Lot n° 168
12 000 - 18 000 EUR
Result with fees
56 672 EUR
ILBERY, London - Fin du XVIIIe siècle
Enamelled gold watch made for the Chinese market with double half-pearl surround. Hinged case with a double-sided half-pearl surround and a polychrome enamel medallion depicting a mountain scene with a lake, the bélière and the interior poly-lobed. Dial in white enamel with Roman numerals, railroad minute track and central second hand, the bowl chiselled with foliated motifs. Fully chiselled and engraved "Chinese caliber" movement with suspended barrel, duplex escapement, three-armed balance spring with counterweight, rubies on the balance shaft with adjusting racket, plate signed "Ilbery, London 7176".
Diam. 60 mm
Weight. 155.5 g
Williem Ilbery (1760-1839) is the most recognized of all watch manufacturers for the Chinese market. For many of his enamelled watches he used finely engraved movements incorporating duplex escapements and outer cases set with pearls. The polychrome enamel scene reminds us of the work of Geneva enameller Jean-Louis Richter, considered one of the greatest talents of his early 19th century era.
Active in London from 1780 in Goswell Street, he moved to Duncan Terrace towards the end of the 18th century. After James Cox in London and Jaquet Droz in Switzerland, he also specialized in the production of luxury watches for the Chinese market. The cases of his watches were sumptuously decorated by the best Geneva enamellers, such as Jean-François-Victor Dupont, who usually signed his work, and Jean-Louis Richter, who rarely signed. He organized the production in Switzerland, mainly in Fleurier, of richly engraved movements for the Asian market.
Ilbery's name is still present in the largest collections of antique watches sold at auction, such as the Time Museum's collection at Sotheby's in New York in 1999 and Lord Sandberg's collection in Geneva in 2001. A complete section is dedicated to the watches signed by this watchmaker in the Patek Philippe Museum book, Volume III, The Emergence of the Portable Watch, pp. 425-448.
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