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    Sale 2160

    Jewels: The New York Sale

    22 April 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 172

    AN ENAMEL, AGATE AND DIAMOND QUARTER REPEATER DESK CLOCK, BY CARTIER

    Price Realised  

    AN ENAMEL, AGATE AND DIAMOND QUARTER REPEATER DESK CLOCK, BY CARTIER
    Of jeweled lever platform movement, the circular white dial with black Roman numerals and Arabic chapters, with rose-cut diamond arrow hands, within a dotted white enamel frame, to the pink guilloché enamel case, enhanced by white enamel trim and rose-cut diamond florets, the top set with a cabochon sapphire pushpiece, on a stepped agate base, mounted in silver and gold, (accompanied by a winding key, no. 1), circa 1905, 4 x 2¾ x 2½ ins., with maker's mark, in an original Cartier green leather fitted case
    Dial signed Cartier, base signed Paris, no. 348


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    Cf. Cartier 1899-1949: The Journey of a Style, Skira, Milan, 2007, page 96 and inside jacket

    Post Lot Text

    Over the centuries, clock making has evolved not just in precision and technical capability but also as an art form. With imagination of design and decoration, Pendules a sujet clocks with movements that rested on the backs of animals from the 18th century and the pendules mysterieuses of the Blois clockmaker Robert Houdin of the 19th century contributed to clocks as precious works of art and not just functional timepieces.

    Quarter repeating clocks developed toward the end of the 17th century independently by both Edward Barlow and Daniel Quare. It was not until the late 18th century that Abraham Breguet created a repeating clock using the typical wire gong found in most repeaters today. Antique repeating clocks allowed the user to hear the time chimed when illumination was not possible. The quarter repeating clock chimes on the hour and each quarter hour.

    The first quarter of the 20th century produced some of the most spectacular clocks ever seen with the world's leading jewelry houses taking over from the traditional clockmaker. These were times of fantasy with no expense spared, precious metals and jewels being used in new and imaginative designs.

    The Belle Epoque period was one of grace and nostalgia and the refined elegance of the guilloché enamel combined with the delicate rose-cut diamond hands and diamond floret detail. With a complicated quarter repeating movement, this clock is a rare and wonderful example of technical excellence and beauty.