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18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Among the many material forms of Art Deco—from buildings to furniture to cars—clocks somehow seem to make the best use of the machine-age motifs that make the style so wonderful. Feverish geometric forms, mind-bending symmetry, high-contrast colors, modern and ancient materials combined with ticking mechanics and streamlined electricity in order to measure something more imaginary: time. Here are 18 clocks of that era that we just adore.

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Corner Clock

You can't see it in the black and white photo, but the gorgeous symmetrical face is surrounded by red onyx. Made by E Gubelin of Lucerne. Circa 1935.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Sasha/Getty Images


Bar Clock, Circa 1930

The lounge bar in Nell Gwynn House, an apartment block in the King's Road, Chelsea.

Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Clock by Jean Goulden

Jean Goulden (1878-1946), French physician and artist, designed and made this clock in 1929. It's made of silvered bronze, enamel and marble. Now located at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Universal Pops


French Mantle Clock

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Photo: Glassholic


Rockefeller Center, Manhattan

- International Building, 1931-1940. "The Story of Mankind" by Lee Lawrie, which depicts the clock as the sun.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Scott Gilchrist


Chicago Board of Trade

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Photo: alykat


Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Architect: Harry Sternfeld. Built in 1937. Limestone with granite base.

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Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress


The Hague School

Nickel plated brass and niello mantel clock, The Netherlands, 1920s.

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Photo: Heritage Auctions


Marian Marsh's Clock

A white marble Whitehall-Hammond synchronous-movement clock from the early '30s. Plaque affixed to the base reads, "To Marian Marsh Honorary Guest Star Hollywood."

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Heritage Auctions


Smith's Glass Clock

Made In England. Circa 1920.

Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past
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Photo: Heritage Auctions


Two Table Clocks

A maroon bakelite square clock on ribbed brass base and a round crystal clock on an oval base. Both designed by Gilbert Rohde (American furniture designer, 1894-1944), circa 1930.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Heritage Auctions


Mantle Clock

From the Malcolm S. Forbes collection. An Art Deco shagreen-cased clock presented to Lt. Col. John Christopher Smuts in 1946.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Heritage Auctions


French Pendulum Clock

Glass-encased mantle clock with octagonal face and copper numerals. Maker unknown, France, circa 1930.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Heritage Auctions


Illuminated Glass Clock

Side-lit clear glass clock face with frosted nude figures. Maker unknown, American, circa 1935.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Heritage Auctions


Amber Clock

A German Amber And Silvered metal Table Clock. Attributed to Naujoks, Mann and Geduk, Koenigsberg, Germany, circa 1940.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Heritage Auctions


Boucheron Art Deco Clock

Art Deco was known for using a variety of exotic materials, and this clock is a prime example of that. Its bill of materials include agate, lapis lazuli, gold, and cabochon coral. No wonder it sold for $62,500.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Christie's


Multi-Gem And Diamond "Gazelle" Desk Clock, By Ostertag

This one is even more exotic, making use of rock crystal, lapis, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. It was completed in June 1929, and recently sold for $278,500.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Christie's


The Temple Gate Clock

OK, one more crazy-expensive auction piece: The Temple Gate Clock, which sold for more than $1.5 million. It's styled to look like an Egyptian temple, made out of gold, polished coral, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, and multiple gemstones. Circa 1927.

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Illustration for article titled 18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks From a Futuristic Past

Photo: Christie's


Have your own favorite Art Deco Clock? Did I miss anything important or beautiful? Show us a picture in the discussion!

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DISCUSSION

Over-the-River
Over-the-River

These are beautiful clocks. I have always loved Art Deco and wish the period had lasted longer.