WWI 4.5inch chemical shell, De Dion Bouton


Here we have a clock which combines strange aesthetic beauty with moral bankruptcy, quite poignant for today’s times.

This is a 4.5 inch chemical shell, made by and presented by DD Dion Bouton 1907 Ltd. in January 1919, just after the end of the First World War.

De Dion Bouton were the largest car manufacturer in the world at the turn of the 1900s, producing 400 cars and 3,200 engines and as such have a huge motoring provenance. Click here for more information from the the Wikipedia page.      During the First World War their production turned to military equipment and munitions and here we have an example of this.

They have fitted an Ansonia Clock Company 8-day movement with a white enamel dial with Arabic numerals and subsidiary seconds. The massively heavy brass / bronze shell case is mounted on a turned and profiled ebonies wooden base with its presentation plaque.

There are numerous manufacturers marks detailing its potential use in military issue.

There are very few clocks I have had which I found loveable and hateful at the same time. This has to be one. The patination on this is fantastic, the styling is fantastic, the proportions are fantastic.

Its original intended use is appalling.

Overall Height: 19 inches (48cms)

Width of base: 7 inches (18cms)


The clock movement is to be overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.

Ref: HE

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