A fine musical snuff box, movement attributed to John Rich, enamel to Jean-Louis Richter
Lot 13
A fine late 18th/ early 19th century gold and enamelled musical snuff box, movement attributed to John Rich, the case with maker's mark incuse G pellet G, probably Guidon, Rémond and Gide, Geneva, circa 1792-1801,
Sold for £72,000 (US$ 121,019) inc. premium
Lot Details
A fine late 18th/ early 19th century gold and enamelled musical snuff box, movement attributed to John Rich,
the case with maker's mark incuse G pellet G, probably Guidon, Rémond and Gide, Geneva, circa 1792-1801,
the cover with an enamelled arcadian scene with two young lovers tending cattle by a lake with a hilltop village and bridge in the background, within a black and white geometric border with engraved scallop shells, the sides with dark blue guilloché enamel panels within scallop shell borders, separated by enamelled, engraved and pierced Caduceus panels, the hinged base with similar blue enamel, length 9cm.

Footnotes

  • John Rich was a maker of musical and automaton watches of exceptional quality. Arthur Ord-Hume suggests that John Rich moved from London to Geneva, he notes a John Rich active in London c1750-75 with a musical and automaton scent bottle and a John Rich in Geneva c1805 (The Musical Clock, Ashbourne, 1995). It is possible that the length of activity can be explained that it was two generations with the same name and skill, as suggested by Chapuis and Droz. There was considerable cooperation at the time between English and Genevan watchmakers. As early as 1785, Pierre-Jaquet Droz and his son had a shop in London and it states in their company records: “We caused the style to be engraved as though they were made in England... however it is my workshop that they were made,” p.60 Chapuis, “Geneva Watches and Enamels” (Geneva 1945).

    His movements are not always marked. However, we can compare the movement of the present lot to that of an exceptional gold and enamel scent bottle formerly in the Sandoz Collection which is signed, see plate IV and figs 217/218 in A. Chapuis and F Droz, “Les Automates” (Neuchatel 1949). Chapuis illustrates a further three similar movements which he attributes to an English maker in figs 125-7 in “Histoire de la Boite a Musique” (Lausanne 1955). The box illustrated in fig 125 appeared at Sotheby’s (June 2005) with the attribution of the case maker to Guidon, Remond, Gide.
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