The 18ct gold open face
automatic Breguet (estimate £15,000 - £20,000) was sold to the famed
illustrator and designer Paul Iribe in 1933, the year he collaborated
with Chanel on an extravagant jewellery collection
A pocket watch made for the illustrator and designer Paul Iribe –
one-time lover of the legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel – will be
among the lots in the Bonhams Fine Watches and Wristwatches Sale in New
Bond Street, London, UK, on Tuesday 11th June.
The fine and rare 18ct gold open face automatic Breguet with power
reserve (Lot 160) was sold to the Frenchman in 1933 for 10,800 francs.
It is estimated to realise between £15,000 and £20,000 (€17,700 -
€23,700) at auction.
Paul Iribe (1883-1935) is acknowledged as having been a leading
influence on Art Deco style. First known for his political caricatures
in Parisian journals and satirical newspapers, Iribe then spent a number
of years in Hollywood working on film sets before returning to Paris in
the early 1920s, where he met Coco Chanel (1883-1971), founder of the
iconic Chanel brand of clothing, jewellery and fragrance.
Iribe’s affair with Chanel is widely thought to be behind the break-up
of the artist’s second marriage, to heiress Maybelle Hogan, in 1928.
Many of his subsequent drawings and political publications would feature
Chanel’s likeness, re-imagined as Marianne – the symbol of French
freedom. Although Chanel was known to have had a number of romances
during her early career, her relationship with Iribe was said to have
been one of the most significant of her life.
In 1933 – the year Iribe bought this watch – the pair collaborated in
the design of an extravagant jewellery collection commissioned by the
International Guild of Diamond Merchants. The ‘Bijoux de Diamants’
Collection was executed almost entirely in diamonds and platinum, and
inspired by the triple themes of knots, stars and feathers. When
exhibited in Chanel’s home in the Rue du Fauborg-Saint-Honoré in Paris,
it drew enormous crowds.
Sadly Iribe would pass away just two years later, collapsing while
playing tennis at Chanel’s villa on the French Riviera in September
Among the 378 lots on offer at the Bonhams 11th June sale
are 130 pocket watches and eight clocks from an impressive single-owner
collection spanning almost 350 years of horology. The collection, which
was amassed between the 1930s and 1962, spans a period in watch and
clock-making from the early 1600s to the mid-19th century.
Elsewhere in the sale a stainless steel manual wind Rolex chronograph
wristwatch together with fitted box and original guarantee booklet is
estimated to realise between £50,000 and £70,000 (Lot 378). Other lots
of interest include Lot 374, an 18ct gold perpetual calendar Patek
Philippe chronograph wristwatch with phases of the moon and certificate
of origin (estimate £40,000 - £50,000), and Lot 328, a stainless steel
manual wind Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ ‘Daytona’ chronograph bracelet watch
offered by its original owner together with original box and guarantee
(estimate £35,000 - £45,000).
Another pocket watch on offer is Lot 188, a very rare 14ct gold keyless
wind full hunter Waltham gifted to the Captain of the British tug boat Champion in 1919 by Woodrow Wilson, the 28th
President of the United States (estimate £2,000 - £3,000). Henry
William Webster was awarded the watch by the President in recognition of
his ship’s assistance of the US vessel Piave when it ran aground on Goodwin Sands in the English Channel on 31st
January 1919. The watch is presented in a polished hinged case with
United States of America Presidential insignia, and commemorative
Paul Maudsley, Director of the Bonhams Watch Department, said: “With a
line-up of more than 370 lots, including a wonderful one-owner
collection of early pocket watches, the Bonhams 11th June sale will offer something to suit every collector’s taste.
“We are particularly pleased to be offering the collection which, in 14
years at Bonhams, is one of the most delightful I have seen. My
particular favourite is Lot 36, a single-hand Nathaniel Chamberlain
pocket watch dating from around 1690, with a tortoiseshell case and
silver inlay, but this offering really does cover all areas, spanning as
it does a period from approximately 1610 to the 1850s.”
Items in the auction will be available to view from 11am until 3pm on Sunday 9th June, from 9am until 4.30pm on Monday 10th June, and from 9am until 11am on Tuesday 11th June. The sale will begin at 1pm on Tuesday 11th June. To register to bid call +44 20 7447 7448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.