RARE CITRINE AND DIAMOND MYSTERY CLOCK, CARTIER
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RARE CITRINE AND DIAMOND MYSTERY CLOCK, CARTIER

Details
RARE CITRINE AND DIAMOND MYSTERY CLOCK, CARTIER
Circular-cut faceted citrine, circular and rose-cut diamonds, platinum and gold (French marks), mechanical movement, circa 1940, 14.6x 4.7x9.2 cm, signed Cartier, numbered
Special notice

On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 7.7% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

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Rahul Kadakia
Rahul Kadakia

Lot Essay

MYSTERY CLOCKS
The art of illusion fascinates adults and children alike. We are all spellbound when magicians deceive the eye with sleight of hand and deft trickery, believing they achieve the impossible while knowing perfectly well that it is just illusion. Maurice Couet perfected the art of illusion with the mystery clocks that Cartier offered from 1913. The Mystery Clocks by Cartier became instant hits, and the first one manufactured by Couet was purchased by J.P. Morgan, the famous American financier.
Based on the Pendules Mystérieuses of the 19th century, a selection of which was exhibited at the 1878 Paris World Fair, the mechanism of these clocks is hidden in the frame such that the hands seem to float in space without any connection to the movement. Rather than moving by conventional clock making techniques, the hands are set into two rotating crystal discs with toothed metal rims that are propelled by gears in the clock case.
Since every part is hand-made, each clock originally took from three to twelve months to finish; employing not only the watchmaker but also the designer, the orfèvre-boîtier, the enameller, the lapidary, the setter, the engraver and the polisher. Even with the help of modern technology, it still takes several months to complete a clock such as the present one.

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