Condition Report For Lot# 1046 :
ebonized base with some losses to finish from tape, minor rubs at corners and a veneer flake, split in top section of base, all castings very dirty, with loss of gilding and tarnish, support for dial with two small drops missing, rear dial glass with chip at lower right corner, front glass with hidden chip at lower left, painted numerals on dial are different than illustrated examples, and are painted on the outer surface of the glass, but have certainly been there for a long time, a few screws used to fasten glass frames missing, movement runs & is original, capsule with motion work is intact, hands will move freely for a short distance when setting square is turned, but all will need attention and adjustment in order to run reliably. Jean Eugene Robert Houdin was a magician, inventor, and horologist, the creator of a series of mystery clocks, developer of many illusions for his own performances experimented with electric clocks, and also in the field of ophthalmology, among other things. The real Houdin mystery is how one individual could have mustered the energy to accomplish all of this in 65 years. This clock came to us from storage; hence condition. The delicate hands are replacements, done to proper design. Recent prices in London have pushed this model to nearly 20,000 dollars. Clock is wound and set from the base; remove brass cover to access movement. For a complete description of the movement and the "mystery" behind this clock, see Derek Roberts book titled "Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks", chapter 19. Ht 14 1/2"