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Rare Knife Grinder Automaton Pocket Watch

A10240
Price : £23,750.00
Circa 1790
Diameter   56 mm         



A rare late 19th Century Swiss quarter repeating verge knife grinder automaton in a gold open face case.  Full plate gilt fusee movement.  Finely pierced and engraved bridge cock with steel coqueret, plain three arm gilt balance with blue steel spiral hairspring.  Silver regulator dial with polished steel indicator.  Push pendant quarter repeating on two steel gongs.  White enamel ring dial of Arabic numerals surrounding the central scene, blue steel Breguet hands.   Blue steel ground with finely chased and engraved parcel gilt scene depicting two cupids on a brick bridge.   As the watch strikes the hours and quarters the arms of the figures move as though striking the bells between them.  In the arch of the bridge are two figures shown sharpening knives.  When the repeat is operated the figure on the left lowers the knife to the grinding wheel which rotates, apparently belt driven by a large wheel turned by the boy on the right.  When the watch has finished repeating the man lifts the knife from the wheel, ready for the next time.  Fine engine turned 18 carat open face case, sprung signed gilt cuvette inset with chased and engraved parcel gilt repousse plate of Apollo playing his lyre.


Signed       Jaquet Droz

A rare variation of an automaton watch in excellent overall condition.  Pierre Jaquet-Droz, 17211790 and his son Henri-Louis 1752-1791 are most famous for animated dolls.  Three complex examples known as the Jaquet-Droz automata, are in the Mus