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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1925

  • Work on this object began.

1935

  • Work on this object ended.

2017

2020

  • You found it!

Mystery Clock, ca. 1930

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Anonymous as part of The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

It is dated ca. 1930. Its medium is rock crystal, diamonds, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, gold, turquoise, onyx, emeralds, platinum.

These clocks were almost certainly created in Paris around 1930 for Black, Starr & Frost in New York. However, the firm’s commissioning of them may have been too close to the Crash of 1929 to ensure strong sales. They remained objects of admiration when examples appeared as part of a group of clocks in the firm’s display at the 1939 world’s fair in New York. This clock shows the impact of Cartier’s “Mystery” clocks, with special hidden mechanisms created by Maurice Coüet. Others used rock crystal, seen here mixed with hardstones that mosaicist Vladimir Makovsky favored for his box tops and clocks.

It is credited Lent by Siegelson, New York.

  • Object ID #907214223
  • rock crystal, mother-of-pearl, abalone, gold, hardstone, coral, jade,....
  • Siegelson, New York.
  • 61.2016.3
  • Object ID #907214225
  • mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, nephrite, abalone, diamonds, platinum,....
  • Lent by Siegelson, New York.
  • 61.2016.4

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

  • Vanity Case, ca. 1925
  • enamel, lapis lazuli, gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, platinum, mirrored....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.35

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 14.9 × 10.8 × 5.1 cm (5 7/8 in. × 4 1/4 in. × 2 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/907214237/ |title=Mystery Clock, ca. 1930 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 October 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>