Known as a mirror clock for its form’s similarity to a looking glass, this has also been called a monstrance clock because it resembles the receptacle for the consecrated host. Religious references in early clocks reflect the Renaissance linking of science and the cosmos to the idea of divine order. This clock displays the hours, days, and a wealth of celestial information. Though not accurate timekeepers, early clocks were valued for their craftsmanship and technical ingenuity: luxury items designed to educate and impress.
J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until 1917; to MMA)
Artist: Clock maker: Jean Godde l'aîné (French, ca. 1668–1748/49)Date: ca. 1740–45Medium: Case: gilded bronze, oak, and tortoiseshell on brass marquetry on oak; Dial: white enamel and gilded brass with blued-steel hands; Movement: brass and steelAccession: 1971.206.27On view in:Gallery 526
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
Artist: Watchmaker: Lambertus Vrythoff (recorded 1724–69)Date: case ca. 1645, movement ca. 1750Medium: Case and dial: enameled gold; Movement: gilded brass and steel, partly bluedAccession: 17.190.1413On view in:Gallery 532
Artist: Clockmaker: Ferdinand Berthoud (French, 1727–1807)Date: ca. 1768–70Medium: Case: oak veneered with ebony and brass, with gilt-bronze mounts; Dial: white enamel; Movement: gilded brass and steelAccession: 1982.60.50On view in:Gallery 540