The Arceau Pocket Millefiori imposes its disconcerting seduction. Its crystal dial recalls the pattern of alligator scales in a game of double-take with the case-back, sheathed in this precious leather. Illusion or reality?
This technique is inspired by the nineteenth-century paperweights crafted by the Cristallerie Saint-Louis. The black coloyr, an alchemy of minerals whose composition is a closely-guarded secret, is mixed with incandescent crystal. Once drawn from the mouth of the pots in the furnace, the molten material is transformed into a crystal rod with the glass-maker's breath. From the rod, a white-hot thread is pulled out, and then cut into sections. The resulting canes are then assembled to form the pattern. Are these animal or crystal scales? Perception wavers in the time it takes to examine this model issued in a limited edition of just two pieces.
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