One of the most interesting and attractive pieces we have encountered over the years is this large crystal ball clock on a brass mounted beautifully carved Chinese sandalwood base. This item is of the ‘Belle Époque’ period, 1890 – 1914.
Throughout the China Trade period and into the early 20th century one of the few western products of interest in China were clocks and watches. This handsome and fascinating piece combines an impressive brass cased crystal ball eight day clock – the front and rear glasses magnify both the dial and the mechanism – with a beautiful sandalwood carving of a Chinese dragon carrying her baby on her back. She is posed looking at the clock while her cub looks at her. The piece is built so that the dragon can be revolved on its heavy brass base and the clock can also be revolved and lifted off its mounting.
Combining Western an item of technology with a classic Eastern art form this exceptional piece could have been designed for an important individual in China or the West.
The clock has a jeweled high quality eight day Swiss movement with pendant wind and set. It is in excellent condition and running well. The heavy brass casing with heavy magnifying front and back crystals is in excellent condition. The brass has a lovely patina.
The based features a marvelous coiled dragon and her cub carved in Asian sandalwood exhibiting superbly detail and having inset glass eyes. She and her hatchling are in excellent condition with wonderful patina and a couple of minor age checks. She can revolve on her heavy brass base which is in excellent condition with lovely patina.
We have enjoyed ownership of this rare and fascinating piece for many years. It is a great item for an advanced collector.
Dimensions: overall height 6 1/2″, base diameter 6″, clock body diameter 3 1/8″, dragon head height 3″