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Le Palais Sugar Mill Industrial Clock

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Le Palais Sugar Mill Industrial Clock

- Item No.

Industrial clocks such as this, combine precision timekeeping with industry inspired designs.

Key Features

  • This French clock is an impeccable example of the complex artistry of industrial timepieces.
  • The clock's manufacturer, Le Palais Royal Habana, was a shop of luxury goods located in Havana.
  • During this time Havana was a flourishing and fashionable city dubbed the "Paris of the Caribbean"
  • The wheel and small round ball bearings are reminiscent of 19th century sugar mill machines.
  • A clock such as this one was most likely commissioned by a wealthy sugar estate owner in Cuba.
  • Circa 1880
  • 15 3/4 w x 10 3/4 d x 25 3/4 h inches

Item Details

  • Width:
    15 3/4" Inches
  • Height:
    25 3/4" Inches
  • Depth:
    10 3/4" Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    France
This incredibly rare clock is an impeccable example of the complex artistry of industrial timepieces. This intriguing instrument combines a clock and barometer ingeniously designed as bearings which would have revolved the shaft in a 19th-century sugar cane mill. A clock such as this one was almost certainly commissioned by a wealthy sugar estate owner in Cuba, meaning that this is the only clock of its design ever made. Industrial clocks such as this, combining precision timekeeping with mechanically-inspired figural automata, were extremely popular during the 19th century, especially with wealthy barons invested in the booming industrial fields. Of excellent proportion and superb craftsmanship, this clock remains in excellent working condition.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Havana was a flourishing and fashionable city dubbed the "Paris of the Caribbean." By 1895, U.S. investments into Cuba's sugar and tobacco industries totaled $50 million, and the influx of wealth opened the door for companies that catered to the island's burgeoning elite. The clock's retailer, Le Palais Royal Habana was a luxury goods firm located in Havana, Cuba, and was primarily known for being the official distributors in Cuba for Patek Philippe watches and unique objets d'art. Le Palais was also later famous for its historical association with Al Capone who purchased three Patek Philippe watches there during his visit to Havana in 1928. Pieces bearing the Le Palais name were the grandest objects from around the world, many of which, such as this clock, were special ordered. The firm has been described historically as a store of unprecedented luxury, and the street that it was located on, Calle Obispo (Bishop Street), was famous for several major trading houses such as City of Paris and Mail Paris as well as Le Palais. 

The clock face reads "Le Palais Royal Habana" and the barometer is in Spanish with a variety of weather conditions ranging from tempestad (stormy) to muy seco (very dry).

Watch the Video

Circa 1880

Clock: 12 1/2" wide x 8" deep x 21 3/4" high
Stand and Dome: 15 3/4" wide x 10 3/4" deep x  25 3/4" high  

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Price: $78,500
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