Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Musical watch key

    Musical watch key


    Circa 1820

    Gold, steel, brass, enamel; mechanical works, champlevé enamel, repousse, soldering, painted enamel

    5.5 x 3.0 x 0.9 cm


    Golden pocket watch key is made in the in the form of flat rectangular case with bevelled corners, containing miniature musical mechanism. Ornately shaped shell serves as the movement carcass. Fastening screws are visible on bevelled corners. Lateral sides are covered with thin plates decorated with polychrome enamel images in ornately shaped vignettes placed on repoussed surface with enamel multicolored flowers. Enamel frames with chased elements adorn the plates’ perimeter. Landscape with the sailing ship and building on the lakeshore is in the foreground and mountains in the distance is depicted on one plate. Blue frame rims vignette surrounded by branches and flowers with blue petals and pink cores. Flowers and fruit on blue background in oval vignette are on the rear side. Chased branches with leaves and blue enamel berries, flowers with red petals are around it. Blue enamel frame with gold embossed elements surrounds it. Brackets in the form of polished balls supported by wire curls from the sides are on wide sides.

    One of the balls serves as a fastener for blued steel key stem with square cut channel. The shaft for winding the musical movement passes through the other ball. It ends with thin ring surrounded by three small rings and serving as a crown. The ring is pendant as well. Flat slider located on the shell narrow sides activates the movement. The movement is comprised of pinned cylinder, stack of eight tuned steel lamellas and spring engine. The mark with a boar's head turned to the right is on the opposite side.