A Splendid Art Nouveau Silver & Oak Easel Clock, Hallmarked for Joseph Gloster, Birmingham 1906


Origin: English
Period: Art Nouveau
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1906
Height: 5.5 inches
Width: 4.5 inches (at maximum)
Depth: 2 inches (with face and movement)

A truly beautiful creation, the oak clock with a shaped, waisted form, and applied sterling silver with a foliate Art Nouveau design in botanical outline. The clock stands on an adjustable metal easel and its face is exquisitely formed with a chased central medallion and off-white outer dial. The numbers are also characteristically Art Nouveau in style, and the face is balanced delightfully with the slender black hands and brass outer casing.

From the Edwardian era, this timepiece was commissioned by the British United Clock Company and then passed to Joseph Gloster of Birmingham to apply the beautiful aesthetic qualities that we see here.

Joseph Gloster worked from the Lion Silver Works on Hockley Hill in Birmingham from around 1880, became a limited company from around 1900, and by 1914 they had 100 employees. They crafted cigarette cases, presentation cups, bowls and tea sets amongst others.

Now keeping perfect time with a newly fitted quartz movement, this clock has been expertly restored by the same man who takes care of all the clocks for Cambridge University. The original movement by the British United Clock Company was past the point of restoration but will be supplied with the clock to the eventual buyer.

Like the Gothic style, Art Nouveau is essentially curvilinear, with ornament largely based on plant forms (as we see here), especially the lily.  Spanning the period between 1880 to 1914, Art Nouveau is like the baroque style in that it is theatrical and often borrows the principle asymmetry from Japanese art. Its influences include William Blake, William Morris and the pre-Raphaelites.

Irresistibly attractive, this functional, yet rare piece of Art Nouveau is the perfect way to keep time in sufficient style.