Renaissance clocks



Punch marked: HK
Circa 1580


The iron spring-driven, day-going double-fusee movement of this early Renaissance table clock, a so-called Türmchenuhr, is constructed between iron bars. It consists of going and striking trains. The going train has a brass and iron spring barrel, brass and iron gut fusee, and a vertical verge escapement with balance situated under a bell. The striking train is controlled by a countwheel and indicates the hours fully on the bell. In addition, the clock has an alarm, which marked by the maker HK (which stands for Hans Koch).

The fire-gilt brass dial has a chapter ring with Roman hour divisions and touch pins (I-XII), Arabic hour divisions (13-24), half-hour and quarter-hour divisions. The time is indicated by a single pierced blued-steel hand shaped as a tulip. In the middle is an engraved Arabic alarm disc, the alarm time being indicated by the tail of the hour hand.

The fire-gilt and engraved brass case of this Renaissance wall has removable panels to the sides giving access to the movement. These panels are an integral part of the shaped corner pillars. The engraving below the dial depicts a coat of arms, flanked by scroll motifs, similar to the engravings on the other sides. The alarm is wound on the right-hand side, whereas the other winding arbors are at the back. The dial on the rear side indicated the last hour struck. The clock is surmounted by a bell in an elaborately pierced, chased and engraved bell strap embellished on the top by a double-headed eagle and supported on the corners by four buttresses. In front of the bell is a slide to switch the alarm on and off.

Duration one day

Height 21.5 cm                                                                                                                                                          Width 13 cm                                                                                                                                                              Depth 13 cm

The maker
Hans Koch was the court clockmaker of Duke Albrecht V in Munich from 1557-1599. He became master in 1554, signing his clocks with the punch mark H.K. and/or the Munich hallmark, a head of a monk looking to the right. He died before 1603.

J. Abeler, Meister der Uhrmacherkunst, Wuppertal, 2010, p. 303.


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