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Title: Watch and Chatelaine
Location: Switzerland, Geneva
Materials: gold and gilt-metal, translucent, opaque and painted enamel with paillons, pearls
Dimensions: 4.8 cm (case diameter); length 18.2 cm
Accession Number: SW 366
The use of gold and silver paillons as part of enamel decoration flourished in Paris in the early 1780s and was quickly taken up in Geneva, where it found particular favour among watchcase makers. The present chatelaine, decorated with a scale pattern and silver foil pellets echoing the seed pearls that border the enamelled areas, is characteristic of its application in Geneva.
Abraham-Louis Breguet was the pre-eminent watchmaker of the period. His international reputation encouraged some minor watchmakers to purloin his name in the hope that it would give lustre to their mediocre work. It is unlikely that many potential clients were fooled.
Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 160, p. 243.