A fine example of a musical timepiece snuff box came up for sale at Cortrie (20% buyer’s premium) in Hamburg on October 19
Although not signed or marked, similarities in design and finish of the partly enamelled, 3in (8cm) wide 18k gold box support the attribution to the Geneva firm of Jean-Georges Rémond & Co.
The central rectangular snuff compartment is flanked on both sides by semi-circular sections containing respectively a cylinder watch movement and a musical pin barrel movement with a stack of 16 tuned vibrating blades.
These are most probably the work of Piguet & Capt, a renowned manufacturer of complicated musical mechanisms.
An added attraction was the original fitted case which also contributed to the bidders’ interest.
The hammer fell at €61,000 (£53,045) – a price not to be sneezed at. Also in the sale was a gold-enamel watch, set with pearls and painted with a bouquet of summer flowers. It is fitted with a flat cylinder movement and can be dated to c.1830.
The watch was attributed to Bovet of London and Fleurier, a company that had strong commercial ties with China. It went to an anonymous buyer for €36,000 (£31,300).