Table clock attributed to Hans Buschmann

Augsburg, South Germany, around AD 1650

Table clock with cross-beat escapement and remontoire

This clock is of simple design with a typical Augsburg ebony base marked with a pine-cone. Although the clock is not signed, it is thought to have been made by Hans Buschmann the Elder (1591-1662) as it is similar to a drawing of another of his clocks. Hans Buschmann was one of the leading clockmakers in Augsburg during the first half of the seventeenth century. His work was greatly influenced by another celebrated German maker, Jost Bürgi, who had worked for both the Landgrav Wilhem IV (1532-92) in Kassel and also the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II (1552-1612), in Prague.

In about 1652, when this clock was made in Augsburg, the most recent refinement of clock making technology was the cross-beat escapement. Although this type of escapement was not invented by Bürgi, he developed it and used it with great success in his astronomical precision regulators. This example has a finely made steel escape wheel with 300 teeth and demonstrates the accomplishment of the best German clockmakers in this period. To power the escapement, Buschmann has used another technical innovation popularized by Bürgi, the spring remontoire. This small secondary spring is designed to power the escapement directly and is periodically rewound by the much larger mainspring housed in the ebony base of the clock. Sadly, the escapement and the astrolabic dial of this clock are now missing.

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More information


K. Maurice and O. Mayr (eds.), The clockwork universe: German (New York, Smithsonian Institution)


Height: 49.500 cm (including base)
Width: 23.000 cm (base)

Museum number

M&ME 1973,2-2,1



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