- AN EXCEPTIONAL AND RARE SILVER GILT, DIAMOND MOTHER-OF-PEARL SMOKEY QUARTZ AND CORAL TWO COLUMN MYSTERY CLOCK
NO 226422 CIRCA 1990
- Silver Gilt, Mother-of-pearl, Diamond, Red coral
- dimensions 22.5 x 18.5 cm
This mechanically and aesthetically remarkable design was the basis for some of Cartier's most impressive clocks of the 1920s and beyond. The time appears to float magically in the air, indicated by two rotating crystal disks that suspend the hour hand and minute hand in a captivating dance. From the perspective of the viewer, the clock operates without mechanical means, hence its description as a Mystery clock.
Undoubtedly, these fascinating clocks demand an inquisitive mind-set, determined to decode their complexity while appreciating their perplexing beauty. These magical objects 'depended on a secret which was supposed to never be revealed'1. Often, Cartier’s own retail staff were discouraged from knowing in-detail the mechanical intricacies of the famed Maison’s Mystery Clock creations. They accepted that “the wonder of these clocks guarded their secret like the Sphinx, and [Cartier] protected them from the eyes of prying admirers.”
Following the legendary creations from the 1920s, Cartier revisited the Mystery clock theme in the 1980s, creating modern masterpieces based on the earlier models. The magical wonder of Cartier Mystery Clocks prevails today with the present lot.
1Nadelhoffer, H., Cartier, pp. 276