A1228

Rare Napoleonic Automaton Verge

£4,300.00

Signed  G Masterman London
Circa   1796
A rare late 18th Century verge automaton depicting the battle of Arcola in silver pair cases.
Diameter   59 mm         

1 in stock

Description

A rare late 18th Century verge automaton depicting the battle of Arcola in silver pair cases.  Full plate gilt fusee movement.  Finely pierced and engraved bridge cock with large diamond endstone, plain three arm gilt balance with blue steel spiral hairspring.  Silver regulator dial with blue steel indicator.  White enamel dial, small subsidiary of  Arabic numerals, later blue steel hands. The lower half of the dial in polychrome enamel depicting the battle of Arcola.  Napoleon on the left bearing a flag, riding a black horse onto the bridge followed by his troops.  On the right Croatian and Austrian forces firing cannon.  In the centre of the bridge a semi-circular opening reveals a rotating disc painted with soldiers, cannon and mounted horsemen appearing to march across as the watch runs.  Above the scene the text “Bataille bei Arcola gewonnen von Bonaparte – d16ten Novbr 1795”.  Well fitted in contemporary English pair cases.

Although signed London the movement is probably French.  It is unusual to find scenes on watches depicting precise historical events.  The battle took place in Italy during November 1795.  On the 16th, frustrated at the inability of his forces to take Arcole, Napoleon is said to have seized a tricolour and led Augereau's forces forward for a new and ultimately successful assault on the bridge of Arcole over the Alpone River