Notebook with Watch

gold, translucent and painted enamel, diamonds, leather and paper

the watch with cylinder escapement movement

1.6 x 8.2 x 6.9 cm

Both covers of the notebook are mounted with spring-hinged oval panels, revealing a watch below the jeweled bouquet and a glazed aperture for a photograph beneath the plaque painted with L'agréable leçon. A propelling pencil acts as a pin to hold the covers shut. The creation of objects with multiple functions had been one of the specialities of Genevois goldsmiths since the late 18th century.

In form and style this notebook is reminiscent of a work that was exhibited in London in 1862, of which J.B. Waring observed: ‘M. Rossel’s box, in the shape of a book-cover, showed an exceedingly tasteful application of enamel-work and jewellery in gold, the centre spray being formed of diamonds.’

Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 21, p. 61.