Christie’s ‘Important Jewels’ auction reached a sales total of £6.6m, with the top lot of the auction, a rare Art Déco rock crystal, onyx and diamond Cartier ‘Model-A’ Mystery Clock, which was estimated to be worth between £200,000-300,000, and was actually sold for £560,750.
The ‘Model A’ Mystery Clock was first introduced by Louis Cartier in 1913 after years of collaboration with watch maker Maurice Coüet. According to the group these clocks “were an astounding technical innovation”, whereby the clock hands appeared to float in space without any connection to a mechanical movement.
A statement by the group read: “The mechanism was in fact concealed within the frame, the miniature gears turning transparent crystal discs upon which the hands were mounted, creating an optical illusion. The secrets of the Mystery Clock were closely guarded, even from Cartier’s own staff, ensuring the ‘magic’ of each timepiece was preserved.”
Further highlights of the sale included an iconic 1950s Van Cleef & Arpels ‘Zip’ necklace, sold for £464,750, and a pair of Art Déco diamond drop earrings from the estate of the late Vera Hue-Williams, sold for £368,750.