was the residence of the Empress Joséphine. Josephine's two children were from her first marriage to Alexandre de Beauharnais who was executed during the Reign of Terror in 1794. Eugène was an aide de camp to Napoleon Bonaparte, later becoming Viceroy of Italy whilst Hortense became the Queen consort of Holland through her marriage to Napoleon's younger brother, Louis Bonaparte, the King of Holland.
Blonnay is listed by Brian Loomes in Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, 21st Century Edition, as active in Paris, c.1800.