With its sleek geometric forms and bold, Eastern-inspired color palette, the present clock by Lacloche Frères epitomizes Art Deco style. Eastern symbols and aesthetics proved the perfect companion to the crisp lines of the Art Deco era, with design firms incorporating Chinese, Indian and Egyptian-inspired motifs into their works.
Lacloche Frères, Art Deco hardstone, coral, ruby and lacquer desk clock (Click photo to enlarge)
This example takes a form that resembles a Chinese gong, suspended within an angular frame and rested upon a plinth. The colors too hold symbolic meanings in Chinese culture, with red symbolizing fire, good fortune and joy and black often symbolizing the neutrality of water. It is fitting that Lacloche Frères would pick this color palette, as the yin and yang quality of the hues sits in harmony with its repetitive square and rectangular motifs.
At the time this clock was made, Lacloche Frères was considered one of the finest jewelers in the world. Having taken over Fabergé’s London workshop in 1920, the firm gained popularity for their intricate designs, most notably with vanity cases, boxes and clocks. The present example, created at the height of the firm’s popularity and created in a purely Art Deco form, is a rare glimpse into the elegance of the Art Deco time.
The coral-hued dial with Arabic numeral indexes and stylized arrow hands, within a silver-gilt case applied with black and red lacquer, the frame and base composed of agate, coral and onyx carved and applied in geometric motifs, further decorated with cabochon rubies, onyx and agate sugarloaf cabochons and coral beads and rings, measuring approximately 5 by 6 by 2¼ inches, the mounts composed of 18 karat gold, manual movement, the gold mounts signed Lacloche Frères, with French assay and partial workshop marks, the case signed Lacloche Frères, numbered 892, with scratch numbered 7.5.5.D.V., with French assay and workshop marks; circa 1930. With signed and fitted box.
by Jean Amr