Czapek & Cie
Czapek & Cie was a watch making company established and owned by Franciszek Czapek. History
Czapek, a Czech born Polish citizen, was born in 1811. Moving to Geneva in 1832, he formed a watchmaking company named Czapek & Moreau.
In 1839, along with Antoni Patek, he co-founded Patek, Czapek & Cie – a forerunner of the renowned Patek Philippe & Co. watch manufacturers.
In 1845, the company was liquidated with the two partners going separate ways. Czapek formed Czapek & Cie in 1851 with Juliusz Gruzewski, establishing shops in Warsaw and later Paris.
The company’s association with Gruzewski (a personal friend of Napoleon III of France) helped it to become fournisseur de la cour (purveyors to the Imperial Court), providing watches to the Emperor.
However, for unknown reasons, the company was wound up in 1869. Czapek allegedly died in poverty at an unknown date.
The company’s relatively short period of operation and the age of its products make them rare and highly collectible.
On February 23 2011, Antiquorum will be offering a unique Czapek & Cie Ostrich Fan Watch for sale in its ‘Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces’ sale, in Hong Kong.
Created in 1855 for presentation to Napoleon III, the extremely rare white ostrich feather fan consists of 18k gold and painted on enamel, pearl, is rose-cut diamond-set, and conceals a watch and pencil in the handle.
The watch is concealed by a spring-loaded cover engraved with the cypher and crown of Napoleon III, has blued steel spade hands and a gold dial plate.
This remarkable item has an estimate of $100,000-155,000.
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