Clock and candelabra
Designer / Maker
Designed by Emile Reiber (1826-93)
Manufactured by Christofle et Cie (1830-present)
Chicago World Columbian Exhibition, 1893 (but manufactured earlier)
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
James Shapp, Shapp’s World’s Fair Photographed (Chicago and Philadelphia, 1893), p. 101.
This clock and candelabra are extensively documented in the Christofle Archive (Musée Christofle). Contemporary photographs show records of three clocks based on the form of a Chinese table screen, of which the present example is the most elaborate. Drawings signed by Reiber for the front and back of a slightly simpler case, but identically decorated on the flat surfaces, are dated 1869. The design for the clock face, also dated 1869, survives, as does one for the pendulum. Four designs for the cloisonné enamel panels on the clock and candelabra by Reiber are signed and dated 1872-73.
The clock may have remained in the possession of Christofle, who exhibited it in 1893 at the World Columbian Exhibition. Its subsequent history remains unknown until it surfaced in Australia around 1990.
A second ‘table screen’ clock, probably dating from the late 1860s, is in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.