Monday, August 19, 2013

Precious Time: The Cartier Owl Clock, c. 1932

Desk Clock
Cartier, c. 1932
Presented to Queen Mary
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Lapis lazuli, nephrite, mother-of-pearl, enamel, gold, diamonds and sapphires comprise this gorgeous desk clock, a gift from Sir Philip Sassoon to Queen Mary, consort of King George V, on the occasion of Her Majesty's birthday on May 26, 1932.  

Made by Cartier, this ball-shaped clock boasts a flattened mother-of-pearl face (with gold hands) set upon a case of lapis lazuli.  The gold frame around the clock face is adorned with groups of two sapphires on either side of diamonds.  The ball-shaped case sits upon a base formed by three geometricized nephrite owls with sapphire eyes and a triangular lapis plinth with a mother-of-pearl star and silver base.

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