Renaissance Revival Watch and Chatelaine by Boucheron

  • This 19th-century gold and silver octagonal watch was crafted by Alfred Menu for Boucheron
  • Crafted in the Renaissance Revival style, it is marked by precisely pierced gold in a foliate motif
  • The watch and a small seal hang from a silver and gold mounted leather strap known as a chatelaine
  • Menu's gold pieces were distinguished by their Renaissance-inspired designs and architectural motifs
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-4324

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This 19th-century gold and silver octagonal watch was crafted by Alfred Menu for the famed House of Boucheron. Exhibiting meticulously etched and pierced decoration in a classically inspired foliate motif with putti, it is a luxurious example of the Renaissance Revival style. The watch itself possesses a charming pink gilt dial with gold hands pointing to blue enamel Roman numerals and a red enamel sunburst at its center. 

The watch and a small seal hang from a silver and 18K gold mounted leather strap known as a chatelaine. The word comes from the French for “lady of the castle,” and they were originally chains attached to the waistband or belt from which one would carry each household key in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 19th century, they became fashionable among women of the upper classes as a means to carry items needed during their daily routines such as watches, sewing tools or vinaigrettes. 

Alfred Menu was an esteemed jeweler and skilled craftsman who began his career as an apprentice to Louis Benoist in 1840 before catching the attention of Boucheron who brought him on as a freelance jeweler to supply works for the firm’s retail spaces. By the time this watch was created circa 1883, Boucheron occupied four arcades in the fashionable Palais-Royal shopping district, and they had won the Gold Medal during the Exposition Universelle. Menu's superbly executed gold pieces with their Renaissance-inspired designs and architectural motifs were a natural fit for this luxury jewelry maison.

Circa 1883

Signed “Boucheron Paris, no. P 312 and 175”

7“ length
Watch: 31mm diameter

Literature:
Néret, Gilles, Boucheron: Four Generations of a World-Renowned Jeweler, Rizzoli, 1988, p. 39, ill. 67.
Neret, Gilles. Boucheron: The Jeweller of Time. Lausanne, Office du Livre, 1993, p. 21, ill. 17.
Renaissance Revival Watch and Chatelaine by Boucheron
Maker: Boucheron
Period: 19th Century
Origin: France
Type: Watches
Renaissance Revival Watch and Chatelaine by Boucheron
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