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Machine Age Art Deco Gilbert Rohde Herman Miller 1933 Century of Progress Clock

$9,800

About

Machine Age Art Deco Gilbert Rohde Herman Miller 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair clock, no. 4725 B Rare example, debuted at 1933 century of progress World's Fair and produced for only a few years in limited quantities. One of Rohde's finest original clock designs for Herman Miller. Increasingly difficult to source. Very good original condition. Beautiful maidou burl, with original nickel silver or satin chrome hands and hour markers, with the original red second hand. Black lacquered base. Functional at present. Rewired with twisted silk cord. Felted bottom of some vintage, if not original. Original 4725 B stamped serial in proper location. The clock-works appear to have been replaced and a round metal back cover added long ago. All original screws match and fit exactly as original. If you look closely, there is a hand-etched date of 7/3/57 visible on the plate, likely indicating a possible replacement date of the works, like most old clock-smiths did when servicing. Likely not original works. Otherwise original. Search for an example featured in the Brooklyn Museum's permanent collection showing the original works. The Brooklyn museum example is missing the original second hand.

Details

  • Creator
    Gilbert Rohde (Designer),Herman Miller (Manufacturer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 7 in. (17.78 cm)Width: 6 in. (15.24 cm)Depth: 2.25 in. (5.72 cm)
  • Style
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1933-1934
  • Condition
    Replacements made: original works likely replaced in 1957. Wear consistent with age and use. Possible replaced works in 1957. Rewired. Otherwise original and functioning. Working condition on vintage electrics cannot be guaranteed.
  • Seller Location
    Dallas, TX
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: f94521509032993643fs

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Ships From: Dallas, TX
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Designer

Gilbert Rohde

Pioneering self-taught industrial designer, writer and teacher Gilbert Rohde helped define the earliest phase of modernism in the United States. He is one of the most influential figures of 20th-century design and is credited with helping legendary mid-century modern furniture manufacturer Herman Miller avert financial disaster during the Great Depression.

Born in New York City, Rohde studied painting at the Art Students League after high school. He found lucrative employment, first as a political cartoonist and then as a catalog illustrator for American department stores. He was particularly enthralled with drawing furnished interiors.

Rohde began to design furniture in his spare time. He traveled to the Bauhaus school in Germany and the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, and drew on the Art Deco movement and the work of designers such as Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann in his early pieces. Rohde opened his own studio in 1929 and secured private and commercial commissions. His clients would come to include formidable furniture makers Heywood-Wakefield and Troy Sunshade, and his innovative bentwood furnishings for them were practical and intended for the modern consumer.

In 1930, Rohde met Herman Miller founder D.J. De Pree in the company’s Michigan showroom during a business trip. By then, Rohde had a long list of prominent clients and his furniture had been exhibited in museums and galleries. Herman Miller was weathering a devastating slowdown in business, and the American furniture industry had generally been hit hard by the Great Depression.

Rohde boldly informed De Pree that the brand’s furniture had become outdated, which was part of the reason the company was in financial jeopardy. Homes had become smaller and could no longer accommodate the large Gothic– and Victorian–style furnishings and traditional reproductions of period bedroom suites that Herman Miller was offering at the time, Rohde explained.

Rohde secured a contract to design for the Michigan manufacturer. He championed the use of exotic woods and tubular steel, and created streamlined, unadorned bedroom furniture for Herman Miller — collections that included convenient vanities, which were unconventional pieces for De Pree’s company back then.

In 1933, Rohde oversaw the design of two bedrooms featuring sleek Herman Miller furniture — including innovative storage pieces he designed — as part of an International–style exhibit at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. The installation garnered acclaim for De Pree’s brand all over the world and afforded Rohde the opportunity to execute on his visionary ideas in front of a global audience. Rohde later designed lighting, seating and more for Herman Miller and was extensively involved in the company's marketing strategy and other areas of the business.

In 1942, Herman Miller, anticipating a postwar economic boom, began to produce office furniture for the first time, but its legacy is in the home. Working with legendary designers such as Ray and Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi and Alexander Girard, the manufacturer fostered some of the boldest expressions of what we now call mid-century modern style.

Find vintage Gilbert Rohde coffee tables, lounge chairs, table lamps and other items on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
4.9
Located in Dallas, TX
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 2004
1stDibs seller since 2012
280 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
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