An Art Deco nephrite, agate, gold, enamel and coral desk clock, by Verger Frères for Boucheron, Paris, 1929

The result of a brilliant partnership between two of Paris's most illustrious Maisons.

Art Deco nephrite, agate, gold, enamel and coral desk clock, by Verger Frères for Boucheron, Paris 1929

We have chosen this impressive Art Deco time piece as a superb example of how, during the 1920s, jewellers drew inspiration from the contemporary art world, from Cubist painting to sculpture and architecture.

The original design drawing for the clock from the Boucheron archives, 1929

The solid, monumental structure and strictly architectonic design, combined with the contrasting palette of blue, green and coral red, seems to us to be a distillation and summary of all that Art Deco encompassed as a movement.

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Gardanne, oil on canvas, 1885-86; the faceted and geometric structures of this hill town, near Aix-en-Provenance, anticipate early 20th century Cubism and resemble the massing of flattened planes as seen at the centre of the clock | Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The fruit of the collaboration between two of the greatest names in Paris in the field – Boucheron and Verger – this desk clock is, in our opinion, nothing short of a sculptural masterpiece.


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Further details:
A clock with a rectangular agate dial defined by black-enamel Arabic numerals on square gold plaques, with an overlapping bi-coloured gold and black enamel geometric centre, gold and red enamel hands, all supported by nephrite columns with an agate crossbar, embellished with ribbed gold and cabochon coral accents; the black enamel back door opens to reveal a frosted gilt 17-jewel, 5-adjustment, straight-line lever-escapement movement with cut bi-metallic compensation balance with Breguet balance spring; mounted in gold, with French assay marks

– Stamped with Verger Frères maker’s mark, signed on the enamel plaque on the reverse Boucheron Paris, the movement signed Vacheron Constantin, no. 407563

– Copy of original drawing

– Measurements: 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 inches

Vacheron & Constantin Extrait d’archives no. 0051 stating that the clock is Verger Frères for Boucheron Paris, movement made 1928

Nèret, Gilles. Boucheron: The Jeweller of Time. Milan: Edita SA-Office du Livre, 1992, p. 102

Kjellberg, Pierre. Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Âge au XXe siècle. Paris: Les Editions de l’amateur, 1997, p. 502


For further information on the Art Deco desk clock by Verger Frères for Boucheron:

The Chrysler Building, New York, 1928-30, was created at the same time as the clock, and the two utilise similar massing of geometric elements and the elongated forms of the Streamline Moderne, showing how the aesthetics of Art Deco permeated most areas of the arts