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Cartier. A very fine, rare and small silver, enamel, agate and diamond-set 8-day desk clock
Cartier. A very fine, rare and small silver, enamel, agate and diamond-set 8-day desk clock


Cartier. A very fine, rare and small silver, enamel, agate and diamond-set 8-day desk clock
Signed Cartier, no. 78'847, circa 1910
Keywound 8-day lever movement, engine-turned silvered dial, inscription ALBERTMIRIAM for the numerals, diamond-set arrow hands, gold and white enamel bead decorated bezel, rectangular silver case, translucent light pink enamel on engine-turned sunburst pattern decorated background, white enamel borders, diamond-set beads to the sides, diamond-set cartouche and B to the top, on agate base with moulded edges, dial signed, case and movement numbered
50 mm. high

Brought to you by

Dr. Nathalie Monbaron
Dr. Nathalie Monbaron

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Lot Essay

According to family tradition, the present desk timepiece was given to Betty de Bonstetten, née Lambert (1894-1969), daughter of Lucie de Rothschild (1863-1916), on the occasion of the marriage of Albert Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild and Miriam Caroline Alexandrine de Rothschild on 15 December 1910.

Miriam Caroline Alexandrine de Rothschild (1884-1965)
Miriam Caroline Alexandrine de Rothschild was born in Paris on 16 March 1884, the daughter of Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) and Adelheid von Rothschild (1853-1935). Typically for a daughter of a Frankfurt Rothschild she received a rather strict upbringing, and was described by a cousin as having 'infinitely more brains and originality' than either of her brothers. Alexandrine, as she was known, was similar to her infamous cousin Alice de Rothschild (1847-1922) of Waddesdon Manor: both were highly intelligent, authoritarian and inclined to appear plain.

She studied medicine, later specialising in dietetics. She married Albert Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (1879-1941), a cousin, on 15 December 1910, but divorced him during World War One. After the divorce, Alexandrine was free to develop her passion for gardening at her chateau of Boulogne which she had inherited from her father.

Alexandrine was a judicious and respected collector of literary and musical manuscripts as well as first editions. In common with many other Rothschilds, she also had a taste for 18th century art. After the war she spent increasingly long periods of time in Switzerland, and died on 15 March 1965. The Beni Israel Trust was her generous gift to Israel.

Albert Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (1879-1941)
Albert was born in 1879 in Frankfurt, the first of five children born to Maximilian Benedikt Heyum Goldschmidt (1843-1940) and Baroness Minna Caroline von Rothschild (1857-1903). His father was ennobled to Baron in 1907, and was reported to be the richest individual in the German Empire.

Albert had always aspired to be an officer in the German army, however this was not possible on account of his refusal to be baptised. To please his father, he tried his hand at banking during his 20's in Berlin with his brother Erich, but in 1932 the bank was merged with the German state-owned bank. Educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Albert took the post of attach at the German embassy in London in 1907. In 1910 he left this post to marry his French first cousin, Miriam Caroline Alexandrine de Rothschild (1884-1965). Upon the outbreak of war Albert wished to return to Germany, however his desire was not shared by his wife and they separated.

In 1922 Albert married Marion Schuster (1902-1982). Upon the death of his grandmother, Hannah Mathilde von Rothschild (1832-1924), he inherited the splendid Villa Grneburg estate outside Frankfurt. However, during the Second World War the estate and its contents were confiscated, and Albert was forced to immigrate to Switzerland with his family, never to return to Germany.

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