Lot 198
  • 198

Salvador Dalí

250,000 - 350,000 USD
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  • Salvador Dalí
  • The Eye of Time
  • Inscribed Dalí (on the dial)
  • Platinum, diamond, ruby and blue enamel brooch with a mechanical Movado watch movement
  • Length: 2 3/4 in.; 7 cm


Alemany & Ertman, New York
Private Collection, Italy (acquired from the above in the early 1950s)
Acquired from the above in 2013


Linda Livingston, ed., Dalí, A Study of his Art-in-Jewels, The Collection of the Owen Cheatham Foundation, Greenwich, 1959, p. 46, illustration in color of another example on the cover & fig. XIX
Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Dalí, New York, 1979, illustration of another example p. 234 & in color p. 125
Robert Descharnes, Salvador  Dalí. The Work, The Man, New York, 1984, illustration in color of another example p. 352
Barbara Cartlidge, Twentieth-Century Jewelry, New York, 1985, no. 93, illustration in color of another example on the cover & p. 72
Robert Descharnes & Gilles Neret, Salvador Dalí 1904-1989, The Paintings: 1904-1946, vol.I, Cologne, 1994, no. 762, illustration in color of another example p. 338
Center for Dalinian Studies, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, ed., Dalí, Jewels-Joyas, The Collection of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, Figueres, 2001, illustration in color of another example pp. 37-39
Center for Dalinian Studies, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, ed., Dalí Jewels, The Collection of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, Barcelona, 2011, no. 7, illustration in color of another example on the cover & pp. 10 & 47

Catalogue Note

"To history, [the Dalí jewels] will prove that objects of pure beauty, without utility but executed marvelously, were appreciated in a time when the primary emphasis appeared to be upon the utilitarian and the material. [They] were not conceived to rest soullessly in steel vaults. They were created to please the eye, uplift the spirit, stir the imagination and express convictions."

—Salvador Dalí

A self-styled “Renaissance Man,” Salvador Dalí’s talents stretched far beyond his extraordinary gifts as a painter and draughtsman; his expansive artistic repertoire also included film, sculpture, poetry, photography and theatre, often in collaboration with other artists. Dalí’s exquisite jewels, however, capture the attention and imagination like nothing else. A triumph of technical virtuosity and spectacular visual pyrotechnics, they embody the "love of everything that is gilded and excessive" of the man whose name André Breton turned into the anagram "Avida Dollars.”

The crowning glory of this ensemble of 39 jewels, which Dalí created between 1941 and 1970, is undoubtedly The Eye of Time. Originally conceived in 1949 as a gift for his wife Gala, The Eye of Time plays on the themes and myths that obsessed the artist’s thoughts and incorporates two of the most iconic Dalí symbols: the eye and the clock. Surrounded by rows of pavé-set diamonds and set in platinum with a cabochon ruby, the eye's pupil is made of three shades of blue enamel and brilliantly doubles as the face of a working Movado movement. Dalí entrusted the making of his jewels to the illustrious New York jewelers Alemany and Ertman, who made a limited number of pieces after the artist’s original designs and under his strict observation. There are three known examples of The Eye of Time, including one in a prominent European Royal collection, another which was formerly in the collection of The Owen Cheatham Foundation and which is now on permanent display at the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí in Figueres, and the present work.