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Anonymous, German (17th Century)
Gilt-brass and silver quarter-striking monstrance clock-watch with calendar

, c. 1630 - 1640

case; gilt-brass

290 mm height base (hexagonal) 83.8 mm diameter

Case: Gilt-brass case consisting of a hexagonal base on which is mounted a silver and gilt-brass figure of Hercules supporting the watch which is then surmounted by a silver figure of Cupid. The mounded base, supported by three silvered-brass winged figures, has a hinged bottom panel on which is mounted a bell. Above the base is a wide, manually set, silver band engraved and enamelled in colours with the days of the week each depicted by its ruling planet in sign and personification Sol, Luna, Mars etc. Above the base is a conical section consisting of two manually set rings, the lower one engraved with the date 1-30 and the upper one showing the months in Latin, each with its number of days. Standing above this is a silver figure of Hercules with a gilt lion's skin cloak. This figure supports the watch-case proper which is flanked by pierced silver frames of foliate scrolls and grotesques as well as two long finials. At the very top is a standing figure of Cupid. The case of the watch is of gilt brass with a plain band, a deep pierced bezel at the front pierced and engraved with foliate scrolls and rosettes at the sides, and a shallow bezel at the back enclosing a faceted glass. The movement is pinned to the front bezel plate via a long hinge at the front and by a short catch locked by a transverse pin at the back. Not exhibited is a Tooled leather outer case with an aperture at the front which reveals the dial. Dial: Around the outside is a raised gilt-brass ring numbered I-IIII for the quarters, with IIII at the top. Within this, the silver dial is engraved with hours I-XII around the outside. The lower area within the chapter ring is engraved an enamelled in colours with a deer and a tree. The upper part consists of a large round-topped aperture with two semi-circles at the bottom. The aperture reveals a revolving disc engraved and enamelled in colours with clouds and moon effigies to show the phase of the moon. The disc is also numbered 1-292 for the moon's age. There are two hands, the gilt hand for the hours and the blued-steel hand for the quarters. There were also originally three pointers for the date, month and day of the week. Now only the date pointer and part of the day-of-week pointer survive, the one for the month now completely missing. Movement: Oval gilt-brass plates with four baluster pillars pinned to the front plate. The going train is driven by a gilt-brass barrel with ratchet and click set-up mounted on the back plate, the gilt-brass click elaborately pierced and engraved with foliate scrolls. Fusee with original chain and standard stop-work. Four wheel train of thick gilt-brass wheels. Verge escapement, the crown wheel running between rivetted potence and counter-potence. A later steel 2-arm balance oscillates beneath a gilt-brass foliate balance cock, pinned to a stud on the back plate. Also on the back plate is an enamelled silver disc within a gilt-brass ring with two foliate brackets. The disc is engraved 1- 4 to show the position of the quarter count-wheel. The quarter-striking train is driven by a fixed gilt-brass barrel. The train wheels relatively thick and the last is a roller pinion with a large gilt-brass barrel roller. Pins on the great wheel a lever which acts on a long which passes down through the figure of Hercules to the base where it releases the hour striking mechanism housed within. The movement is unsigned. Notes: 1. Although unsigned this monstrance clock- watch is one of a group (see no. 212 below for another). Closer examples survive, all with the Hercules figure supporting the watch, by Hans Buschmann, Hans Christoph Kreitzer and Samuel Haug, all of Augsburg. 2. The dial decoration is in the style of the engraver V. Sezenius. Literature: F.J. Britten, Old Clocks and Their Makers, 9th ed. p.34, pl.16. Klaus Maurice, Die Deutsche Räderuhr,1976, Vol.II, pl.464.

Revd T.J. Bokenham
Sotheby's, 1935

Bequeathed by J. Francis Mallett, 1947.


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