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Pocket Watch - Skeletonized Quarter Hour Repeater Complication with Automata. c1810

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Posted 21 days ago

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rniederman
(280 items)

I occasionally take a break from collecting early wood cameras and look for interesting items to compliment the collection. Period pieces matching the 1800s camera timelines are nice “go withs” that enhance the displays.

While at an antique show earlier in the year, this 19th century pocket watch caught my eye. It’s a rare timepiece because of several noteworthy features: a quarter hour repeater complication, skeletonized face with ornate carvings, and three automata.

The maker is unknown and the movement is housed in an open style gold case. Decoratively carved three-color metalwork appears throughout the watch including the base plate. The smaller centralized dial, with Breguet style hands, is flanked by a classically dressed woman (left) and man (right).

The lady’s automaton arm strikes hours, while the man and woman both chime the quarter hours. So where is the third automaton? It’s hidden beneath a pair of pivoting doors located at the 6 o’clock position. Underneath is ... well ... let’s just say an overly amorous couple.

The rear of the case has an engine-turned (guilloché) barleycorn pattern lid. Inside is a slow beating, verge escapement.

Comments

  1. officialfuel officialfuel, 21 days ago
    Just another awesome piece for your collection!!!

    Michael
  2. lzenglish lzenglish, 21 days ago
    "Just Beautiful" !!!!!!!!!
  3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 21 days ago
    A real beauty !
  4. Roycroftbooksfromme1 Roycroftbooksfromme1, 21 days ago
    Wow that's a sweet watch,... Rob...
  5. TassieDevil TassieDevil, 20 days ago
    So beautiful!!!! Love it :-)
  6. rniederman rniederman, 20 days ago
    Thanks, Michael!
  7. kyratango kyratango, 20 days ago
    Woahhh! That's a TREASURE! Congrats for having it in your collection :-D
  8. rniederman rniederman, 20 days ago
    Thanks, lzenglish!
  9. rniederman rniederman, 19 days ago
    Thanks!
    BB2
    Moonhill
  10. SEAN68 SEAN68, 19 days ago
    stunning Rob!!
  11. rniederman rniederman, 18 days ago
    Thanks!
    fortapache
    Roycroftbooksfromme1
  12. rniederman rniederman, 18 days ago
    Thanks!
    mtg75
    GeodeJem
    TassieDevil
    shawnicus
  13. rniederman rniederman, 17 days ago
    Thanks!
    Caperkid
    melaniej
  14. rniederman rniederman, 16 days ago
    Thanks!
    kyratango
    Longings
    shughs
    pw-collector
    mcheconi
    nutsabotas6
  15. rniederman rniederman, 14 days ago
    Thanks!
    AntigueToys
    sugargirl
    IVAN49
    egreeley1976
    Designer
    farmlady
  16. rniederman rniederman, 13 days ago
    Thanks!
    Phil
    Ben
    MacDaddyRico
    leighannrn
    chrissylovescats
  17. rniederman rniederman, 12 days ago
    Thanks!
    sanhardin
    snowman3
    Hunter
    Sean
  18. Celiene Celiene, 12 days ago
    Can you please take a video of the motions - including the amorous couple and post on YouTube? I'd LOVE to see it in action! Gorgeous! What makes the couple 'couple'? 12 o'Clock?
  19. Celiene Celiene, 12 days ago
    LOL - who knew?!?! They were quite popular apparently! Erotic Automaton Repeater watch. Google it!

    CHECK this one out - very similar. OMG - the price!!

    http://www.bogoff.com/pocket/6742.html
  20. Celiene Celiene, 12 days ago
    Here are some of the makers. From an auction at a Zurich auction.

    "Only a very few, highly skilled horologists crafted these items, most of which feature finely painted miniatures on enamel and varicolored gold ornaments."

    "<p>(L-R) A fine and very unusual silver pocket watch with a concealed painted on enamel erotic scene made circa 1810 by Girardier l'Aine, a fine, hunting-cased, keyless, quarter-repeating, 14K rose gold pocket watch with concealed erotic automaton made circa 1890 by Lugrin, a fine, gilt-metal and painted on enamel pocket watch with erotic scene and calendar "Lit d'Amour" made circa 1820 by Courtin are pictured during an auction preview in Geneva, March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-swiss-watches-erotic/swiss-auction-tempts-buyers-with-erotic-watches-idUKTRE72O3ZI20110325

  21. rniederman rniederman, 12 days ago
    Hi Celiene ... thanks for looking and the links. Before purchasing I did a bit of research. Erotic pocket watches are a known niche and quite interesting. The one shown on bogoff.com isn't as nice as mine but the style is nearly the same ... could even be the same maker but I don't know. The challenge is whether the watch is completely original (case and movement are put together at the same time) or if the movement was put into a later case (which is not uncommon). The automaton "coupling" (so to speak) goes into action when running the repeater. The amorous couple on mine is a different position ... think doggies. Here's a YouTube video by a Belgium collector showing chiming arms and couple "action." A very nice watch but not skeletonized. Anyhow, you get the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2BPtpj8F4Y
  22. rniederman rniederman, 11 days ago
    Thanks!
    Perry
    trukn20
    Tanni
    crswerner
  23. rniederman rniederman, 9 days ago
    Thanks!
    vetraio50
    Collectomaniac
    ttomtucker
    getthatmonkeyoutofme
  24. rniederman rniederman, 6 days ago
    Thanks!
    lisali1919
    Tanni
    Celiene
  25. rniederman rniederman, 5 days ago
    Thanks, antiquerose!
  26. rniederman rniederman, 3 days ago
    Thanks, Woman34!

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