Mirror clock

Maker: Movement attributed to Master CR (probably active before 1565)

Artist: Stem and foot probably cast from designs by Matthias Zündt (German, probably ca. 1498–1572 Nürnberg)

Artist: Band of case from design by Cornelis Bos (Netherlandish, Hertogenbosch ca. 1510?–before 1566 Groningen)

Date: ca. 1565–70

Culture: German, Nuremberg

Medium: Case: gilded brass and gilded copper; Dial: gilded brass; Movement: plated frame of iron, iron wheels

Dimensions: Overall: 16 × 6 1/4 × 1 1/4 in. (40.6 × 15.9 × 3.2 cm)

Classification: Horology

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.639


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.