With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming its production in 1964 and subsequent sale on 2 September 1964.
The present dome clock is part of the first and now highly collectable series fitted with a 17''' mechanical movement electrically wound and powered through the solar cells.
Patek Philippe's cloisonné enamel dome table clocks are true works of art, each piece being unique with different themes from one clock to another. The remarkable cloisonné enamel on this particular clock is signed M. Deville. Michel Deville (1924-2003) was one of the first enamellers who dedicated his talent to the creation of extremely fine enamel decorations for Patek Philippe's most prestigious timepieces.
The theme of the present clock is the Italian Renaissance which saw an unparalleled rebirth of the arts and sciences from the late 13th to the 16th century. This period saw the flowering of Renaissance art which produced some of the world's greatest masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Veronese. Inspired by this period of prosperity and cultural achievements and by is most eminent artists, Michel Deville depicts three scenes directly inspired from major works of art of the Renaissance. As a result, depicted on 3 panels, they look like they have been merged into one whole and entire scene.
The first one, being the world famous Birth of Venus (tempera on canvas, c.1486, Uffizi, Florence) by Sandro Botticelli (c.1444-1510), depicting the goddess Venus having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea shore. The second, being The Allegory of April (fresco, c.1470, Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara) by Francesco del Cossa (c.1430-c.1477), one of the allegoric frescos around the themes of zodiacal signs that the artist realized at Palazzo Schifanoia. Venus, goddess of the season of rebirth, sits on a fantastical carriage, while young lovers play music, chat and embrace in the garden of love. The third, depicting a young woman and a unicorn, the legendary and most important imaginary animal in the Renaissance commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace which could only be captured by a virgin.
Another special feature in this clock, which is totally unique in the history of Patek Philippe's cloisonné enamel pieces, is that twice the body of the young woman is shown with only light covering.
The way Michel Deville chose to infuse modernity in classical themes by using the cubist approach to illustrate the scenes is very singular. Reminiscent of the paintings of Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and Robert Delaunay, the figures and their background interpenetrate one another in an abstract form while surfaces intersect at random angles to represent a multitude of viewpoints. The visual complexity of the space and volume of the scenes is further enhanced by the delicate palette of the opaque and translucent enamel colors.