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European Clocks and Watches Cover

European Clocks and Watches in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Vincent, Clare, Jan Hendrik Leopold, and Elizabeth Sullivan
288 pages
270 illustrations
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Among the world's greatest technological and imaginative achievements is the invention and development of the timepiece. Examining for the first time The Metropolitan Museum of Art's unparalleled collection of European clocks and watches created from the late Renaissance through the nineteenth century, this fascinating book enriches our understanding of the origins and evolution of these ingenious works. It showcases fifty-four clocks, watches, and other timekeeping devices, each represented with an in-depth description and new photography of the exterior and the inner mechanisms.

Among these masterpieces is an ornate sixteenth-century celestial timepiece that accurately predicts the trajectory of the sun, moon, and stars; an eighteenth-century longcase clock by David Roentgen that shows the time in the ten most important cities of the day; and a nineteenth-century watch featuring a penetrating portrait of Czar Nicholas I of Russia. Created by the best craftsmen in Austria, England, Flanders, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, these magnificent timepieces have been selected for their remarkable beauty and design, as well as their sophisticated mechanics. Built upon decades of expert research, this publication is a long-overdue survey of these stunning visual and technological marvels.

Hooded wall clock with calendar, Ahasuerus I Fromanteel  British, Case: ebony and oak veneered with ebony, ebonized wood, gilded brass; Dial: gilded brass with silvered-brass chapter ring; Movement: brass, steel, British, London
Ahasuerus I Fromanteel
ca. 1660–65
Clock with pedestal, André Charles Boulle  French, Case and pedestal of oak with marquetry of tortoiseshell, engraved brass, and pewter; gilt bronze; dial of gilt brass with white enameled Arabic numerals; movement of brass and steel, French, Paris
Multiple artists/makers
ca. 1690
Design for a Ring Watch, Plate 32 from Livre d'Aneaux d'Orfevrerie, Pierre Woeiriot de Bouzey II  French, Engraving
Pierre Woeiriot de Bouzey II
Portrait of a Man, Possibly an Architect or Geographer, Peter Paul Rubens  Flemish, Oil on copper
Peter Paul Rubens
Watch, Jacques Goullons  French, Case and dial: painted enamel on gold; Movement: gilded brass and steel, partly blued, French, Paris or Blois
Multiple artists/makers
ca. 1645–50
Watch, Firm of Lépine  French, Gold, engine-turned silver, niello, champlevé enamel, French, Paris
Firm of Lépine
19th century
Astronomical table clock, Jeremias Metzger  German, Case and dials: gilded brass; Movement: iron, German, Augsburg
Jeremias Metzger
Caspar Behaim (Chasparus Bohemus)
Mirror clock, Master CR, Case: gilded brass and gilded copper; Dial: gilded brass; Movement: plated frame of iron, iron wheels, German, Nuremberg
Multiple artists/makers
ca. 1565–70
Watch, W.A., Case and dial: gilded brass; Movement: gilded brass and polished steel, Flemish, Antwerp or possibly Ghent
Celestial globe with clockwork, Gerhard Emmoser  German, Case: partially gilded silver, gilded brass; movement: brass, steel, Austrian, Vienna
Gerhard Emmoser
Table clock, Bartholomew Newsam  British, Case: engraved, chased, and gilded brass; dial: silver; movement: brass and steel, British, London
Bartholomew Newsam
Traveling case, Bartholomew Newsam  British, Leather and brass, partly gilded, British, London
Bartholomew Newsam
Watch in the form of a badge of the Order of the Garter, Nicholas Vallin  Flemish, Case and dial: gold, partly enameled; movement: gilded brass and steel, British, London
Nicholas Vallin
ca. 1600
Clock-watch with sundial, Jan Jansen Bockeltz  Dutch, Case: gilded brass; Dial: gilded brass, silver, and copper; Movement: gilded brass, partly blued steel, and silver, Dutch, Haarlem
Jan Jansen Bockeltz
ca. 1605–10
Watch, Jacob Wybrants, Case: rock crystal and gold, partly enameled; Movement: gilded brass and steel, partly blued, Dutch, Leeuwarden
Jacob Wybrants
ca. 1640
Automaton clock in the form of Urania, Paullus Schiller  German, Case: partly gilded and partly silvered brass, copper with traces of silver, ebony, and ebony veneer; Movement: gilded brass and partly blued steel, German, Nuremberg
Paullus Schiller
ca. 1620–30
Automaton clock in the form of an eagle, Case: gilded brass on base of ebony and ebony veneered on fruitwood; Movement: brass and iron, German, Augsburg
German, Augsburg
ca. 1630
Automaton clock in the form of a lion, Karl Schmidt  German, Case: gilded brass and gilded silver on a base of ebony, and ebony veneered on fruitwood; Dial: silvered brass; Movement: iron and brass, German, Augsburg
Karl Schmidt
ca. 1620–35
Watch, Pierre Vernede, Case: rock crystal and enameled gold mounts; Dial: gold, champlevé enamel, and painted enamel; Movement: gilded brass and partly blued steel, French
Pierre Vernede
ca. 1650
Watch, Noël Hubert  French, Case: rock crystal, gold, enamel, French, Rouen
Noël Hubert
ca. 1612–50
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View Citations

Vincent, Clare, John H. Leopold, and Elizabeth L. Sullivan. 2015. European Clocks and Watches in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Highlights of the Collection. New York: The Metropolitan museum of art.