- Rare Handcrafts

Dome table clock in cloisonné enamel on gold leaf, with miniature painting on enamel.

With its two upper stories clad in gold leaf, Kinkaku-ji in northern Kyoto is a Japanese architectural masterpiece. It was the inspiration for this unique piece in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel.

To outline the image, reminiscent of a Japanese print, the enameler used 20.25 m of gold wire (40.5 g) measuring 0.2 x 0.6 mm in crosssection. To convey all the refinements of the temple, the garden and the small strolling figures he then worked with a vast palette of semiopaque, opaque and transparent enamels in 42 colors. Pure gold leaf laid beneath the enamel reproduces the splendor of the building and lights up the sky and the trees. Miniature painting on enamel picks out the details of the robes and parasols. Each enameled plate required multiple firings (9 for the panels, 6 for the dome) at temperatures ranging from 800°C to 860°C. The hour circle, a unique design, is embellished with black transfer-printed Japanese numerals. It frames a dial center guilloched under grey enamel.

This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.



17''' PEND


17''' PEND

Overall diameter: 38.65 mm. Height: 3.8 mm. Bridges: 8. Jewels: 20. Power reserve: 50 h max. Balance: Plain with screws. Frequency: 18 000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 Hz). Spiral: Breguet. Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal.

Savoir faire

Rare Handcrafts
The domed table clock – the perfect medium

The ideal showcase for decorative techniques is the domed table clock, owing to its dimensions. The generous rounded surfaces offer a perfect canvas for the virtuoso skill of enameling (cloisonné enameling, in particular). Animal and flower motifs are classic Patek Philippe designs, alongside newer themes. The museum’s collections are a source of inspiration, but so are far-off places, as interest from other parts of the world is occasionally reflected in the designs. The creative team knows well that one decoration in a particular color, or with a certain exuberance, will please in one culture, while restraint is preferred in another. One scene may emerge from the craftsman’s imagination, while another will be the faithful expression of a great work of art, on an astonishingly reduced scale.

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