Watchcase, ca. 1686–88
Case by Jean–Pierre Huaud (Swiss, 1655–1723); movement by Johann G. Racine (Swiss, active Berlin, recorded 1748)
Case: painted enamel on gold; Movement: gilded brass, steel, partly blued, and silver; Diam. of case 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1522)
Pierre Huaud was born in Châtellerault, France, and emigrated to Geneva in 1630, where he became a master goldsmith and enamel painter. He was the father of Jean-Pierre. With his brother, Amy, Jean-Pierre worked for a time at the court of the Elector of Brandenburg in Berlin. When working alone, Pierre signed his enamels Huaud le puisné, the signature to be found on the side of this watchcase at the six o'clock position. The miniature is a portrait of his employer, Friedric Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg (1620–1688). A second watchcase by the Huaud brothers with a portrait identified as the Elector's wife, Sophie Charlotte, is in the collection of the Uhrenmuseum Beyer in Zurich. In the mid-eighteenth century, Johann Racine, a watchmaker from Basel, evidently made a new movement for a treasured watchcase. The movement has a verge escapement with a spring balance and is unremarkable.