On The Square

Rare Swiss Automaton Pocket Watch To Be Auctioned at Case Antiques

By Bidsquare

Jun 28,2022 | 09:00 EDT

On July 9-10, Case Antiques will host their, Summer Fine Art and Antique Auction - Day 1 & 2, featuring 1200+ items from Southern estates and collections. Included in the sizable auction, on Day 1, is what many would consider to be the very definition of a marvel.


Lot 39, The (Dutch) Kitchen Automaton Pocket Watch Attributed to Pierre-Simon Gounouilhou (France/Switzerland, 1779-1847) Coming up at Case Antiques, July 9. 2022

Attributed to Pierre-Simon Gounouilhou (France/Switzerland, 1779-1847), Lot 39, a rare Swiss double, open-face automaton pocket watch, depicts a highly detailed Dutch kitchen - the degree to which recaptures ones imagination and concept of a moment in time. Online bidding will be available live online via Bidsquare.

The auction catalog further describes the timepiece: 

- 18K gold surround and stem, enamels, brass, and steel with back automaton interior kitchen scene, with five (5) actions made of multi-color gold bas-relief engraved elements including a female maid moving a pestle inside a mortar, a dog turning a wheel and vertical spindle, upper left, connecting to a spit with a rotating chicken and a rotating foil within the fireplace simulating flames.

- Additional gold elements include a fireplace with pieces of meat hanging above and dog playing with a cat on the floor, next to a basket with vegetables, and a broom leaning against a chest. All on a polychrome enamel painted background depicting a beamed ceiling and a wall with shelves displaying various kitchen and fireplace accessories and a male figure emerging from a window to the left side of the scene.

- Front with a simple white enameled dial having hand-painted Arabic numbers, gold markers, outer minute ring, and separate apertures for the movement winding (between 4 & 5) and for the automaton (at 7).

- Reverse of the dial with blue enamel and numbered 6031. Brass and steel mechanism with cylinder escapement and rocking oscillator, keywind, and chain/fusee. Watch is double housed in a painted enameled case depicting a landscape scene with three men on a riverbank, one man using a mallet, foreground and a small sailboat in the river to the right with a fort like structure and house in the background. 60mm. Geneva, circa 1805 - 1820.

- Note: Pierre-Simon Gounouilhou (1779-1847) was born in France and moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 1799, becoming a maker of repeating and musical watches, automaton watches, and carriage clocks. He worked in partnership with Francois (q.v. Gounouilhou & Francois). Gounouilhou was one of the few watch and clock makers that produced automaton watches, along with Dubois & Fils (founded in Le Locle in 1785). The Patek Philippe Museum has a similar watch in their collection, inventory no. S-962. The Casa-Museu Medeiros E Almeida has a similar watch in their collection as well. 

Learn more and register to bid live online in the upcoming auction on Bidsquare.


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