Gold, metal alloys; casting, embossing, guilloche
5.1 x 3.5 x 1.1 cm
Gold keyfob with two medallions one of which is smooth while the other is adorned with a guilloche ornament in a frame of a meander line with rosettes. Two figures are on the top, with a pin and a ring at the centre, which, if rotated, sets in motion the barrel and comb with steel teeth (reeds) of the music movement inside the fob.
A fob is a small decoration or a stone of unusual shape which was put on a watch chain or worn on a string at the waist or on the breast. in the late 18th - early 19th centuries such little trinkets made by Swiss jewellers were finely decorated as well as fitted quite often with music movement, and were very popular in Russia. They were well known and loved in Russian noble houses, and passed down the generations. Wearing such fobs was considered part of a fine taste that distinguished someone who considered every little detail and made sure his appearance was meticulously planned and perfectly balanced. (See: Mechanical curiosities. 17th-19th century musical, clockwork and automata movements in the collection of State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 2015).