Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Musical watch key

    Musical watch key


    Circa 1820

    Steel, brass, enamel; mechanical works, embossing, soldering, gilding, champlevé enamel, repousse

    1 x 5.4 x 3.1 cm


    Gilded pocket watch key is in the form of oval case containing miniature musical movement. The case comprised of two lids connected along the shell formed by their ornately shaped polished edges. Mounting screws, connecting the halves of the case are visible perimeter-wise. Flat sides of the halves are decorated with polychrome enamel images in ornately shaped vignettes, placed on repoussed field with enamel multi-colored flowers. Oval frames with chased elements on colour enamel background surround the images. Alpine landscape in chased vignette next to blue flowers with pink centers is on one side. The images are framed by blue enamel frame with goldish chased flowers cups. Bouquet of flowers on blue background in ornately shaped chased vignette is on the other side. Two chased branches with flowers with red petals and blue centers surround the image. The composition is framed by chased ornament on green enamel background. Brackets in the form of polished balls, supported on the sides by wire curls are on wide shell sides. One of the balls is a fastener for blued steel key stem with a square cut channel. Winding shaft of the musical movement passes through the other, ending with a relatively wide ring that serves as the crown. The ring is a suspension as well. Flat slider placed on the shell narrow side activates the musical movement. The movement consists of pinned cylinder, stack of eight tuned steel slats and spring engine.