Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Astronomical Table Clock, second quarter of 16th century
    German; Made in Augsburg
    Case of gilt bronze and gilt brass; movement of gilt brass and steel: H. 25 in. (63.5 cm), W. 10 in. (25.4 cm), D. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.747)

    Made as a masterpiece, a requirement for admission to the guild of clockmakers in Augsburg, this clock strikes the hours and quarters and displays three systems of counting hours: French hours (I–XII), Italian hours (1–24, beginning at sundown), and Nuremberg hours (divided into daylight and night hours, which vary in number according to the season of the year). It also indicates the day of the week and the month of the year. On the back is an astrolabe dial that shows the apparent motions of nearly twenty stars in the northern hemisphere, with hands that show the positions of the sun and the moon in the zodiac, and the phases and ages of the moon. These astronomical indications, required by guild specifications, are a survival of the late medieval tradition of illustrating the motions of the heavenly bodies by the use of mechanically driven clockwork.

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    On view: Gallery 520
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  • Astronomical Table Clock, second quarter of 16th century
    German; Made in Augsburg
    Case of gilt bronze and gilt brass; movement of gilt brass and steel: H. 25 in. (63.5 cm), W. 10 in. (25.4 cm), D. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.747)

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