Parmigiani To Unveil Sandoz Collection In New York In Conjunction With A La Vielle Russie

Top Quote A La Vieille Russie and Parmigiani are excited to present Mechanical Wonders: Antique Automatons and Contemporary Watchmaking. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 28, 2011 - Aimed at collectors and connoisseurs of watches, automatons and Fabergé, as well as enthusiasts of beautiful and rare works of art, the Sandoz Collection will be exhibited in New York at A La Vieille Russie from October 26th - November 26th, offering a unique opportunity to celebrate watchmaking art. Marking the first time that many of the pieces will be on display to the American public, the exhibition features mechanical marvels of the past, works of Fabergé including the Imperial Peacock and Swan eggs, and contemporary timepiece creations of Parmigiani Fleurier. The Haute Horlogerie brand, also renowned for its excellence in restoration, will exhibit its finest mechanical creations, which exemplify centuries of skilled know-how.

    For over 160 years, A La Vieille Russie has forged a highly regarded reputation through its outstanding expertise in antique jewelry, porcelain, silver and Fabergé masterpieces. From its establishment in Kiev in 1851, then to Paris in 1920, and now in New York City since 1941, A La Vieille Russie has been a cultural junction where great collectors of world art, royalty and nobility - Queen Maria of Romania, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and King Farouk of Egypt - have convened. These prestigious customers, along with the enduring family management of Messrs. Paul, Peter and Mark Schaffer, have woven close ties over time. As such, A La Vieille Russie has succeeded in keeping the legacy of Russian culture alive.

    Maurice Sandoz, a writer, composer and collector of timepieces and automatons, had an eye for exceptional pieces. Upon his arrival in the United States in 1941, Sandoz began to cultivate a close relationship with A La Vieille Russie. Through this relationship, Sandoz acquired in 1954 the celebrated Imperial Swan Egg, created by the jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé. The Sandoz Collection now consists of several pieces by the legendary Russian jeweler, including the Miniature Piano, the Imperial Peacock Egg, the Youssoupoff Clock, the Golden Peacock, and of course, the Imperial Swan Egg - all of which will be on display throughout the exhibit.

    Parmigiani Fleurier, renowned as one of the most prestigious contemporary Haute Horlogerie brands, demonstrates the genuine, extraordinary passion of its master watchmakers through the craftsmanship of each Parmigiani piece. Michel Parmigiani, the restorer of the Sandoz Collection, remains at the forefront of this kind of knowledge. His commitment to a centuries-old tradition of excellent watchmaking manifests itself in the creation of contemporary, exclusive mechanical pieces. While each piece within the Sandoz Collection boasts a variety of unique features, Parmigiani chose to recreate two of the pieces' mechanisms in tribute to the event - one of which is a timepiece with telescopic hands that run around the circumference of an oval-shaped dial and the second an elaborate minute repeater with cathedral chimes and the time displayed in a half-moon aperture with hours passing by - a nod to the inventiveness of the master watchmakers of the past.

    On the back of the calibre, the blued steel cathedral chimes come in the highly original serpentine shape round the movement, perfectly visible through the sapphire crystal case-back. This fall the Sandoz Collection will be displayed at A La Vieille Russie in honor of the history between the two - the Sandoz Collection was last open to the U.S. public 60 years ago at A La Vieille Russie. The breathtaking Fabergé pieces, along with other exceptional pieces of watchmaking art, from the Sandoz Foundation and the Watchmaking Museum at Château des Monts in Le Locle, will be on display for the general public at A La Vieille Russie. Pocket watches, the famous perfume spray gun, cages with songbirds, snuffboxes, and automaton clocks and animals are among the masterpieces that will be on exhibit. An extensive three-volume Catalogue Raisonné of the Sandoz Collection by Mr. Bernard Pin will also be introduced.

    "It is a rare pleasure to restore a timepiece," says Michel Parmigiani. "Setting it free from the ravages of time and restoring it back to its original state is an enduring process, but it is a passion in the quest to use its expressions in future watchmaking."
    A LA VIEILLE RUSSIE is a New York antiques gallery specializing in European and American antique jewelry and Russian works of art. The firm is world renowned for its collection of artworks by Carl Fabergé, and helped create the great Fabergé collections now part of major American museums. A family enterprise since its founding in Kiev in 1851, the gallery has been at its present location on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street since 1961, opposite Central Park, under the direction of brothers, Messrs. Paul and Peter L. Schaffer, and Paul's son, Dr. Mark A. Schaffer. A La Vieille Russie exhibits annually at TEFAF Maastricht in the Netherlands, New York's Winter Antiques Show, Masterpiece London, and the New York International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show.

    PARMIGIANI FLEURIER, one of the most prestigious Swiss Haute Horlogerie brands, was born in 1996 in the heart of Valde- Travers. Thanks to the Sandoz Family Foundation and its dedication to preserving high quality Swiss expertise, Parmigiani Fleurier is today one of the few brands to design each model as a showpiece, created and perfected within its own network of workshops. Founder Michel Parmigiani had conceived the brand's spirit as far back as 1976 through his work restoring watchmaking artifacts and his unrivalled knowledge of the mechanical marvels of the past. Now represented in more than seventy countries on five continents, the Parmigiani Fleurier brand continues to find new opportunities for expansion.
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