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[Tidbits] 10/23/11


The answer to last week question was of course: Maximilian of
Austria. Sadly… I did not even stump one of you. The world is
clearly going to pot. And now…

A Lapis Lazuli, Rock Crystal, Diamond & Gold Mystery Clock That Once
Belonged To Eva Peron

Date of manufactuRe: 1947. Signed by: Cartier. Value in 1989:
$170,000. Value with inflation in today’s market: I have no clue.
Conversion figures say the worth is approximately $340,000. But that
only takes into account monetary inflationary figures… not gold and
diamond and gem increases. We’re talking gold at $35.00 per ounce back
then to over $1600.00 per ounce today. That alone is a multiplication
factor of over 45. I have no as to gold or gem weight.
True value in today’s market: A lot of bloody dough!

Juan Peron showered his wife with jewelry. Three years after her
death in 1952 he was forced to leave the country. He left behind a
fortune of valuables which the Argentinean government seized and
auctioned off. Some of the valuables were bid and won by a
Philadelphia jeweler by the name of Thomas J. Kelley. The clock was
among the items he took back with him.

So… that all said the question which begs answering is: What the
devil is a Mystery Clock? And the answer is: Ta-Dum! A Mystery Clock
is one whose hands move with no visible attachment to any mechanism.
And Cartier was the first to make them into jeweler’s art. He used
watchmakers, lapidaries, setters, engravers and more. He created
masterpieces. They ended in the collections of dignitaries the world
over. It took one year to make one clock. A year! And even with that
time lapse… the styles were always “au courant”. No mean
accomplishment when taking into account that the eccentricities of
style are more fickle and faster changing and quicker to evanesce than
a snowflake suddenly finding itself drifting into the torrid
sun-drenched heat of the Saharan desert.

In the 1920’s these clocks were romantic. They were attractive and
charming enough to be suitable for framing s a picture. They were
mostly oriental in flavor. They blended with delicate furniture and
creative wood inlays. They were depicted as stately and geometric
with designs oriented toward the machinery of the future.

Our clock has a double axle system which is concealed in the two
lapis lazuli columns which form the framework about the octagonal
clock face. It has a rock crystal dial inside of which are suspended
rose-cut diamond hands shaped as arrows. The gold framework around
the face contains rose-cut diamond Arabic and abstract numerals. The
front and rear panels are enhanced with lapis lazuli mosaics studded
with gold beads.

It is now the property of a gentleman.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… click it… and you will see represented on
our pages a gold and Lapis Lazuli clock once owned by Eva Peron.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark