- Museum number
Astrolabic table clock; thirty-hour movement converted to pendulum; quarter-strike on two bells; side strike dial; rectangular gilt case with domed hood engraved with figures of Justice, Geometria, Hannibal, Juno, Diana, and others; bust portraits in panels; case with silvered metal columns to sides; terminal figure and scroll supports to domed hood; surmounted by silvered-metal standing figure of Bellona.
- Production date
Height: 13.25 inches
- 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The following text is the entry for this object from the unpublished catalogue of pre-pendulum clocks by John Leopold, former Assistant Keeper of Horology at the Museum.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.
METZGER-TYPE CLOCK. Probably Augsburg; ca.1580
Auction Cat. Sotheby, London, 21 July 1949, lot no.60.
Hillary (1955) 367 (bottom row, 4th from right).
Exhib.cat. London 1958 no.7.
Cat.Ilbert (1958) no.263.
HJ 102 no.1221 (June 1960) 370.
Maurice (1976) fig.178.
Tait (1983) 25-7 (shown without feet).
The early drawing:
Wainwright (1989) 258.
No signature or mark.
On the centre of the lunar hand, over the aspectarium, and on the alarm disc:
"C Wolf paris" (engraved through the gilding).
On the back vertical panel, under the removeable 12-hour chapterring, at the top, scrached: "24".
Case and dials.
Since the winding holes of the clock are on the side with the 12-hour dial this is to be considered the back of the clock, the side with the astrolabe being the front. By these conventions the present finial is facing the wrong way.
The case is constructed of brass, gilded on the visible surfaces, and with some sivered ornaments. It consists of the base, four vertical panels, top plate, and the dome.
The construction of the case has been modified. Originally the base was attached to the bottom plate of the movement by four feet: two feet hooking into the movement plate (right-hand side) and two more feet locking the base in position, one of the locking feet being secured by a latch on the movement plate (at front-left). The top plate is similarly attached to the movement, except that here the hooking feet are on the left and the locking feet on the right; the steel latch is at the front. The large vertical panels at front and back each have two lugs to fit into slots in the base; near the top they each have two feet which are pinned through the movement-pillars. The narrow panels, to which the side pillars are attached, each fit by two lugs at the bottom into slots in the base, and were originally held at the top by spring-catches attached to the top plate. The dome is attached to the top plate by two hooking-feet on the left and two locking feet on the right, the latter being secured by pins.
The changes are as follows. The latch for the base is missing, and the base is now secured by pins through the lugs of the large vertical panels. The attachment of the top plate remains, but the large vertical panels are now additionally secured to the top plate by two screws each (at the back one screw missing). The spring-catches for the sides have been removed to be replaced by sliding catches in the tops of the sides; on the right-hand side this new catch has since disappeared.
The base was cast as a single piece, but apparently there was a flaw in the casting: at back-centre a piece was added to the rim (riveted and brazed). The four feet are riveted to the base. Along the circumference of the raised portion a geometrical patern has been engraved. The flared portions are elaborately engraved with inhabited arabesque ornament. At front and back there is a hippocamp in each corner, while at the front-centre there is a female figure with a globe and at back-centre another female figure holding a square and a scroll(?); they may represent Astronomia and Architectura. At the sides the flared portion are engraved with female portaits flanked by running foxes. Four sivered brass lion-paws have been screwed to the corners of the base by a screw with two locating pins each; these feet are not original (see conversions).
All the vertical panels have profiled bands at top and bottom; these bands are riveted to the panels. The larger panels each carry three dials, the smaller ones have apertures to reveal dials that are mounted on the movement.
The front panel has three dials, none of which are now connected to the movement. The main dial contains an astrolabe. This dial is surrounded by a ring which is divided twice I - XII, with half-hour marks and touch-pins for the hours. The ring is a separate piece, secured to the plate by 6 bajonet-feet locked in position by a steel latch on the back of the plate. The inner rim of the ring is bevelled inwards and originally prevented the rete from leaning out (the rete is now distorted and the ring does not retain it any more).
The disc of the astrolab is engraved on the front panel and there is no provision for other discs. The figure "51" below the centre of the disc indicates the latitude, 51. The disc is engraved with the usual coordinates and circles; the unequal hours (for night time only) are numbered twice.
The rete is damaged: the ecliptica with the inner portion have been broken out and re-inserted using rivets and soft solder. There is no longer a drive for this dial and the rete has been secured to the panel by two pins. The rete has pointers for 24 stars, each engraved with the name:
In fluv. Erid.
Hum. sinist. Orio
Pes sinister Orionis
Hum. dext Orionis
Cor leonis. Regulus
Crus sinist boo
In corpore bootis.
Corn bor. Capricorni
Austr. Caudæ Ceti.
The dial has two hands, but neither is original. The inner hand carries a figure of the moon and has at the centre an aspectarium with a hole for the moon-phases; it is therefore a lunar hand, but it is mounted on the solar wheel. The other hand has no figure of the sun or lunar volvelle and does not belong to an astrolab at all. The hands are mounted on the original wheels, which are no longer connected to the movement.
Under the astrolabic dial are two smaller dials. The one on the left is a cast disc, now fastened to the plate by a rivet but originally mobile. It is carries the representations and names of the planets corresponding to the weekdays: counter-clockwise SOL LVNA MARS MERCVRIVS IVPITER VENVS SATVRNVS. At the centre the disc has a riveted square brass plug which holds a steel hand (hand later). - The small dial on the right consists of a cast ring, pinned to the plate by three feet, and a disc which is attached by what appears to be wax. The ring is divided in twelve parts, each marked with a symbol of a sign of the zodiac and the degree-numbers 10 20 30 (without subdivision). This was originally the dial for the calendar of the length-of-day (on the opposite dial) and will have surrounded the disc with the latitudes; the present disc, which is 19th century, is stamped with an unidentified crest: a lion rampant holding a crown 1).
The front panel has a small hole at top right, between IIII and V of the main chapterring, for releasing the hour-strike. - Between the dials the pannel has engraved ornamentation. In the top corners there are two cherubs; at bottom right and left two eagles (or griffins: the back of the bodies are covered by the smaller dials). At bottom centre, between the dials, a human head; the slot and hole here are for a (missing) figure serving as pointer for the planetary disc.
The back panel has three dials of which only the main one at the top is now connected to the movement. The centre disc of this dial is a gilded alarm disc marked 1 - 12; it is a later addition and is now riveted to the plate. The rest of the dial is secured to the plate by three bajonet arms locked by a steel latch. The removeable section is a riveted sandwich consisting of the minute-ring (double thickness of gilded brass), a 12-hour chapterring of gilded copper, and a plain silver ring at the back. The minute-ring has a division in minutes (alternatively shaded and plain) marked 5 - 60 as well as I - IIII for the quarters. The hour chapterring is marked I - XII with half-hour marks; this ring is a replacement (see conversions), originally there will have been a 24-hour dial with circular shutters for the length-of-day and with a 24-hour alarm disc at the centre. The sandwich has been damaged at the top when the pendulum was fitted; under it the plate has the scratched number 24 (see Signature). The dial has two steel hands with arrow-shaped heads; these hands are replacements.
At the bottom of the back panel are two small dials, each consisting of a brass disc pinned to the plate by three feet. The dial on the left is marked 1 - 19 and + surrounding a centre of volutes with at the centre the riveted remains of a brass hand (not original). The division indicates that this was a manually adjustable dial for the Epacts. - The dial on the right is divided I - XII with at the centre a four-part ornament of arabesques; this dial now has a manually adjustable later brass hand but orginally will have been a plain 12-hour dial driven by the movement.
The back pannel has several holes. At top left two small ones for releasing the hour strike (the hole on the far left is probably later). On the left are two large winding holes: at the far left for the (missing) alarm movement, under it the hole for winding the going train. The two large holes in the middle of the panel are not original; they correspond with the set-up and the great wheel of the going train (the top hole could be used for setting the hands, the lower one has lttle use). Otherwise the panel is richly engraved with fruits and five cartouches. These contain human figures, as follows. At top left a male figure with a lion, marked SOL; at top left a female figure marked LVNA. Under these a female head and a helmetted male head, and between these two an elaborate cartouche containing a warrior with sword and shield within a walled enclosure; on his shield is a double-headed eagle.
The side panels, like the larger ones, have riveted profile bands at top and bottom. In addition they carry the silvered side pillars, which are each screwed with brass screws (on the quarter-side two screws missing). These richly ornamented pillars are cast. Their bases have arched niches, each containing a male or a female figure; these figures are gilded and they have been riveted into position. Two figures are missing and have been replaced by plain brass plaques.
Both side panels have large apertures to reveal the dials, which are mounted on the movement. Under these apertures are the winding holes for the two striking trains. - Both panels are engraved with arabesque ornament containing two cartouches, a small one at the top and a larger one at the bottom. On the left (quarters) the smaller cartouche contains a female figure wih a hart; it is marked DIANA. The larger cartouche on this side contains a female figure with scales and a sword, and is marked IVS TICI A. The small cartouche on the right side (hours) contains a female figure with a peacock, marked IVNO. The larger cartouche has a female figure holding a scroll(?), a pair of compasses and a square, and behind her are a quadrant and another pair of compasses; this figure is marked GEOME TRIA.
The dials behind the side panels each have two lugs at the top that fit into slots in the top plate, and are each secured by a screw in the movement bar. The dial of the quarters is marked I-IIII, and between I and II there is a hole to release the striking. The centre of this dial has egg-and-dart ornament and the top portion (hidden by the side panels) is engraved with arabesques. The brass hand is not original. - The dial of the other side has a ring marked 1-24 for the 24 hours, surrounding a centre with three cartouches containing female heads (there is no indicator dial for the 12-hour striking). Under the main dial is a sector marked 12-24, for changing the striking option. The spandrels around the dial and the upper portion are engraved with arabesques. The brass hand for the main dial is not original; that for the lower sector is mssing and its centre is now taken by a brass screw to hold the dial (not original).
The top plate carries the bells; the stand for the smaller bell has been replaced in brass, and the larger bell is not orginal (it is slightly too large for the dome). In addition this plate used to carry the locking/release lever for the alarm. The top plate is engraved along the upper edge with arabesque ornament with birds, and with male heads at the corners.
The dome consists of a vertical open-work band and a concave upper portion. At front and back the vertical and the concave panel were made as a single piece and bent into the required shape, but at the sides they are separate parts: this makes a total of six parts, which were brazed together. The dome is attached to the top plate by four feet: two (on the left) hooking into the plate and the other two pinned. The vertical band is pierced and engraved with a geometrical patern. The concave parts are engraved with arabesque ornament and four cartouches. The cartouches contain, clockwise from the front: a warrior on horseback, marked HANIBAL; a warrior (unmarked); a warrior riding his horse into a fire, marked MARCVS CVRTIVS; and a warrior holding his right hand with a sword in a fire (unmarked but clearly representing Gaius Mucius Scaevola). Onto the lower corners are riveted (originally screwed) fabulous creatures: they are long-necked leopards with dragon wings and tails shaped like double snails. Screwed (by two screws each) to the ridges that connect the concave parts are four silvered ornaments, each embodying a female herm. These silvered ornaments are not original: they cover square holes that are no longer used, and their outline does not match the corresponding lines on the concave panels (as do the lines that follow the corner pillars on the vertical panels). The dome is surmounted by a silvered finial representing Palas Athene, secured by two pins: this finial is even more recent than the herms. For all these conversions see History and Conversions.
Posted frame movement, constructed almost entirely of steel. Some of the wheels show traces of the original high polish. All train wheels now run in brass bushes, except the barrels and greatwheels of all trains; the back hole for the great wheel of the going is also bushed. All train wheels have three crossings, except the great wheels which are solid. The fusees of the going and the quarters both have two gut-holes, suggesting that chains were fitted at some time; this may also have caused the damage to the fusee of the hour-striking train.
1 rev. in 4 hours ← ║ 48 65 52
║ ── ── ── 21 (x 2)
║ 6 5 6
Barrel: one cap riveted over four studs (two studs broken of); the other cap replaced by a brass one, pinned in position. Spring replaced; not blued, 21.5 x .5 mm. Inner end hooked on a stud on the arbor, with a loose brass mantle (arbor replaced). Outer end hooked by a brass hook into the wall, but the steel cap retains the slot for the original cross-bar. Conventional stopwork; hinged piece replaced in brass. Set-up wheel with 22 ratchet teeth.
Great wheel: pierced fusee of 9 turns, cut for gut; 24 ratchet teeth for winding. The top of the fusee carries a wheel of 40 (squared on and riveted), which meshes with another wheel of 40 to provide geared winding. The great wheel is friction-tight on the arbor. The number of turns of the fusee was probably later increased, see Conversions.
Contrate wheel: pinion, arbor and crossing original; the replaced band is of brass and the wheel has been re-mounted with a brass collet. The brass support is a replacement; the other end of the arbor has been shortened and now runs in a brass block.
The top of the present scape wheel is carried by a brass bridge.
The motion is taken from the arbor of the great wheel of the going train, which originally made one rev. in 8 hours. When the clock was converted (see Conversions) the rate of the great wheel was increased to one rev. in 4 hours, and the front dial was disconnected. This has made for a somewhat confusing situation.
Front (astrolabe side).
Many wheels of the under-dial work are now missing, but the position of the holes shows that the mechanism on this side was virtually identical to that of another very similar clock, now in Budapest (see Commentary). As usual in this catalogue the count of the missing wheels is supplied between (). The sun- and moon-wheels are mounted on a fixed arbor, screwed to the bar.
(4) (19) (19) ║ → 1 rev. in 8 hours (original arrangement)
── ── ─────────── ║
(42) (38) (19) 57 59 ║
↓ ↓ ↓
weekdays Sun Moon
Of the epicyclic gearing only the sun-wheel and the moon-wheel survive, mounted on a fixed stud. The sun-wheel carries a wheel of 20, which is the driver of the epicyclic sandwich. The remainder of the epicyclic gearing is missing, but there are two holes in the moon-wheel: a small screwhole near the rim of the wheel and a larger plain one closer to the centre. These holes were clearly for the planet wheels: the wheel of 40 of the first planet positioned between sun- and moon-wheels and with its arbor projecting through the moon-wheel, and all the rest of the gearing on the outside of the moon-wheel. The position of the holes in the moon-wheel leaves no doubt that the sandwich was of the same type as that in the Budapest clock:
2 20 (15) │ ──
── ── ── │ (67) → rete
59 (40) (36) ┤
(66) → dragon
In addition the underdial work on this side contained the drive for the calendar of the length-of-day; these wheels are all missing, as they are also in the Budapest clock. However, it is clear that in both clocks the annual arbor passed throught the hour-striking train to the other side.
Back (pendulum side).
40 ║ → 1 rev. in 4 hours (present arrangement).
60 ┐ ── ║
── ├ 30 ║
minutes ← 20 │
12 hours ← 72
The wheels of 40, 30 and 20 are brass replacements. The wheels of 60 and 18 were mounted friction-tight on the wheel of 30 but have since been pinned rigid. The minutehand wheel (20) is mounted on a disc with four pins, which unlock the quarter striking.
In addtion this side had the mechanism for the length-of-day. Of this nothing survives, and it is also lost in the Budapest clock.
56 ┌ 48 40 40
── │ ── ── ──
8 │ 6 5 5
16 ║ ┘
quarters ← 20 ║
Barrel: both caps riveted over four studs. Spring original; not blued, 21.5 x .6 mm. Outer end of spring now hooks by a steel hook into the barrel wall, but both caps have slots for the original cross-bar. Inner end hooked into a slanted slot; curiously, the arbor has a filled hole suggesting that an attempt was made to fit a hook. Conventional stop-work. Set-up wheel: 21 ratchet teeth, two holes for male key.
Great wheel: split construction. Fusee: 6 turns cut for gut, 23 ratchet teeth for winding. conventional stop-work.
2nd wheel: 8 lifting pins.
3rd wheel: single cam for over-lift.
4th wheel: pin for locking (and warning).
Fly: ornamented fly.
Count-wheel: stud for unlocking the hour-striking.
Tumble piece for the hammer replaced and now pivoted in a block on the front-central bar (originally pivoted in an arm pinned to the top plate, where the hole remains). A second hammer and lifting piece have been added; it strikes the hour-bell to provide ding-dong striking.
Detents: the brass unlocking arm is a new construction, pivoted on a steel arm riveted to the back-central bar (the new arm made out of a file). An extra detent of brass has been fitted to provide warning.
Originally unwarned striking on a single bell with over-lift off the 3rd wheel and locking on the 4th.
Now: warned striking on two bells, with warning on the 4th wheel.
48 ┌ 45 50 50
── │ ── ── ──
8 ┤ 6 5 5
15 ║ ┤
─── ║ │
12-hour ← 78 ║ │
3 ║ ┘
24-hour ← (60)║
Barrel: one cap riveted over four studs, the other replaced by a brass openwork disc crossed out in four and pinned in position (this side of the barrel damaged). Spring replaced; blued, 16.0 x .5 mm. Outer end now hooked into the wall with a brass hook, but the cap retains the slot for the original hooking by means of a cross-bar. Inner end now hooked on a steel hook in a brass mantle around the arbor; the arbor retains traces of the original slanted slot. Conventional stop-work. Set-up wheel: 21 ratchet teeth.
Great wheel: fusee of 7 turns, cut for gut (damaged); 23 ratchet teeth for winding. Fusee now solid with the arbor, the great wheel being pinned on with a brass washer. Brass click spring (replacement).
2nd wheel: 15 lifting pins. The wheel carries on its arbor a subsidiary count-wheel (divided 1-2-3-4-3-2), to be used with the 24-hour option. At the end of the arbor is the pinion-of-report (15) for the 12-hour count-wheel; the arbor ends in a lantern of 3 for the 24-hour count-wheel.
3rd wheel: double disc.
4th wheel: stud for locking.
Fly: arbor original, brass fly replaced.
24-hour count-wheel missing (wheel-count calculated).
Hammer: tumble piece replaced and now pivoted in a brass block on the centre-back bar of the movement (originally pivoted in an arm pinned to the top plate, where a hole remains).
Detents: unlocking by a stud on the quarter striking train, via a long arbor across the epicyclic gearing (arbor and brass arms replaced). The long arbor carries an arm which lifts the indexing/locking arm.
Unwarned striking with hammer-lifting off the 2nd, indexing on the 3rd and locking on the 4th wheel (no over-lift required).
Originally there was a lever to switch from 12- to 24-hours.
Nothing remains of the alarm mechanism. It was located on the right side of the back dial, where a winding hole shows the position of the great wheel. Above it there is an aperture in the cupola for the alarm-setting lever.
The clock has been converted at least twice.
The first conversion occurred before ca.1840, and left the clock in the condition in which it was drawn by C.J.Richardson (see History and Provenance). This shows that the clock had already acquired the present hands, alarm disc, feet and the four top ornaments with the herms. The drawing also shows the hole for the set-up of the mainspring of the going train, but not the hole above it (probably an omission in the drawing). The chapter ring of the present 12-hour dial is different: it appears to have been engraved with the signs of the zodiac and in the drawing it was marked "The real dial turned round" (the present chapter ring has no engraving on the back). There was a different finial: a gilded combination of a fleur-de-lys set in a ring of leaves and surmounted by a cross (clearly not original).
The drawing therefore does not make entirely certain that the dial was already a 12-hour one; however, this is extremely likely and so it may be assumed that the conversions of the movement had already taken place and that the astrolabe was already disconnected. This conversion caused the great wheel of the going to move faster, which in turn necessitated increasing the number of turns on the fusee from about 4½ turns to the present 9 2).
A second conversion probably took place in the latter part of the 19th century. It mainly involved replacing the finial by the present one, and fitting the present 12-hour chapter ring. The small disc with the crest (lower right dial of the front) may also have been added at this time.
Going train: great wheel - now 1 rev. in 4 hours (originally 1 rev. in 8 hours).
escapement - 9464 beats per hour.
duration - 36 hours (originally the same, see Conversions).
Quarter striking: duration - 336 double strokes (originally 336 single strokes).
Hour striking: duration - 630 strokes.
Note: the duration presents problems. In the original arrangement the going rain went for three days at a winding, and the hour-striking, when set for 12-hour striking, would go for four. However, the quarters would run down after ca.1½ days.
Clock: width - 212 mm; without feet - 189 mm
depth - 145 mm; without feet - 125 mm
height - 347 mm
Movement: distance between the plates - 141 mm
distance between the bars, going - 41 mm
quarter striking - 32 mm
hour striking - 32 mm
HISTORY AND PROVENANCE.
A watercolour drawing by C.J.Richardson, dating from the early 1840's, clearly portrays this clock. The drawing, which is in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London 3), shows the back and the quarter-striking sides, and is inscribed: "The clock of the time of Elizabeth at Goodrich Court Herefordshire". Goodrich Court was the mock-medieval castle built by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick from 1828 to house his vast collection (mainly of armour); it also had a series of rooms furnished in various styles. The clock appears to have been part of the furnishings of the Elizabethan room, which was named Sir Gelly's chamber 4) (after Sir Gelly Meyrick 5)).
After Meyrick's death in 1848 the collection passed to his cousin, Captain (later General) Augustus William Henry Meyrick. Around the end of the century the collection was gradually dispersed, and it is not known who owned the clock in the early part of the 20th century: the crest on the front dial may furnish a clue to this. It was perhaps during this period that the clock came into the hands of C.Wolf of Paris, who appears to be unrecorded (Tardy [1971/2] lists A.Wolff, Paris 1870).
In 1949 the clock reappeared in an auction at Sotheby's, without provenance. It was bought (£ 55) by Malcolm Gardner on behalf of Ilbert (Ilbert ledger Q 305).
Presented by Mr.Gilbert Edgar C.B.E. in 1958; reg. CAI 2097.
There exists a very similar clock in Budapest 5), and the two should be considered together. The case of the Budapest clock, which originally appears to have been plain, has been lavishly engraved in the 19th century and now carries the signature "Casparus fredenberck Excudebatt" and the date 1577. The Budapest clock is more elaborate in that it has, on the lower left side of the back, a large calendar dial: the London clock has never had a calendar. Otherwise the two movements are virtually identical, but that of the Budapest clock is more completely preserved, and it explains much about he missing parts of the under-dial work of the London clock.
The movements of the London and Budapest clocks show many similarities to those of the better known group of three clocks, signed Jeremias Metzger Augsburg 1563 and 1564 and Caspar Bohemus Vienna 1568, which has already been discussed in the introduction. Clearly these clocks are closely related; it is particularly interesting to note that the train counts of the trains of all five movements seem to be identical 6) while the under-dial works show only minor variations. There can be little doubt, therefore, that all five clocks originated in Augsburg. Unfortunately the drive for the calendar of the length-of-day, which appears to give a clue to the relative dates of the other clocks, is missing from both the London and the Budapest clocks; however, the ornamentation of the present clock suggests that these clocks are somewhat later than the other three. No patterns for the engraving have been identified. The latitude of the astrolabe, 51, shows that the London clock was meant to be used North of Augsburg (approximately on the line Cologne - Erfurt - Dresden - Wroclaw).
The lavish decoration of the dome of these clocks is unusual. It seems likely that the London clock originally also had sea-horses on the dome (later replaced by the present silvered ornaments): these would have matched the hypocamps engraved on the base.
Small figures in the bases of the corner pillars occur on a few other clock-cases: notably on clocks by Hans Gruber 1568 7) and 1583 8), and by Paulus Schuster 1587 9), both of Nuremberg. The figures on these Nuremberg clocks are of silver set in gilded brass pillars, and they are of rather better quality than those of the present clock.
The train count for the epicyclic sandwich is of a type often found during much of the 16th century. The earliest recorded instance is the gearing for the dial of the public clock in Winterthur, made by Laurenz Liechti in 1529 10); the latest dated example is the so-called Rantzau clock, made by Hans Gruber of Nuremberg and dated 1584 11). See Introduction.
It may be noted that inspection of the hour-striking train of the present clock made P.G.Coole realize that A.Simoni had wrongly understood the function of the subsidiary countwheel. Simoni, describing another and incomplete clock, had thought this was the principal countwheel, so that the clock was meant to strike the sequence of the hours as 1-2-3-4-3-2; this, he conjectured, corresponded to the Canonical hours 12). As a result this type of subsidiary countwheel is still occasionally refered to as the "canonical safety".
1) Not Meyrick's: his crest was a tower. See History and Provenance.
2) In the two very similar clocks by Jeremias Metzger, dated 1563 and 1564 (see Commentary), the fusees of the going trains have 4¼ and 4½ turns, yielding durations of 34 and 36 hours. In these clocks much of the fusee-cone was left uncut.
3) Reproduced in colour in: C.Wainwright, The Romantic Interior - The British Collector at home 1750-1850 (New Haven/London 1989) 258.
4) J.B.Burke, A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain vol.II (London 1853) 229. The room was named after Sir Gelly or Gilly Meyrick (1556?-1601), conspirator; friend of the second Earl of Essex (DNB). Sir Samuel also owned the Douce collection, but there is no indication that the present clock formed part of that.
5) Iparmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest. See Maurice (1976) fig.177 (here the date is erroneously given as 1566). The astrolabe of this clock has discs for 39/42 and 51/54 (a third disc, for 45/48, is missing). The base of the clock, marked "B E Fecitt", and the sundial in the base, are later. This clock came from the collection of Niklos Jankowich (mid-19th century) and was thought to have belonged to the Emperor Ferdinand I (Emperor 1558-64).
6) The trains of the following clocks were counted: Metzger 1563 (details kindly supplied by J.Betts, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich); Metzger 1564 (the striking trains only); Bohemus 1570. Their traincounts are identical to those of the present (London) clock. In addition the underdial-work of all clocks was counted. This is similar in all clocks, though there are differences in the construction because the calendar for the length-of-day in the group of three clocks is situated on the other side of the clock. The distance between the plates of the Bohemus-clock is 141.5 mm, which is also remarkably similar. For the variations within the earlier group see the introduction. The main difference between those and the London and Budapest clocks are the construction for switching the striking train 12/24 hours, which in the earlier group takes place over a large slide mounted on the inside of the outer bar of the movement; no such slide was used in the London and Budapest clocks.
7) Time Museum, Rockford. See Maurice (1976) fig.108.
8) Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart (formerly coll. J.Fremersdorf, Luzern). See Himmelein/Leopold (1974) no.9; Maurice (1976) fig.113.
9) Math.-phys. Salon, Dresden. See: Maurice (1976) fig.180. (Check Grötzsch/Karpinski).
10) Heimatmuseum Lindengut, Winterthur. See; Schenk (1959) ; Schenk 2 (1970) ; Maurice (1976) fig.63.
11) Skoklosters Slott, Skokloster. See: Maurice (1976) fig.179; Knutsson (1987) 18, 46-48, 55-56. Information on the epicyclic gearing of this clock was kindly supplied by Dr.G.Oestmann, Institut für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Hamburg.
12) See for this: Simoni (1955) (repeated Simoni  30-31, 80; extensively quoted in Edwardes  39-44); Simoni (1966).
The locking-ring which keeps the fusee-arrangement of the going together is not original and makes mounting the train very difficult. As a result one now has to un-pin the stopwork before removing the great wheel. Originally the fusee simply rode against the front bar.
Before dismounting the hour-striking remove the 12-hour count wheel.
Hour striking: the barrel depth has been reduced by sinking the brass cap into it. Original depth of the barrel ca.22 mm.
Took the ring for the calender of the length-of-day off: nothing. The planet-disc is stuck on and does not remove. The two subsidiary dials on the other side have riveted hands and do no remove.
The outer cap of the quarter spring barrel has a flattened portion: only by juggling the flat bit can one fit the barrel into the frame.
The tumbler pieces have to be put in together with the bars of the going train, which is not easy.
The Hippocamps on the base seem to suggest that this clock, like the Budapest one, may have had horses as ornaments.
The figure of Geometria compares with the figure on the base plate of the MMA-clock ascribed to Reinhold!
The hole for the right-hand slide was cut through one of the rivets that secure the profile band: clearly a later addition.
The dome is brazed with white brazing.
Check whether I have all the tumble pieces and their attachment.
Bobinger (1969) 81 gives the dates of Metzger: ca.1530-1583.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (Pauline Wholey – 2019)
Auction Cat. Sotheby, London, 21 July 1949, lot no.60.
Hillary (1955) E.Hillary, `The Ilbert Collection', HJ 97 no.1161 (June 1955) 366 9; no.1162 (July 1955) 432 5. (check this further!)
London 1958 Pendulum to Atom, Goldsmiths Hall, London, 1958. For this exhib. see: HJ 100 no.1199 (August 1958) 491; HJ 100 no.1202 (November 1958) 711 718;
HJ 100 no.1203 (December 1958) 816 820 (tribute to Coole at the end).
Ilbert (1958) Auction cat. coll. Courtenay A. Ilbert, London, Christie, 6 7 November 1958.
HJ 102 no.1221 (June 1960) 370.
The clock used two count wheels used for its 24 hour striking. The larger count wheel (now missing) counts the hours (1 to 24), but is not very precise. A subsidiary count wheel (counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2), which is geared to the larger count wheel and turns more rapidly, ensures that the count wheel detent can only drop at the correct moment. The concurrent sequences are:
24 hour count wheel - subsidiary count wheel
1 - 1
2 - 2
3 - 3
4 - 4
5 - 3, 2
6 - 1, 2, 3
7 - 4, 3
8 - 2, 1, 2, 3
9 - 4, 3, 2
10 - 1, 2, 3, 4
11 - 3, 2, 1, 2, 3
12 - 4, 3, 2, 1, 2
13 - 3, 4, 3, 2, 1
14 - 2, 3, 4, 3, 2
15 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2
16 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1
17 - 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2
18 - 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3
19 - 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4
20 - 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2
21 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3
22 - 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3
23 - 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3
24 - 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2
Attributed to Jeremias Metzger.
See also 1897,0410.30.
- On display (G38/dc4)
- Exhibition history
1999 1 Dec-2000 24 Sep, London, The Queen’s House, The Story of Time
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The Ilbert Collection of clocks, prints and other related material was destined to be sold at Christie's auction house on 6th-7th November 1958. As a result of the generous donation of funds by Gilbert Edgar CBE the sale was cancelled and the material purchased privately from the beneficiaries of the Ilbert Estate.NL1Ilbert's watches were then acquired with further funds from Gilbert Edgar CBE, public donations and government funds. These were then registered in the series 1958,1201.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.2097 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: Q305 (Ilbert Ledger)