Monday, February 14, 2011

Small DEP clocks

The earliest small 'bijou' type of DEP clocks such as those on the left with their characteristic hexagonal dial frame appeared around 1900 and were still featured in advertisements in 1921. Carried in a small leather covered, felt lined case with a small handle, they were known as 'ladies clocks' since they could be discreetly carried in a small vanity or jewellery case or even a handbag, then taken out of the case and placed on a table in a boudoir or bedroom.

In the 1920's these small clocks' popularity increased and so did their styling. DEP created them in various shapes and finishes and many of the fonts used on the dials were unique to the brand.

Almost all of the 'bijou' models were also redesigned for use on desks with a marble base and two arms that allowed them to pivot.

In the 1930's as tastes became more 'modernist',
the marble was replaced by the more popular chrome or polished brass finishes, but the size and styling of the clock remained small and elegant.

As the manufacturing process made clocks cheaper and more accessible, people could afford to buy several of them whereas before, a single clock usually held 'pride-of-place' on a mantlepiece in homes.
Small clocks were now created for specific uses.

Travel clocks were now permanently encased in elegant leather boxes lined in either velour or silk. They were light, small and could be discreetly carried and placed on even the narrowest of night tables.

The back of such clocks tell us a lot about their owners. The wealthier travelers who were accompanied by domestics very seldom used the alarm function and while the movement winder shows traces of wear and regular use in order to tell the time, many of the alarm winders are in pristine condition with no tell-tale circular abrasions.
It was up to the ladies maid or to the gentleman's valet to wake up the clock's owner.

1 comment:

  1. I have a small Dep clock which I've had restored and am now selling. I thought you might like to see it just for your information. You can, if you look at my Facebook page Trouvé En France.