Friday, May 1, 2009

Obsession With A George Nelson Clock


Several years ago, I started to get into mid-century modern furniture. Having grown up in Ohio, I was mostly exposed to Country decor.You know the "Welcome Friends" variety. My own house had a combo Cotswold/beach cottage look to it. Even Rachel Ashwell would have thought it too cluttered and cutesy.

After my divorce, I had to furnish my new apartment. I decided to go for a new look with my new life. I started to scour antique shops, thrift shops and eBay. I was inspired by my friend and artist, Patricia Smith, to go for a more modern Miami look. Patricia's pad has an art gallery vibe and I loved it. It was uncluttered and each piece in it could stand by itself and look great.

Somehow, I became obsessed with having my very own original George Nelson clock. It didn't matter what model. I wanted one and not a reproduction. I loved the space age feeling that I got when I looked at them. My first stop to purchase one was EBay. The prices nearly blew me away. They were not even close to being in my price range. Daily, I would check the auctions to see if I could get in a last minute bid on a clock that had just somehow slipped through the cracks and had not been bid into the $700 range. After a few weeks I gave up on the idea. It would remain a dream.

About a week passed and as I was leaving a thrift shop completely empty handed, I walked past the window. With it's back facing out, I saw the spikes out of the corner of my eye. I thought I was going to pass out. I charged back into the store nearly knocking down several customers and snatched the clock from the window. It looked it over and it was in really good shape. It even had its original sticker on the back. There was no price tag on it. Now I had to figure out how I was going to play it cool at the cash register. I walked up to the cashier hoping that she would not notice the sweat beading on my forehead and hear the anticipation and excitement in my voice when I asked, "How much is this clock?" "Myrna, this lady wants to know how much for this clock", she yelled to the back of the store. A voice came from behind a shelf and said, "$3.00". In my head a voice is saying, "Holy Shit! $3.00".

I paid the lady and got out of the store as quickly as possible. I was sure that the George Nelson clock police were going to hunt me down and confiscate it. Later, as guilt set in, I sent the charity a donation that was worthy of the clock. It was a karma thing.

Anyhow, I got my clock and six years later, it's still one of my favorite things. It looked great in our funky Florida condo and it looks great in our 1925 Ohio house. It's definitely a keeper and a classic.
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