An early and important veri-gold and enamel musical vinagrette, Swiss, stamped C&J, in the manner of Henri Capt, circa 1812,
Lot 5
An early and important veri-gold and enamel musical vinaigrette, Swiss, stamped C&J, in the manner of Henri Capt, circa 1812,
Sold for US$ 15,860 inc. premium
Lot Details
An early and important veri-gold and enamel musical vinaigrette,
Swiss, stamped C&J, in the manner of Henri Capt, circa 1812,
with petit barillet movement with integral spring motor, stack of six blued hooked teeth on brass bedplate, in finely tooled case, the lid with oval painted enamel study of a resting Brecknock Hill Cheviot lamb, with leaves and tress in the background, baulle tooled border, surmount with tooled radial beams to frame, stylised flowerheads and triangular petit-point ground repeated frieze edge in highlighted Florentine gold, rounded corners above diamond-form shields, angular quatrefoil band, main ground to all sides and underside of linier tooling, start/stop slide to front center, male winding spindle to underside, the lid opening to reveal pierced and tooled grille of an urn sur-le-stande, flanked by asymmetric scrolls and leaves, hinged to the right for access to a fragment of the original sponge, in fitted red leather travelling case with shaped hook-and-eye fastening - 1 5/32 wide, 3/4 x 15/32

Footnotes

  • From the large mechanical music pieces in this sale which would struggle to fit in some residences, we present here a piece which would fit through a buttonhole.
    By the early 19th Century, Swiss watchmakers had developed skills to such a degree, the manufacturing of useful items such as this vinaigrette no longer contained simply a sponge. In the tiny recess under the main compartment, here resides a movement which shows just how good these makers really were.
    With this tiny musical wonder, they have triumphed by creating a highly functional object which is musical.

    Upper classes of society had boxes like these which contained a scent in the form of a soaked sponge under a pierced grille, accessed when the lid is opened. Placed close to the nose if walking past someone or something which emanated a bad smell, the tiny sponge inside would have been soaked in perfume or scented vinegar.

    Rarely marked, these miniature vertu pieces are extremely sought-after today for their quality and beauty. To provide viewers with a technical insight for a moment, all tooling was done by hand and the work lit by candlelight almost 200 years ago.
    Under close inspection, one would question the possibility of someone today recreating this quality under similar conditions.

    It is important to note that due to the superb condition of this very rare piece, it was decided that the removal of the case and chassis screws for the purposes of photographing the movement was too risky. Notice how the case screws are unmarked and un-burred, an unusual sight because of its age. An archive shot of the movement is available upon request and this lot is also seen on the on-line version of this catalogue.
Auction information

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