Half-hour sandglass


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 520

Considerably cheaper and more durable than clocks, sandglasses also required no maintenance. This finely wrought example for the highest end of the market was probably intended for devotional purposes. It would prompt its user not only to reflect on the passing of time and the transience of life but also, more practically, to time half-hour periods of prayer and meditation. Nuremberg became a center of sandglass production, uniting new glass technologies, local metalworkers, and a ready source of particularly fine reddish sand from the nearby village of Weissenbrunn.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]

Half-hour sandglass, Gilded silver, gilded bronze, glass, sand, German

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