Art Deco Revolving Desk Clock Weather Station by Cartier, circa 1930
A cube-shaped revolving desk object composed of a clock, barometer, thermometer, and compass on top; in black enamel over gold, accented with four sapphires at the cardinal points of the compass
- Signed Cartier, France, movement signed European Watch and Clock, Inc.
- Measurements: 5¾ x 4½”
cf. Young-Sánchez, Margaret, et. al. Cartier in the 20th Century. New York: The Vendome Press, 2014, p. 162.
Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier. His three grandsons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, built the house into a famous international jewelry empire serving royalty, Hollywood stars, and socialites. Cartier has created some of the most important jewelry and objects of art of the twentieth century with many iconic designs such as mystery clocks, Tutti Frutti jewelry and the Panthère line. In 1983, The Cartier Collection was established with the objective of acquiring important pieces that trace the firm's artistic evolution. Today, Cartier has 200 stores in 125 countries.
While the legendary firm Cartier known for their exquisite jewelry, they have a long history of creating beautiful objets d’art. From the beginning, an important part of their business has been watches and clocks. Employing some of the greatest watchmakers and workshops, Cartier sought to make exceptional pieces that were exquisitely beautiful and made by master artisans. Just as the Art Deco movement influenced their jewelry design following the First World War, so too did it affect the design of their clocks. Cartier’s created their greatest and most innovative clocks during the Art Deco period with the help of incredible watchmakers whose skills have been lost over time.
This table clock by Cartier elegantly combines the Art Deco style of boldness and modernity with function. In contrast to the delicate designs of the early 1910s and 1920s, this clock reflects the late Art Deco aesthetic of the 1930s. With polished gold covered in black lacquer the design is simple and elegant. The warm gold tone highlights the functional elements of the clock, the thermometer, barometer, and compass, as well as marking the concealed mechanics that allow the clock to rotate under the polished gold ball. Cartier likely based the design on nautical desk clocks and weather stations that included many of these elements, but they refined the design into a stunning modern object.
Each significant table clock Cartier created required multiple workshops to complete it. The various parts of this clock would have taken several experts and workshops to create and assemble this unusual combination of useful tools in a beautiful package. Rotating desk clocks by Cartier are exceedingly rare, and this magnificent clock would be an iconic object for collection.
A RARE COLLECTIBLE JEWEL ENQUIRY
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