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Case Auctions
Live Auction

2022 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 9, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 39

Rare Swiss Automaton Pocket Watch, Attr. to Pierre-Simon Gounouilhou

Estimate: $20,000 - $24,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Swiss double open-face The (Dutch) Kitchen automaton pocket watch attributed to Pierre-Simon Gounouilhou (France/Switzerland, 1779-1847). 18K gold surround and stem, enamels, brass, and steel with back automaton interior kitchen scene, with five (5) actions made of multi-color gold bas-relief engraved elements including a female maid moving a pestle inside a mortar, a dog turning a wheel and vertical spindle, upper left, connecting to a spit with a rotating chicken and a rotating foil within the fireplace simulating flames. Additional gold elements include a fireplace with pieces of meat hanging above and dog playing with a cat on the floor, next to a basket with vegetables, and a broom leaning against a chest. All on a polychrome enamel painted background depicting a beamed ceiling and a wall with shelves displaying various kitchen and fireplace accessories and a male figure emerging from a window to the left side of the scene. Front with a simple white enameled dial having hand-painted Arabic numbers, gold markers, outer minute ring, and separate apertures for the movement winding (between 4 & 5) and for the automaton (at 7). Reverse of the dial with blue enamel and numbered 6031. Brass and steel mechanism with cylinder escapement and rocking oscillator, keywind, and chain/fusee. Watch is double housed in a painted enameled case depicting a landscape scene with three men on a riverbank, one man using a mallet, foreground and a small sailboat in the river to the right with a fort like structure and house in the background. 60mm. Geneva, circa 1805 - 1820. Note: Pierre-Simon Gounouilhou (1779-1847) was born in France and moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 1799, becoming a maker of repeating and musical watches, automaton watches, and carriage clocks. He worked in partnership with Francois (q.v. Gounouilhou & Francois). Gounouilhou was one of the few watch and clock makers that produced automaton watches, along with Dubois & Fils (founded in Le Locle in 1785). The Patek Philippe Museum has a similar watch in their collection, inventory no. S-962. The Casa-Museu Medeiros E Almeida has a similar watch in their collection,>.



A couple of very minute (inconspicuous) chips to lower left side of dial. Old repaired fracture to the enamel around the 7 marker. Very slight wear to clock face crystal. The outer painted enameled case is missing the original glass and has losses around the perimeter and to the upper left side of the back, light overall cracklure. Automaton and watch are functional at time of inspection.