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Watch

Artist: Jean-Antoine Lepine (1720-1814; active Paris, France 1744-1810)

Date: 1775-1800
Medium: Yellow, rose, and green gold; enamel, turquoise
Dimensions:
63.5 x 41.3 x 15.9 mm
Markings: Movement: "L'Epine A. Paris" Case: cm incuse "IER" Dial: "L' Epine a Paris" Reverse of dial: "380"
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Thomas R. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 294
Label Text
At the end of the eighteenth century, miniature enamel portraits on watchcases and snuff boxes were often framed by a band of applied, varicolored-gold motifs taken from a repertoire of neoclassical designs, including swags, ribbons, and garlands. This ornamentation introduces a rich color palette and frames the portrait.
Text Entries

At the end of the eighteenth century, miniatures on watchcases were often framed by a band of applied, varicolored gold motifs taken from a repertoire of neo-classical designs, including swags, ribbons, and garlands. This frame introduced a richer color palette and, through the contrast between the flat surface of the miniature and the surrounding motifs applied in relief, enhanced the appearance of the miniature enamel portrait.

The movement of this rose-gold watch was made by the Paris firm of Lépine when it was directed by the eminent horologist, Jean-Antoine Lépine. The miniature on the case, executed by a Swiss enamelist, features a green enamel border encircling a portrait of a woman wearing a rose in her hair and a pendant necklace. An applied yellow and rose-gold ribbon and floral garland and a band with yellow-gold husks frame the enamel panel. The outer band of the case is chased with pierced ovals with applied yellow-gold quatrefoils in between.