- Museum number
Horizontal table timepiece with alarm; spring-driven; going-train with fusee; verge escapement with restored balance; alarm train driven by standing barrels; gilded brass dial with alarm setting disc at centres and applied silver ring marked with chapters I-XII; hexagonal gilded brass case with applied silver foliate panels and silver paw feet; alarm bell housed in base.
- Production date
Height: 3.50 inches
Width: 5.25 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- The following text is the entry for this object from the unpublished catalogue of pre-pendulum clocks by John Leopold, former Assistant Keeper of Horology at the Museum.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.
HEXAGONAL HORIZONTAL TABLE CLOCK BY JOHANNES MARTINN (AUGSBURG).
Going train and alarm.
Ilbert No. 318 P: ex Christie 16 June 1937 (Dr.Heath coll.) lot 126 (per Gardner). [NB: the date of the sale was 17th June.]
Auction cat. Christie's, London, 17 June 1937 lot 126. Sold to Gardner for
Rhodes (1952) 32.
Cat.Ilbert (1958) no.262.
Pfeiffer-Belli/Konrad (1992) 131.
Signed on the back plate: "Johannes Martinn". Lightly scratched on the inside of the base: "eh/-/-" ; on the ouside of the base: "5119 az/-/-" and "8114 ww/wd/-" (price-markings of unidentified dealers). Scratched on the movement side of the dial-plate: "M 624". Scratched on the dial-side of the front plate, near the barrel arbor of the going train: "umb 2" (? = turn twice, see Commentary). On the outside of the barrel cap (back-side): "5".
Hexagonal horizontal case, made largely of brass. The band was made out of brass strip bent into shape and brazed at the join with overlapping ends (at 3 o'clock). Each side has a rectangular hole, and is covered by a silvered copper plate embossed with flowers, each plate being secured by two screws (one screw missing). The lower part of the inside of the band is gilded. At top and bottom the band is enclosed in a cast and gilded brass ring, fixed by rivets. The top band is engraved with a scaloped border and with flowers at the corners. The underside of the bottom ring has similar engraved flowers, and carries the double hinge and the decorative keep for the hinged base.
The base is a plain gilded brass plate with a large aperture for the bell, which is screwed to the brass bellstand, itself screwed to the base. The bell has been broken in two pieces which have been brazed together. The base has, at alternative corners, turned finials of gilded brass and lion-paw feet of silvered brass, all of them screwed. There is a decorative gilded bolt.
Copper plate with three brass dial feet, pinned to the movement. It is engraved with simple ornaments in the corners, within which is a turned profiled ring; this portion of the plate is gilded. Within the profile ring and recessed in the plate is the silvered brass chapterring, secured by four rivets. The chapterring is devided I - XII with half-hour marks, filled with black wax. Within the chapter ring and more deeply recessed in the dial plate is the gilded brass disc of the hour-hand. It is engraved with a double rose, surrounded by a ring divided 1 - 12 for the alarm-hand. At 12 the steel pointer for the hours is riveted to the disc, and there are three holes for adjusting the disc to set the clock to time. The simple steel hand at the centre is for setting the alarm.
Movement and dial slide into the case from the top, and are secured by two steel revolving latches on the back plate.
The movement is largely constructed of brass; only the outside of the back plate and its furniture are gilded. There are four turned pillars, riveted to the back plate (the rivets engraved over) and pinned under the dial. In the going train the second, contrate and scape wheels have three crossings; all other wheels in the clock or solid.
20 ║ 54 50 48
── ║ ── ── ── 21 (x 2)
12-hours ← 60 ║ 6 5 5
Great wheel: fusee cut for chain, 6 1/4 turns, steel fusee hook. Split fusee, 29 ratchet teeth for winding. Steel click and clickspring. Conventional stopwork with decorative end to the spring; there are holes in the tail of the click and in the plate to fit a locking-pin.
Barrel: both caps pinned over five studs (on the side toward the back plate two lugs broken off). Outside of the spring hooked into a square hole in the wall; inside hooked over a steel hook on the arbor (no traces of a slanted slot). The spring is not original. The chain is hooked into the wall (not sideways into the cap). The set-up wheel consists of the wheel with 16 ratchet teeth and an ornamental disc; decoratively pierced click (no click spring).
Screwed potence and counter potence. The rim of the balance has been filed out to make it lighter. Regulator replaced.
Pinion-of-report and hour wheel brass.
── ── 11 (x 2)
Greatwheel: revolves on its arbor, held by a pinned brass ring. Steel click and spring; 21 ratchet teeth for winding.
Cased spring; spring later and too narrow (cardboard discs now fill the space between the spring and the wheel and between the spring and the plate). The inside of the spring is hooked over a hook on the arbor: this is probably original. The outside of the present spring is hooked over a steel hook in the wall, but the wall retains the rectangular hole for the original hooking. Under the cased spring are remains of three screws: see Commentary.
The second wheel consists of a steel arbor and wheel, to which the contrate wheel is screwed. The contrate has a steel band (brazed at the join) around a brass centre.
Scapewheel: steel. Screwed potence and counter potence.
Hammer: steel. The locking piece on the hammer arbor is pinned on (this is a repair).
The unlocking-disc is of steel.
Under the spring of the alarm train there are three screw-holes with the filed-off steel screws (visible on the back plate). The present casing of the spring appears to be original, and the screws probably relate to a change in design during the construction of the clock.
The clock has been converted to balance-spring: a hole, now covered by the regulator-arm, will have held the stud. Possibly at the same time the left side of the table of the cock was partly cut away to provide room for a banking pin on the balance; this pin was subsequently cut off and banking is now provided by a pin on the underside of the table, acting on the arms of the balance.
When the clock was re-converted the balance spring was removed, and the balance made lighter by filing the inside of the rim. A new regulator was provided.
Going train: great wheel - 1 rev. in 4 hours.
escapement - 9,072 beats per hour.
duration - 25 hours.
Clock: width of top ring - 128 mm.
hight (without arbor of the hand) - 87 mm.
Movement: distance between the plates - 25 mm.
HISTORY AND PROVENANCE.
Collection dr.Douglas Heath. Sold Christie's, London, 17 June 1937 lot 126 to Malcolm Gardner for £ 10.10.-.
Ilbert collection. Ilbert's ledger no.318 P: bought via Malcolm Gardner.
Presented by Mr.Gilbert Edgar C.B.E. in 1958; reg. CAI 2148.
Johann Martin of Augsburg was born in Frankfurt (Main) in 1642, as a son of the clockmaker Marx Martin. He married 1669 a daughter of the Augsburg clockmaker Elias Weckerlin, which facilitated his entry into the Augsburg blacksmiths guild in that year. He died in 1721. He is mainly known as a maker of sundials 1), but three other clocks by him are known to exist: a large monstrance clock, thought to be his masterpiece for admission in the guild (BNM) 2), and two later clocks with pendulum 3).
Several features show that this is a late pre-balance spring clock: primarily the four pillars in a hexagonal clock, and the unusual ratio between contrate wheel and scape pinion.
The scratched inscription near the barrel arbor seems to refer to setting up the main spring; two turns is rather a lot and probably relates to conditions when the clock had been converted to balance spring.
1) Bobinger (1966) 154-6, 268-280; Zinner 2 (1967) 438 ff.
2) Maurice (1976) fig.557. For this type of clock see no. .
3) A clock with architectural case (Bassermann-Jordan/Bertele  261; dito  261) and a "Telleruhr" (Maurice  fig.752).
Going: we had this one out: it is not original. 0.3 x 19 mm, at outer end the width is slightly tapered.
Alarm: not original (far too narrow, the extra space filled by a cardboard spacers). 0.3 x 7.5 mm. Depth of casing: 16 mm.
There is an unused screw-hole + steady hole to the right of the set-up (back plate).
The movement has register marks for many parts.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (Pauline Wholey – 2019)
Rhodes (1952) G.Rhodes, `Embellishment of Clocks, decorative metal cases', AD (March 1952) 30 32.
Ilbert (1958) Auction cat. coll. Courtenay A. Ilbert, London, Christie, 6 7 November 1958.
Pfeiffer-Belli/Konrad (1992) - C.Pfeiffer-Belli/C.B.Konrad, Uhren-Museen und Sammlungen historischer Zeitmesser (Munich 1992).
- Not on display
- Latest: 3 (Aug 2015)
- 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.2148 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: P318 (Ilbert Ledger)