RALCO ART DECO DIAMOND WATCH, SWISS, CIRCA 1920
diamond watch, running movement, 17 jewels, inside back cover inscribed 17 jewels, seventeen, Ralco Co, Swiss.
"Ralco" watches were produced by Movado, the name originating from the first letter of the names of three members of the Ditesheim family (owners of Movado), Roger, Armand and Lucien.
Lot numbers 3-17 in this auction are from the collections of the prominent historical figures Dr. Victor Chi-tsai Hoo and his brother Ambassador Hu Shi Xi, dignitaries from the Republic of China, and themselves descending from an influential family of diplomats. Their father, Hu Weide, was the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Qing Dynasty, and briefly served as the Premier of the Republic of China after Duan Qirui was ousted from Beijing in 1926. He was instrumental in bringing democracy to the Qing Dysnasty and was a member of the Chinese delegation at both the Treaty of Versailles as well as the Hague Peace Conference.
Victor Hoo, coming from such an illustrious family, continued in his father's footsteps as a diplomat for the Republic of China. Having represented China at the League of Nations, Dr. Hoo was later named Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1945, and later became the highest ranking Nationalist Chinese at the United Nations, becoming Undersecretary General. The only member of the higher staff of the United Nations to speak all five official languages fluenty (Chinese, Russian, English, French, and Spanish), Dr. Hoo was socially adept and extremely active on the international stage. He was both a participant and contributor representing the Republic of China's wishes at the most seminal events of the 20th Century, including the Versailles Treaty, the San Francisco Conference creating the UN, Dumbarton Oaks, and many others. It is perhaps for this reason, that Chiang Kai Shek ordered Dr. Victor Hoo to remain at office at the United Nations as long as possible, which he did until the end of his life, at the age of 77.
Collection of Dr. Victor Chi-tsai Hoo (1894-1972), Chinese Diplomat and Undersecretary General of the United Nations, and son of Hu Weide (1863-1933), Chinese Ambassador to Russia, Japan, and France
Thence by descent in the family