Starburst Clocks

My fellow mid-mod lovers,

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite pieces to collect. Starburst clocks!

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 10.55.03 AMThey are as popular today as when they first hit the scene in the late 1940’s. They symbolize mid-century style and that era’s movement toward modernism. Each variation of this clock is like a piece of art and ends up becoming the focal point of the room.

Metal Sunburst 2

In the late 40’s, the clocks had glass fronts that opened up to allow you to set the hands and you needed a key to wind them. Today, if you’re lucky enough to score one of these beauties, you might find that it’s missing some of its original parts. Try Etsy and Ebay for vintage replacements. Bid fast and bid high!

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George Nelson and his design group are credited with introducing the starburst clock circa 1947. George Nelson designed furniture for Herman Miller as well as clocks for his son, Howard Miller.

One of my favorites is the iconic Ball Clock. It was an atomic style clock with bright, wooden balls representing the hours of the day. The name ‘atomic’ comes from its resemblance to the structure of an atom.

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I actually owned an original one. My husband found it at a clock repair shop in the early 90’s. At that time, I was already collecting mid-century clocks. My husband was bringing one of them to be repaired when he spotted the Ball Clock up on the wall.

The hands weren’t original, and it had been modified to work on a battery…but boy was I happy when he walked through the door with it! And he only paid $45.00 for it. What a steal! For years after, I tried to find original hands for it. I never had any luck.

The clock is now owned by the family that bought my mid-century home. I felt it belonged in that house. Here’s a picture…

Nelson Miller Clock

Much of my mid-century collection was sold along with the house. But I still have a huge collection of gorgeous sunburst clocks.

One is a rare brutalist clock that I got for my birthday a few years ago. It’s hard to clean, and when I have to take it in to the shop, I’m guaranteed to get a few cuts and scrapes along the way!

Brutalist Sunburst Clock

Trying to keep all my clocks working is a BIG job. The clock repairman that I use today is amazed every time I walk in with a different clock.

One of my favorites is a mirrored Eglomise beauty. (Eglomise is a French term meaning to gild the back side of the glass with gold or metal leaf.)It’s from the mid 1950’s and I’ve only ever seen one other like it. And it was in my Aunt’s house in 1969. I was 12 at the time and I already loved everything in her mid-century apartment.

Mirrored Eglonise Early 50's Key Wind

Today I have my clock collection grouped together on a very large wall in my stairway. I love looking at them every day as I go up and down the stairs. Here’s a look…

Until next time, Stay Mid-Mod.
Cami

Sunburst Mirrors

Hello MidCentury Lovers,

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite decor items. The sunburst mirror. The sun motif has been popular in home decor for centuries. You’ll see many variations of the sunburst mirror today, but they are not a trend. This is a true classic and can fit seamlessly into almost any style interior. Many of these mirrors are so ornate that they feel more like art than decor.

Retailers like Wayfair.com, Pier 1 and even Home Depot offer a selection of sunburst style mirrors. However, finding a vintage sunburst mirror is not easy and can be very costly. I recently found one on Craigslist. It wasn’t in good shape, but I like the look of age on pieces like this. And it was priced right!

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I went all the way to Queens to get it. What a trip that was! Once I finally found a parking spot, I entered a smelly, old building with no elevator. I walked up to the 5th floor to find a pretty young girl waiting for me at the top of the stairs. To my great surprise, her tiny apartment was overflowing with a beautiful collection of midcentury pieces. The mirror was definitely vintage, but someone had given it an awful paint job. I knew I could spruce it up with some real gold or silver leaf, and that it would look amazing…and be worth a lot of money.

We agreed on a price of $300 and I headed home. My husband didn’t see the beauty in my purchase, so I decided to hang the mirror in a flip I was working on. Doesn’t it look great on this big cocoa-brown wall? Eventually I’ll re-do this beauty and hang it in my master bathroom.

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Here’s an example of a Brutalist style sunburst mirror that I found at a local antique shop. My husband was horrified when I brought it home. I know it’s not for everyone, but I love it. And it looks especially good in my stairway which has uncommonly high ceilings.

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One of my favorite places to shop online is Chairish.com. You can find high-end vintage pieces and can usually negotiate a decent price. Here are a few mirrors worth looking at…

Craigslist and Ebay are good sources too. Here are two I recently stumbled upon…

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The search is half the fun! All you have to do is look. And chances are, you’ll find something to fall in love with.

Swing by again soon. Sunburst clocks are up next. I’m a huge lover and collector.

Until next time, stay MID-MOD!

Cami