Renaissance clocks


Circa 1580

The spring-driven steel movement is constructed between bars and consists of going, striking and alarm trains. The going train has a vertical verge escapement and balance. The striking train is controlled by a countwheel and indicates the hours fully on a bell. The going and striking trains both have fusees.

Front: the round, fire-gilt brass dial has the following engraved indications from the outside inwards: a ring with touch pieces at each hour, a Roman chapter ring I-XII, and an Arabic chapter ring 13-24. The touch pieces allow the time to be felt in the dark. In the centre of the dial is an engraved fire-gilt brass alarm disc with Arabic hour numerals. The time is indicated by a steel hour hand, the tail of which indicates the alarm time on the alarm disc.

Rear: the fire-gilt brass base plate has an engraved chapter ring with Arabic numerals 1-12, the time being indicated by a blued steel hand, which indicates the last struck hour of the striking train. A hole has been made between the 5 and the 6 so that the striking mechanism can be set back into synchrony with a pin if necessary.

Left side: an engraved fire-gilt brass ring 1-29 with a cross to indicate the lunar date, with an engraved aspect diagram in the centre on a rotating disk with a circular aperture to show the phases of the moon. The small, engraved hand on the edge of the disc indicates the lunar date.

Right side: the fire-gilt brass base plate has an engraved circle divided into the days of the week, marked by their names in Latin. The day is indicated by a steel hand.

The fire-gilt brass case has richly decorative engravings of birds, lions, griffins, and scroll motifs on all sides. The corners of the case are decorated with engraved columns. The side panels can be removed to gain access to the movement. The winding holes for the going, striking and alarm clocks are located on the three sides, covered with shutters. Various leaf motifs are engraved in the centre. The bell strap with which the bell is mounted on the case is decorated with sculpted acanthus leaves. There are beautifully turned finials on the corners. The whole is surmounted by a warrior with a shield and spear. In front of the bell on the left side is a small slide with which the alarm clock can be turned on or off.

Duration: 24 hours
Height 21 cm.
Width 10.5 cm.
Depth 10.5 cm.

Klaus Maurice, Die Deutsche Räderuhr, Vol II, figs. 82a and 248.

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