An astronomical table clock, ascribed to Carl Gutbub, c. 1570. The rectangular, gilt brass, profusely engraved and chased case has removable side doors with fluted square pillars, both engraved with a warrior, the lower sections with a monarch sitting on his throne. The four sides of the moulded base each with an oval medallion, engraved with the four seasons and the names of the continents known at the time: EUROPA, ASIA, AFRICA and AMERICA. On top a gallery and a pierced and engraved dome surmounted by a finial and covering the two bells; four similarly shaped finials to the corners, the whole resting on four feet. There are three gilt brass dials on the front side and three astronomical dials on the opposite side. The front side: dial with engraved hour division I-XII, asterisk half-hour marks, and hour division 13-24. Touch pins, single steel hand; engraved numbered alarm disc in the centre. Two subsidiary dials below with engraved centres; the top one a quarter dial I-IIII, the lower a day-of-the-week dial, indicated by the Latin names and their symbols; time to be set with the quarter hand. The astronomical side: dial with a silver chapter ring, hour division I - XII twice; touch pins, single steel hand. The time indication synchronised with the dial on the front side. The twelve signs of the Zodiac engraved inside the chapter ring, each with the degrees 10-20-30. A gilt brass hand with a sun emblem revolving full circle in a year and giving the position of the sun in the ecliptic; the other end indicating the approximate length of day and night on a 8-16-8 scale. A third hand with a moon emblem indicating the position of the moon in the ecliptic. Two subsidiary engraved silver dials below, the upper one indicating the moon phase and age, 1-29, the lower showing the position of the quarter-striking train. The day-going, partly gilt brass movement has an extremely compact construction: going and quarter- striking train and the alarm mechanism mounted in the space enclosed by the front and rear dials, the bottom and top plates, measuring only 10 x 6.7 x 5.3 cm. Going train in front of the quarter-striking train; verge escapement with a two-spoke wheel balance on top of the movement. The hour striking train mounted in the base. No fusee; no slow/fast regulation. Quarter striking 1-4; the quarter-striking train releasing the hour striking. Gilt and engraved spring barrels; the alarm mechanism, mounted on the left side to a shaped and engraved plate surmounted by and forming a whole with a shaped square pillar, and embellished by an applied dragon head. Hour striking; plain count wheels; two superimposed bells in the dome, the larger one for hour striking and alarm, the smaller one for sounding the quarters. • Height: 18 cm. • Note: The former Fremersdorf collection in Luzern, Switzerland had an almost identical clock bearing the punchmark CG and the mark of the city of Strasbourg. CG stands for Carl Gutbub. • Literature: Jürgen Abeler, Meister der Uhrmacherkunst, Wuppertal, 2010, p. 200; H.M. Vehmeyer, Clocks – Their Origin and Development 1320 – 1880, Gent, 2004, pp. 772-775.
The Horological Foundation Desk Diary Project.
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