101 reasons to turn back the clock


Marie-Cécile Cisamolo isn’t any stranger to beautiful craftsmanship. “I love my job, even on a Saturday,” goes an Instagram submit, as she tries out a Bulgari ruby ring, a Cartier panther bangle-watch and different glittering items from the present Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale. But the public sale home’s jewelry specialist is visibly excited when she presses a tiny moonstone button on an Art Deco desk clock and it chimes. Cisamolo is on a webinar about an ongoing assortment of Cartier clocks, the place every of the 101 items on sale options the French home’s mastery in enamelling, engraving and gem setting. And as she pulls out an agate and purple enamel quantity with just a little agate door to reveal a meticulously designed clock face, or exclaims over the female colors or quirks of a few of the clocks, Francesca Cartier Brickell, her co-host, supplies the inside story.

Belle Epoque enamel and diamond clock  

From the household album

Sharing particulars from a decade of analysis spent on her current e-book, The Cartiers, Brickell talks about the journey from Belle Epoque to Art Deco, thriller to prism clocks. About how Louis Cartier was surrounded by nice inventors, together with Edmund Jaeger. How he cherished to go to Chinese vintage outlets in Paris to purchase lacquer panels. And the development for all issues Chinese in the 1920s, as seen in vainness circumstances, jewelry and artwork. Sitting in her grandfather Jean-Jacques Cartier’s library (he ran Cartier London until the enterprise was bought to Swiss luxurious conglomerate, Richemont), Brickell factors to a design aesthetic that was additionally impressed by the splendour of Russia’s royal House of Romanov. She reminds us of clockmaker Maurice Couet’s contribution to Cartier and presents authentic drawings and letters from that point.

Art Deco mother-of-pearl, enamel, turquoise, moonstone and diamond desk clock

Art Deco mother-of-pearl, enamel, turquoise, moonstone and diamond desk clock  

When Brickell refers to how Louis Cartier’s jewelry designs, in the Garland Style, impressed his clocks, Cisamolo picks up a 1904 creation in dark-blue opaline glass and white enamel from a shelf behind her. In the catalogue of clocks, all from a personal European collector who had amassed them over three a long time, the beginning bid for this urn clock is CHF 40,000. The assortment is estimated to promote above $5 million. Christie’s says the clocks, even when over a 100 years previous, are in working situation.

The thriller continues

Art Deco 'Mignonette' clock

Art Deco ‘Mignonette’ clock  

While the sale doesn’t embrace a thriller clock — Cartier’s tour de power of phantasm, the place the hour and minute palms float free inside what seems to be a crystal ball, with no clockwork exhibiting — they do have just a few semi-mystery clocks. Cisamolo’s favorite, a day and evening t made in 1913, comes with the Latin inscription: “I do not count the hours if they are not brilliant.” Previously owned by aristocrats, heiresses and politicians, these horological creations are a reminder of magnificence and opulence from one other period. As Cisamolo places it, now let’s hope they discover the proper houses.

The sale at christies.com closes on July 21, 2020.

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