PROPERTY FROM A CHICAGO FAMILY
Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida “Tiffany at the World's Columbian Exposition" at the Henry Morrison , January 2012- April 2012
Standing at eight feet tall in the style of Louis XV, this magnificent piece combines exceptional aesthetics with brilliantly designed complications, with 13 silver and enameled dials within the Californian abalone frame. Each dial relays information which demonstrates the mechanical genius of the makers of this piece.
The uppermost dial displays the positions of the sun and moon with a horizon line above the sea, which indicates changes in tide. Of the two dials directly below, the right-most one displays a perpetual calendar indicating signs of the zodiac, month, date, day of the week, and leap year. The left-most disc is divided into twenty four parts and degrees from Greenwich. This dial also includes 31 major cities around the world. Another revolving plate indicates the hour of the day or night in each location. Two rotating cylinders directly above indicate the years since the Independence of the United States and the year of the Julian calendar. The five dials above the main dial indicate the Equation of Time, Golden number and Epact, Dominical letters, and Sun cycle. Lastly, the remaining dials display the local time, time in Washington D.C. and Greenwich, and declination by degrees north and south of the sun and moon.
The entire clock is a marvel of American woodworking, design and horology. Featured alongside four other clocks within Tiffany & Co.'s exhibition in 1893, the piece would have surely been one of the most breathtaking wonders of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building at the Columbian Exposition.
For a photograph and an illustration of this piece in Tiffany’s exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World Columbian Exposition, see John M. Blades and John Loring ,Tiffany at The World’s Columbian Exposition pp. 34, 47 and 107.
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