A very rare mid 17th century French verge watch, with wonderful enamel.
MOVEMENT : Signed gilt and blued steel verge movement, the top plate with engraved and pierced balance cock, and beautifully made steel mainspring set up. Four baluster pillars. Blued steel balance wheel, with two spokes (no balance spring on movements of this age).
Signed “Estienne Bouvier A Lyon”.
The single hand is driven from the fusee wheel via a gut line from the mainspring.
The movement is wound from the top plate, and the mainspring set up is by a steel square and ratchet on the top plate.
All in good condition, and running well
DIAL : Engraved silver dial, with central pastoral scene (St. Christopher ?) and silver chapter ring (with half hour markers) set into a gilt dial plate. Steel hand.
Again in good condition.
CASE : Engraved silver case, with enamel panel set into the back. Original stem and silver bow.
The band is engraved with figures, birds and foliate. These illustrate tales from Greek mythology including Leda with the Swan and Artemis with the deer.
The enamel on the outside of the back shows Atalante and Meleager with the boar’s head.
The inner painting is of Venus and Adonis.
The silver is in excellent condition. The hinge is fine and the bezel closes correctly. There is some light wear to the centre of the high dome crystal.
The enamel on the back is complete, with no repairs, but shows even wear so is not as bright as the inner.
The inner is a beautiful painting, in good condition. Just a few very small chips around the edge.
Estienne Bouvier is listed in Lyon between 1642 and 1689.
The enamel has been attributed to Jean Pierre Huaud of Geneva. If so, then the enamel must have beed added slightly later. The watch is from no later than 1670, and Huaud lived from 1655 until 1723.