Browse the Timepieces Collection
26 of 324
Jean Thorelet, forger
Elongated octagonal gilt-brass and enamel cased verge watch
Spurious signature on the back plate: Jean Thorelet Rouen, c. 1630 (case)
case; gilt-brass, coloured cloisonné enamel (en résille) with foliate gold foils dial; silver; engraved, brass, blued-steel
case 54.15 mm length case 34.1 mm width case 21.2 mm thickness movement 29.2 mm length movement 23.2 mm width movement 6.15 mm pillar height
Case: Elongated octagonal gilt-brass and enamel case with hinged lid and back. The gilt-brass frame holds panels of en-resille-sur-verre enamel in which foliate gold foils, enamelled in colours are inlaid into a blue glass ground. There are gilt-brass bridges at the top and bottom for the pendant and finial, and a bridge at each side for strengthening. Dial: Silver octagonal dial engraved with Leda and the Swan at the top and with putti at the bottom, one with bow, the other with an urn pouring water and emblems of love. The engraved chapter-ring has hours I-XII, star-shaped half-hour marks around an inner circle with dots at the hours. The area within the chapter-ring is engraved with foliate scrolls and two squirrels. This dial is rivetted to a brass dial-plate. Blued-steel hand. Movement: The movement is a modern fabrication with a spurious signature on the back plate: Jean Thorelet Rouen Notes: The case of this watch, executed in en-resille-sur-verre enamel is one of a small number of examples which have been the subject of debate for some years. It now seems very likely that it belongs to the group of cases which are questionable as genuine. The silver dial appears to be of 17th-century date but is incongruous with the gilt-brass rims of the case. It is married to the case and movement using a crudely made brass dial-plate. The movement is of 19th- or early 20th -century date and very likely to be a copy of a similar en-resille-sur-verre watch in the Olivier collection in the Louvre, Paris which contains a genuine movement by Jean Thorelet of Rouen.
Christie's, 20 June 1939, lot 101
Bequeathed by J. Francis Mallett, 1947.