Vintage Starburst Clocks

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:33:59

Vintage Starburst clocks are clocks that imitate the geometric shape of stars.

History & Description

Starburst clocks have been manufactured since the late-nineteenth century and are mainly wall clocks, however, floor and table clocks have also been produced.

Perhaps the most famous designer to popularise the starburst profile was the American interior designer George Nelson. His innovative starburst designs of the 1940s and 1950s were extremely popular and are recognised as seminal examples of Mid-Century Modern design.

Other designers and manufacturers of this era to be inspired by the starburst shape include Seth Thomas, Lux, Westclox and Elgin. The starburst profile remains as popular and contemporary today as it did fifty years ago and starburst clocks are highly desirable to collectors.

Guide for collectors

Vintage starburst clocks are regularly sold at auction. Starburst clocks made between 1880 and 1930 are perhaps the most expensive examples and prices generally tend to hover around $2,000.

However, equally valuable to collectors are Mid-Century Modern starburst clocks that were designed by George Nelson, Seth Thomas and Elgin. These pieces tend to sell for around $600 but it is not uncommon for examples to sell over a thousand pounds.

Notable auction sales

On October 18th 2006 at Lewis & Maese Antiques in Houston, Texas, an antique starburst clock, made in France, circa 1880, realised a price of $1,500.

On May 6th 2007 at Millea Brothers Ltd. in Madison, New Jersey, a George nelson starburst white wall clock realised a price of $1,300.

On October 20th 1999, a George nelson starburst clock, circa 1948 to 1952, realised a price of £690 through Christie’s in London.

On October 3rd 2007, a continental carved gilt-wood starburst Cartel clock, made in the late-nineteenth century, realised a price of $1,750 through Christie’s in New York.

On October 6th 2004, a late-nineteenth century starburst wall clock, signed by John walker, realised a price of $1,912 through Christie’s in New York.

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