- Museum number
Table clock; spring-driven movement; restored verge escapement; posted-frame with central bar in place; front bar supporting going-train; back bar supporting the striking-train (hours only); fusee 'stop-iron' on back bar; ratchet-work on front bar to 'set-up' the mainspring when the movement is assembled; gilded copper case with additional dial to indicate last hour struck; sides engraved with Fame and Virgin and Child; surmounted by cast and chased scene showing a child asleep, finial missing.
- Production date
- Curator's comments
- The following text is the entry for this object from the unpublished catalogue of pre-pendulum clocks by John Leopold, former Assistant Keeper of Horology at the Museum. This information is unedited and should be used accordingly.
SQUARE VERTICAL TABLECLOCK, MARKED M.M. (MICHEL MüLLER?), AUGSBURG; last quarter 16th century.
Postcards (1925) No.5a.
Stamped at the top of the front bar of the movement with two marks: the Augsburg Pyr and MM in shield.
Case and dials.
The case is made of gilded brass, except for the base which is gilded copper. The insides of the side-panels are not gilded and may originally have been silvered.
The base is attached to the movement by nuts screwed onto the ends of the pillars; the top is pinned to the top plate of the movement by three studs.
Base and top plate each have two slots front and back, which fit the lugs of the two dial-plates, thus securing them. To each dial-plate a cast dial has been riveted; that at the front divided I - XII and 13 - 24 for the hours, that at the back 1 - 12 for the striking train, each with twelve touch-knobs. The brass hands are not original. The hour-dial has between II and III a hole for inserting a peg to set off the striking at will; this hole apears to be the second attempt for an earlier one, between III and IIII, has been filled. Both dials have a gilded brass hand.
The side panels, to which the corner pillars are riveted, originally were a simple friction-fit; they are now secured by a lug in a hole at the bottom, and a spring-clip fitting into slots at the top (both the spring-clip and the lugs have been added).
A profiled strip has been riveted to the top and bottom of the dial-plates and the side-panels.The steel bell-stand is screwed to the top plate; the bell is later and too small. Four turned finials are riveted to the corners of the top plate
The base has been chased with volutes. Both dial-plates and the insides of the side-panels are engraved with strapwork filled with tendrils; the topplate has similar tendrils. The outside of the left-hand side-panel is engraved with a figure of the Virgin and Child in the mandorla and standing on the moon; that on the right has a winged figure of Fame with a trumpet. The side-pilars are unusually complicated.
The top of the case does not belong. It consists of a pierced band (recent) which carries a top piece richly cast with a Puto, tree-trunks and small animals. This part probably started life as the foot of a stem-cup, and may be a little older than the clock.
Constructed almost enitrely of iron, with brass fusees and spring-barrels (replacements). Posted frame; two square plates connected at the corners by simple square-sectioned pillars screwed top and bottom (several of the nuts replaced in brass). The pillars at front-right and rear-left can be removed without disassembling the frame; the rear bar and the rear-right pillar have been partly cut away to enable the striking detend to be mounted.
All original train-wheels have three crossings; those for the countwheel and for the hand are solid.
All holes for the train-wheels have been bushed in brass except for one hole each for the spring-barrels (in the outer bars) and both holes for each of the greatwheels, all of which run in steel. The centre pivot of the barrel arbor of the striking runs in a blind (brass) hole. The hour-hand wheel sits on a brass disc riveted to the bar.
60 ┌ 50 45 36
── | ── ── ── 9 (x 2)
6 ┤ 5 5 6
4 | ┘
Dial-wheel ← 75 |
Spring barrel: brass, both caps riveted (one side now brazed, the other may have been pinned). Spring with traces of blueing; 12.5 x .4 mm. Both ends of the spring hooked to steel studs riveted to the wall of the barrel and to the arbor; the arbor has no mantle (see striking train) and no traces of earlier hooking. The entire assembly of barrel and spring is probably an early replacement. Steel set-up wheel of 13. Conventional stopwork.
Greatwheel: the teeth have subsequently been roughly champhered (away from the fusee, apparently to avoid fouling the centre of the 2nd wheel). Split fusee, brass with steel hook, 5½ turns, cut for gut; 19 ratchet teeth. Reversed fusee. External steel click and click-spring (both riveted). Conventional stopwork.
Spring barrel with both lids riveted with three studs (traces of solder toward the centre). Brass set-up wheel with 12 ratchet teeth (this wheel is a crude repair).
The arbor of the present contrate wheel used to carry the scape-wheel. Steel potence screwed to the centre bar. The contrate wheel and the present scape-wheel, of brass, form part of the pendulum-conversion. The original hog-bristle regulator is missing.
Dial-wheel: for this unusual number see introduction, p. . The wheel sits on a later brass spacer which covers the front hole for the thrid wheel.
Second wheel: the pinion-of-report is a lantern cut out of the end of the arbor.
48 ┌ 48 45 45
-- | -- -- --
8 ┤ 8 5 5
6 | ┘
Countwheel ← 78 |
Spring-barrel: both caps riveted over three lugs (one side may originally have been pinned. One of the caps has three pairs of holes for the gut (one pair damaged). Spring with traces of blueing; 12.5 x .4 mm. Both ends of the spring hooked over steel studs riveted to the barrel wall and the arbor; the arbor now has a brass mantle but there are no traces of earlier hooking. The whole assembly of barrel and spring is probably an early replacement. Brass set-up wheel of 12 (replacement). Conventional stopwork.
Greatwheel: teeth subsequently champhered (see going train). Split fusee, brass with steel nose, 5½ turns, cut for gut; 18 ratchet teeth. Reversed fusee. External steel click and click-spring (both riveted).
Second wheel: 6 lifting pins. The brass pinion-of-report, riveted over a square on the end of the arbor, may replace a steel one.
Third wheel: single disc.
Fourth wheel: stud on band for locking.
Heavy brass fly (the brass part replaced).
Steel detends; nag's head with brass hinged part and spring; end of the indexing arm replaced in brass. The spring that loads the detend has been replaced.
Hammer: vertical arbour, driven by right-angle piece.
Unwarned striking with hammer lifting by the 2nd wheel, overlift off disc on the 3rd and locking on the 4th wheel.
Going train: duration - 35.2 hours.
escapement - ca. 7594 beats per hour.
Striking train: duration - 198 strokes (ca. 30 hours).
Both trains wind anti-clockwise.
Height: 146 mm
Base: 94 x 94 mm
Movement: distance between the plates: 80.5 mm
distance between the bars, going: 20 mm
striking: 19 mm
An early conversion is probably the change in the attachment of the side-panels by means of added bottom lugs that fit into holes in the base, and a spring-clip on the top-plate which engages slots cut into the tops of the panels.
The main conversion was, however, the addition of a small pendulum. At this time the original (vertical) scape-wheel was replaced by a contrate wheel and a small (horizontal) scapewheel was added, thus allowing for the much faster beat of the small pendulum. The contruction is a fairly common one and may date from the 18th century. The shape of the edge of the top plate of the movement shows that there originally was a hog-bristle regulator which could be adjusted behind the right-hand side-panel.
The present pendulum-bob is part of a silver watch-pendant marked twice WP in cameo, for William Poulton, London, registered in 1840 (Culme ). The clock has been regilded; these details may be Octavius Morgan's additions (compare the similar finish of 1888,12-1,126).
HISTORY AND PROVENANCE.
Octavius Morgan collection; it is not known where or when Morgan acquired the clock.
Octavius Morgan bequest, 1888; reg.1888,12-1,128.
The mark MM in combination with the Augsburg Pineapple is tentatively identified as Michel Müller, originally from Breslau (Wroclaw), who became a master in the Augsburg blacksmiths guild in 1568 and died before 1601 (Maurice  293, 295 fig.124). However, the initials fit several other makers. One other clock with these marks exists: it is also a tabernacle clock, but it has the marks on the case 1).
For this "hidden" way of marking the movement see the Introduction.
1) Maximilianum Museum, Augsburg (Maurice  fig 124; Abeler  404; Friesz  10, the marks not mentioned).
BIBLIOGRAPHY (Pauline Wholey – 2019)
Postcards (1925) - British Museum, Set 77, Clocks from the 16th to the 18th Century ... 15 Pictorial Postcards (London? ca.1925). Envelope containing 6 pages of text and 15 postcards. There exist two issues; in the earlier one the postcards are slightly larger and they have no printed material on the back. NB: "No photographs seem to be available" (HJ [April 1923] 158).
1) Maurice (1976) K.Maurice, Die deutsche Räderuhr, 2 vols. (Munich 1976). Page numbers refer to vol.1, fig. numbers to vol.2.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number