An early French ‘oignon’ verge, with single handed movement, wonderful silver and enamel dial, and painted enamel cover to the balance bridge.
MOVEMENT : Gilt verge movement, with a large balance bridge. This is covered with a painted enamel plaque, showing a girl and a boy in a Pierrot costume. Small, early style silver regulator disk.
Signed “SOLLIET A PARIS”.
The movement is wound through the dial from the centre square (anticlockwise). There is no central wheel as with a two handed watch.
Running well and in very good condition. However there are a few small rubbed areas on the enamel, and a small chip on the edge at 10.
DIAL : A wonderful silver and enamel dial, with black and white raised cartouche numerals set into a beautifully engraved silver background, the centre with birds and foliage.
In excellent condition, throughout.
The steel hand is of the correct style for the period, and may be a replacement.
CASE : A fine silver case, plain except for the concentric circles engraved on the back. Good large square hinge. The stem and bow appear to be original.
In excellent condition throughout. The hinge is fine and the bezel snaps shut correctly. Good high dome, bull’s eye crystal in perfect condition.
I believe that Solliet was probably a Huguenot watchmaker, originally from Switzerland.
The subject on the enamel is reminiscent of the painting entitled “Pierrot or Gilles”, by Jean Antoine Watteau, which was painted in 1718 (see photo).
PROVENANCE : From the collection of the late William Hughes (1922-2017), Bowral, Australia.
Philanthropist and entrepreneur, William Hughes frequently travelled to Europe and the United States of America. Fascinated by their design and movement, Hughes became a collector of pocket watches later in his life, often collecting pieces during his extensive travels.