Sterling and possibly Bakelite exterior. Face has “Tiffany & Co” “8 Days” and “Swiss”. Rear is stamped: “Sterling Geneva Clock Co Swiss 9828” and then has “L397” hand engraved in tiny letters under the stamps. Side has a lever that when pushed down makes the clock chime. This piece was purchased by my uncle, who collected rare time pieces. My aunt said it was designed for blind people to use. I have no idea if this is accurate and can find no examples of this clock on the internet.
Inherited from aunt. Uncle purchased it many years ago. No other provenance details, unfortunately.
Thank you for sending this pendulette boudoir clock into mearto.com for an appraisal.
Gilt brass, black onyx and black patinated, pendulette boudoir clock (boudoir clock) with night alarm (manually operated), Serial number 9828, model L397, made by the Sterling Geneva Clock Company (usually referred to as the Geneva Clock Company), Geneva, Switzerland and made for the New York City jewelry retail firm Tiffany & Company, made circa 1920-1925.
“Inherited from aunt. Uncle purchased it many years ago.”
Very little is known about this clock company. The earliest information is that they had a booth for displaying their clocks at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The terminology that they used in making these miniature clocks resembled the making of watches. Prichard’s text on Swiss watchmakers lists this company as making pendulettes (small miniature clocks with movements resembling watches. She says that and advertisement in 1918 said the firm succeeded Tissot & Company which had been founded in 1830. The ad said they made, “travel clocks, table watches, paper weights, alarms, calendars, minute and quarter repeating watches, and grand sonnerie striking clocks. They used the factory process of applying the use of interchangeable parts to their manufacturing system.
They were a listed firm as late as 1920, 1923, 1924 and 1925.
Although I cannot be certain of what the black parts of this case are, I can only hazard a guess without seeing it and feeling the material in person. However, this is a relatively small and delicate table clock with the gilt brass dial surround done in guilloche (engine turned designs) the circumference is also gilt brass guilloche in the same interconnecting pattern and the black which has been treated with black enamel has a similar engine turned design. There is a fluted brass winding pendant placed at the top near the twelve position relative to the dial and the pendant has a black onyx cabochon at the top. The entire case stands 3.75” in height. That suggests to me that the base upon this watch-size clock sits is also made of black onyx, quite popular around the early years of the art Deco era of 1920-1940. There is a silver coin shaped center on the back of the case which reads, “Sterling Geneva Clock Co. 9828 (serial number) and L397” (model number).
The round case is outlined in patinated black enamel. The little clock rests on two polished gilt brass spherules which then sit on the black onyx base which is a rectangular pedestal with black concave side transitioning down to straight small bracket feet at the base. The side of the main case has a vertical aperture with a lever that when pushed down chimes the last hour. This would be helpful in a dark bedroom at night if one wanted an approximation of the correct time.
The dial is a round white enameled dial with black upright Arabic hours, closed bar minute track, elegant gilt brass black tipped variants of antique Breguet hands, definitely Art deco era. The dial is marked, “Tiffany & Company, eight days, Swiss”.
The movement is not shown, but would be essentially a watch movement, finely made. It may well be a matte gilt movement plate, with large going barrel mounted above the backplate, 15 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance with three adjustments, index regulator. (Taken from another example of a Geneva Clock Company clock movement.) Or another Geneva movement in a pendulette case is described as -“rhodium plated, further matte brass plate fixed to the backplate by two screws, 15 jewels, going barrel, straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance, blued steel Breguet balance spring, index regulator”.
And yet another, “Gilt-brass arch-top rectangular with going barrel, platform with lateral lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance, blued steel flat balance spring, index regulator.” And one more carries the following movement markings, “movement marked Geneva Clock Co. Swiss and 3 Adjustments/14 jewels and numbered 13182”.
A 1927/28 pendulette clock is described as “Dial signed Cartier, movement signed Geneva Clock Co., and Case signed European Watch & Clock Co.” So, we really have numerous companies working together during the pre-depression years to create a small boudoir clock.
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/geneva-clock-company-a-swiss-enamelled-silver-mantel-clock-the-top-with-c-RWyma9ku6 (SOLD FOR $2160 IN 2017, A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/the-goldsmiths-and-silversmiths-company-london-art-deco-miniature-clock-vfs7GhnBY9K (SOLD FOR $2750 IN 2020)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/gold-travel-clock-cartier-XZSu2UX7cb8_ (MADE FOR CARTIER AND SOLD FOR $3750 IN 2019)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/geneva-a-gilt-silver-enamel-and-lapis-lazuli-miniature-desk-clock-srFfGIoFZy (SOLD FOR $4000 BACK IN 2014)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/a-lovely-early-20th-century-swiss-silver-and-enamel-tyQzjt9Z2 (SOLD FOR $1234 IN 2017)
I am very impressed with the clock and its heritage. Prices have lowered in the past two decades on all of these boudoir pendulette clocks. Still yours is so very aesthetically appealing, that it stands in with the comparables pretty well. And it was made for Tiffany which always lifts the price. Also, your example has not been fooled with as far as I can see. I believe, if offered for sale at auction today it would have a fair market value in the range of $2250-$2750, and a retail value of twice that amount.
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