European clocks were often, and from the outset, associated with the creation of automata—moving, mechanized figures or contrivances. Seventeenth-century Augsburg clockmakers specialized in small domestic examples. Here, when the clock strikes the hour, the scepter moves, and on the quarter hours the eagle opens and shuts its beak and rolls its eyes. The eagle emblem of the Habsburgs had special meaning for inhabitants of Augsburg, a free city with a direct allegiance to the Habsburg Holy Roman emperors.
Marking: Stamped on the ebony base, at back:  pinecone (town mark of Augsburg);  MS conjoined with shield (unidentified cabinetmaker's mark)
Artist: Fourteen identified German (Augsburg) goldsmiths and other German artisans; Japanese (Imari) porcelain makerDate: ca. 1743–45Medium: Gilt silver, hard-paste porcelain, cut glass, walnut, carved and partially gilt coniferous wood, blind-tooled and partially gilt leather, partially gilt steel and iron, textiles, moiré paper, hog's bristleAccession: 2005.364.1a–d–.48On view in:Gallery 551
Artist: Clockmaker: Franz Xavier Gegenreiner (German, active 1760–70)Date: case ca. 1710, movement ca. 1760–70Medium: Case: tortoiseshell backed with brass leaf, pearwood veneered with rosewood; and partly gilded silver; Movement: gilded brass and steelAccession: 46.162On view in:Gallery 551