Swiss Enamel and Gold Telescope with Pocket Watch

  • Crafted of gold, pearls and enamel, this telescope is both a scientific and artistic treasure
  • The unique and highly ornate creation was made by Swiss firm Moulinié, Bautte & Co
  • The shaft is encased by extraordinary Swiss enamel and rows of pearls
  • The telescope boasts the detail found only in items made for someone of great wealth and power
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-6507

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A marriage of 19th-century Swiss scientific achievement and artistic mastery, this exceptionally rare pearl, gold and enamel telescope is an item of extraordinary luxury. An extending telescope, the front lens is set with a detachable pocket watch with an elegant white dial. The movement within is an exceedingly rare cylinder movement, possibly one of the earliest of its kind and dating to the previous century. The ornate objet d'art was crafted by famed Swiss clockmaking and bijouterie firm Moulinié, Bautte & Co. The craftsmen, particularly Jean-François Bautte, had excellent reputations for their artistry and salesmanship, and Bautte was selected to be introduced to the future Queen Victoria when she visited Geneva.

While the telescope is fascinating for its combination of astronomical and horological tools, its visual artistry cannot be understated. The enameling of a cylindrical object such as a telescope was an art mastered only by the finest artisans of the period, and the Swiss were foremost among them. On a ground of black enamel, enameled cartouches with still lives of fruits arise. One such vignette sets grapes, peaches and plums against a scarlet red background, encircled by architectural and Rococo foliate motifs. The style of enameling is an exquisite example of the rare taille d'épargne method, and the quality of the present application is unparalleled for the period. Crafted of pearl-set gold, the telescope boasts the detail found only in items made for someone of great wealth and power. Early personal telescopes are a rarity on the market, particularly those with such virtuosic enameling.

Marked "MB" and serial no. 4771

Circa 1810

20 1/8" length x 1 1/2" diameter

Ulrich Pietsch, Preziosen einer süddeutschen Kunstsammlung, Hirmer, Munich, 2001, p. 152
Swiss Enamel and Gold Telescope with Pocket Watch
Period: 19th Century
Origin: Switzerland
Type: Other
Depth: 1.5
Width: 1.5
Height: 20.13
Swiss Enamel and Gold Telescope with Pocket Watch
History of Enameling Techniques

Enameling is an ancient art requiring a remarkable level of artistry and skill. Involving tiny glass particles adhered with high heat onto metal, enamel is known for its unique luminosity and its range of techniques. Keep read...

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