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Watch

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Watch

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

Date: 1775-1800
Medium: Yellow, white, green, and rose gold; enamel
Dimensions:
50.8 x 34.9 x 17.5 mm
Markings: Movement: "L'Epine a Paris" Case: incuse casemakers mark rubbed Dial: "L'Epine a Paris"
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Frederick T. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 158
Label Text
Between 1775 and 1800, watches made with varicolored-gold motifs that featured allegories of love and fidelity were known as wedding presentation watches. This watch is decorated with a torch, representing the fire of love; two doves, signifying love and constancy; and a basket of fruit, symbolizing earthly desires.

Text Entries

In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, watches made with varicolored gold motifs commonly featured allegories of love and fidelity in the forms of vignettes applied to the cases central path. This watch is decorated with a torch, representing the fire of love; two doves, signifying love and constancy; and a basket of fruit, symbolizing earthly desires. This assortment of items is known as a trophy of love, also seen in jewelry of the period. Instead of using appliqués in different colored golds, however, jewelers created brooches comprising torches, bows, and quivers.

Watches with allegorical scenes representing marriage are known as wedding presentation watches, on this watch, the scene is arranged with a dove flying downward toward its mate hovering above a basket. This vignette signifies the matrimonial union of a man and a woman. The decorative motifs are rendered in yellow, green, rose, and white gold to provide a chromatic tableau. An engraved oval border surrounds the scene, framed by a green-gold laurel swag tired with a ribbon in yellow gold. The bezel and band feature oval panels alternating with applied green-gold flower heads.