George Nelson Mid Century Ball Clock in Brass and Woodvintage objects
Interestingly, while nearly all of the designs that came out of George’s studio were attributed to him, many were actually designed by him and his team. Some were even designed solely by someone else working at the studio.
Nelson famously recounted the story of how the Ball Clock came to life in an interview decades after it’s release: “It was one of the really funny evenings. Noguchi came by, Bucky Fuller came by, and here was Irving, and here was I, and Noguchi - who can’t keep his hands off anything - he saw we were working on clocks and started making doodles. Then Bucky sort of brushed Isamu aside. He said, ‘This is a good way to do a clock’ and made some utterly absurd thing. Everybody was taking a crack at this, pushing each other aside and making scribbles. At some point we left – we were suddenly all tired, and we’d had a little bit too much to drink – and the next morning I came back, and here was this roll of paper, and Irving and I looked at it, and somewhere in this roll, there was a ball clock. I don’t know to this day who cooked it up.” Nevertheless, whoever it was that came up with George Nelson’s designs, it’s almost certain that they would never have come to fruition if it wasn’t for George’s vision and forward-thinking approach.
Can you tell me more about his clocks? George’s clocks were one of his most impressive bodies of work. In total, he and his team designed over 130 clocks in just three decades. While it is widely accepted that Irving Harper was the lead designer for the Howard Miller Clock Company at George Nelson Associates, the collection arose after two insightful observations from George: one, that people no longer used the numbers to tell the time; and two, that since most people now used their wristwatch to tell the time, interior clocks were now free to become more decorative in nature. The clocks were designed and released in batches of 8 and were initially only given numbers for names. The Sunflower Clock was simply ‘Clock 2261’, the Flock of Butterflies Clock was 'Clock 2226’, and so on. The Ball was the first clock designed by George and his team and it was followed shortly after by the Star, Sunburst, Spindle, Asterisk, Turbine, Flock of Butterflies, Eye and others. The clocks were purposefully abstract and were designed to complement the modernist furniture emerging at the time. As well as wall clocks, George’s studio also produced a series of desk clocks during that time, most notably the bubble-shaped Night Desk Clock, the brass Tripod Desk Clock, and the Ceramic Ceramic Clock which are still as covetable today.
This clock has been restored. We have replaced it's original electronic movement with an original Vitra quartz movement. The ball clock comes with its original movement, see photographs, which runs but is not accurate. The wooden balls have been stripped of there original lacquer and they have been professionally re-done. The clock runs perfectly.
It will be shipped insured in a custom made wooden crate. Cost of shipping to the US is crate included.