Lot 162
  • 162

Cartier

Estimate
100,000 - 150,000 CHF
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • 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
• jewelled manual winding lever movement, movement housed within the coral top, hinged mother-of-pearl and diamond and coral lid to reveal the winding and setting mechanism • dial made of smoky quartz, gold and diamond set shaped hands, diamonds and mother-of-pearl twelve sided case with diamond set hour numerals, dial suspended from the top by a coral and diamond set oval-shaped column, the top and dial are two substantial coral panels and smoky quartz columns, the whole surmounted on a large rectangular coral plinth • case, base signed and numbered

Catalogue Note

The Cartier "Pendule Mystérieuses" or "Mystery Clock" exudes a mystic elegance that has captured the imagination of Cartier collectors for decades. Inspired by the work of the 1850s French magician and clockmaker, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Maurice Couet devised the first Mystery Clock in 1913 which was named "Pendules Mysterieuses Model A.".

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

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