Precision and Splendor: Clocks and Watches at The Frick Collection

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    Fobis Clock, Pierre de Fobis (1506-1575)

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    The Portico Gallery, With a View of Central Park through the window

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    The Dance of Time, Three Nymphs Supporting a Clock, 1788, Movement was produced by Jean-Baptist Lepaute (1727-1802), and sculpture by Claude Michel Clodion (1738-1814), made of terra-cotta, gilt brass, and glass

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    Gold Pocket Watch with Tourbillon, 1820, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) and Antoine-Louis Breguet (1776-1858)

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    Garniture of One clock and Two Vases, 1764, clock movement by Jean Martin (active 1737-1786), Chinese hard paste porcelain garniture, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, with French gilt-bronze mounts

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    Gilt-Brass and Silver Table Clock with Astronomical and Calendrical Dials, probably 1653, David Web (active 1623/24-1704)

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    Gilt-Bronze Carriage Clock with Calendar, 1811, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823)


This is the “Precision and Splendor: Clocks and Watches” exhibit at The Frick Collection, which I recently previewed and photographed. The exhibit runs from January 23, 2013, through February 2, 2014 and is housed in the Portico Gallery at the Frick Collection Museum in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. If you are into historical clocks and timepieces, then this exhibit is a must see. You can visit the museum in person, or there is a virtual tour online HERE.


Major funding for the exhibition is provided by Breguet. The Frick Collection is housed in the former residence of Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), which was designed by Thomas Hastings and constructed in 1913-14. After Mrs. Frick’s death in 1931, changes and additions to the building were made by the architect John Russell Pope, and in 1935 the Collection was opened to the public.

A few of my favorite pieces from the exhibit are the Fobis Clock (pictured top), the Breguet Gold Pocket Watch with Tourbillon (pictured below), the Breguet Gilt-Bronze Carriage Clock with Calendar (pictured below) and The Dance of Time, Three Nymphs Supporting a Clock (pictured above and below). The collection is quite impressive, and these three pieces only represent a small portion of what is on display.