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

    5.3 x 2.95 x 0.8 cm


    Gilded pocket watch key is in the form of flat rectangular case with bevelled corners containing miniature musical movement. Ornately shaped polished shell of the case is the movement carcass. Mounting screws are visible on bevelled corners. The sides are closed by thin plates, decorated with polychrome enamel images in figured vignettes, placed on repoussed field with multi-colored enamel flowers. The plates’ perimeters are decorated with chased frames with enamel inclusions. The image of two doves is on one plate, winged putto head is on the other. Brackets in the form of polished balls, supported on the sides by wire curls are on the shell wide sides. One of the balls serves as a fastener for the gilded key stem with square cut channel. The musical movement winding shaft passes through the other one, ending with relatively wide ring that serves as the crown. The ring is suspension as well. Flat slider located on the shell narrow side activates the movement. The movement is comprised of pinned cylinder, stack of eight tuned steel slats and spring motor.