- Museum number
Horizontal table timepiece; spring-driven with standing barrel; verge escapement with balance; no fusee or stackfreed, a cam causes a lever to vary depth of escapement to compensate for diminishing power of unwinding spring; leather covered dial with concentric rings for quarters, hours (I-XII, I-XIII) and hours (1-24); moving central shutters indicate hours of daylight and darkness; subsidiary dial for regulation; later blued steel hands; subsidiary dial on back-plate shows signs and degrees of zodiac and daylight hours (?) 12-19; used in collaboration with table engraved on case for re-setting the daylight/darkness shutters on front dial; rectangular gilded brass case; table on base for use at 48 degrees north (Munich).
- Production date
Length: 5.75 inches
Width: 3.75 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The following text is the entry for this object from the unpublished catalogue of pre-pendulum clocks by John Leopold, former Assistant Keeper of Horology at the Museum.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.
RECTANGULAR HORIZONTAL TABLE CLOCK, BY HANS KOCH, MUNICH.
Ilbert No. 340 Q: ex Cristie's London 20 June 1939, lot 120.
NB: in the same sale CAI 2110, 2111, 2112, 2150, 2151, 2152.
Baillie 2 (1947) 355 (does not identify the maker!).
Bertele (1953) 809.
Britten 7 (1956) 37.
Exhib.cat.London 1958 no.3.
Cat.Ilbert (1958) no.251.
Lloyd 3 (1964) 52-3, pl.7.
Lloyd (1964) 122.
Stolberg (1970/71) 34, 36.
Britten 8 (1972) 37.
Leopold (1974) 117 note 57.
Maurice (1976) 90, 135, fig.575.
Britten 9 (1982) 40 (maker: Hans Kiening).
Wehrli (1998) 52.
Two punchmarks on the back plate of the movement: HK in a shield (= Hans Koch) and a monk's head erased (Munich).
Inside the case, in ink, the Ilbert number 340 Q.
Made of brass, gilded inside and out. Simple rectangular box with a slot in one side to accomodate a sliding piece and the winding square on the movement. The sides of the case were bent out of a single strip, dovetailed and brazed at one corner (at 11 o'clock), and brazed to the bottom.
The outside of the bottom of the case is engraved with a table for the length of day and night, with the text:
"Ad eleuationem 48 polarum, ex angulo tum signi tum gradus,
resultat quantitas arcus Semidiurni, uel Seminocturni."
(For the polar height 48 degrees; from the angle indicated by sign and degree results the quantity of the arc of half day or half night.) The "sign and degree" refers to the position of the Sun in the Zodiac, and inscriptions in the corners show that the length of half of the day is shown for the Signs of Summer and that of half of the night in Winter.
Rectanglar brass plate with gilded brass moulding riveted to the edges. In the centre the main dail, consisting of three gilded brass rings. The raised outer is divided for the quarters, with half quarters marked (five minute marks added later) and surrounded by four touch knobs; it was originally attached by six nuts (the threaded ends have subsequently been cut off). The middle ring is engraved in the plate; it is divided for twice 12 hours with half hours marked, surrounded by 24 touch knobs. The loose inner ring, divided 1 24 with half hours marked, is now manually adjustable but was originally attached to the night shutter (see Conversions). Inside the adjustable ring are the two shutters for the length of day; these blued and plain steel shutters are replacements, as are the two hands. The small lower dial, marked 1 13, now indicates the state of wind but was originally the regulator dial (see Commentary).
The remainder of the dial plate is now coverted by three pieces of brown leather, rivited at the corners. The rivet holes, as well as a now unused hole at 12 o'clock, have count marks, suggesting that the leather replaces screwed on ornamental plaques, possibly of silver.
The dial plate is pinned to the movement by four gilded brass feet with curved champhering.
The dial of the anual wheel for the length of day is mounted on the backplate of the movement. This consists of a fixed ring with cast representations of the signs of the Zodiac and scale of degrees (progressing by 5 degrees), centred by a moving disc calibrated 12 19 (for the length of the longest day). A small hand at the centre of the disc can be set manually to this scale, to ajust the latitude of the mechanism.
Plated movement with brass plates and five steel pillars, screwed (steel nuts) on both sides (a sixth pillar has been added subsequently, see CONVERSIONS). All trainwheels have four crossings except the great wheel, which is solid. There are register marks on the edges of the plates (at 12 o'clock), and the pillars, holes and nuts on the dial side have count marks. All brass parts of the movement, except the wheels, are gilded (the plates on both sides). Several psteel parts of the movement have remains of high-gloss finish (notably both sides of the 2nd wheel and the wheel for the winding) which appears to be original.
Going train only, the traincount being:
21 1 1 6 19 ┐
── ── ─ ─ ── │
59 26 5 6 57 ├ ║ 70 48 45 40
↓ ↓ │ ║ ── ── ── ── 13 (x2)
Annual 24 hours │ ║ 10 6 5 5
Minutes ← 9 │
24 24 ┤
── ── │
Winding square ← 12 24 │
Camwheel ← 33+
Cased spring with half slot for the outer end of the spring. Split arbor; clickwheel of 18. Present spring not original, though it is hooked in the original way: on the arbor by means of a slanted slot, on the wall hooked through a half slot. The original stackfreed wheel, disc and spring are missing; the present blued steel wheel has 33 teeth plus a thick one to act as stopwork (see CONVERSIONS). Great wheel constructed out of a double sheet of steel, with sunk clickwork; steel click and click-spring.
Great and 2nd wheels of steel; 3rd, contrate and scape brass, riveted to steel collets. There is a steel end-piece for the pivot of the contrate wheel (under the dial).
Scape wheel mounted in a brass frame screwed to the inside of the backplate (no conventional potance or counter potance). The wheel-end of the arbor runs in a blind hole in the frame; the other end is pivoted in a screwed-on arm (this hole is closed by a steel dove-tailed slide). The balance is mounted in an swiveling steel frame, to provide regulation by varying depth of the escapement; this is now coupled to the state of winding but originally was manually adjustable (see CONVERSIONS). The brass rack and pinion for the regulation hand (rack of 17, wheel of 12) replace the original ones, which will have been similar.
Winding takes place from the side, over a contrate wheel of 12 meshing with a wheel of report (24) to the a wheel on the arbor of the mainspring (24). These wheels are mounted on the backplate of the movement.
Two wheels of 19 and 72, fixed to each other, are mounted friction tight on the great wheel arbor under the dial; that of 72 drives the wheel for the minute hand (9); 19 drives the hour-wheel. The hour wheel (57) has 6 pins which drive a starwheel of 6. The arbor of the starwheel has an endless screw (1) driving a pinion of 5, the arbor of which has another endless screw (1) driving a wheel of 26. Attached to this wheel of 21 is another one of 21 which drives the yearwheel of 59.
The anual wheel is friction tight on the disc that holds the rack and pinion to adjust the driving pin for the slide; this disc is solid with the arbor for the dial on the movmement. The large slide with double rack (13 and 14 teeth), its fitments and the two wheels for the shutters (24 teeth each) are replacements.
Great wheel: 1 rev. in 8 hours.
Escapement: 13,104 beats per hour,
Duration: with the present cam wheel ca.25½ hours.
Calendar: 1 rev. in 365.2381 days.
There are circular scratches and filled holes which suggest that this clock was at one time converted to balance spring, and altogether must have been in a sorry state when it came into the hands of a restorer. It had by that time lost most of the mechanism for the length of day and also the stackfreed spring and wheel (a shallow groove in the inside of the band of the case shows where the roller of the spring was positioned in the fully wound position). Unfortunately the restorer did not understand the original method of regulation and coupled it to a cam on a newly made "stackfreed" wheel, thus creating a novel and ingeneous construction, but not one known to exist in the 16th century. The two holes for the stackfreed spring were masked by using them for attaching a sixth pillar, and the backplate was embelished with two pieces of steel fretwork in 17th century style, which hide a number of filled holes. Strangely it was the imaginative restoration which has made the clock famous: since Lloyd first published it in 1951 it has often been described.
The replacement slide for the length of day, which operates on two levels, is forged and not built up; the wheels for the shutters are complete, not half; the shutters have no scales; the slot to drive the slide is not at right angles to the direction of its motion. All this is contrary to 16th-century practice. The inner scale of the dial, which is loose, is part of the original night-shutter; it now slides freely, being held in position by three soft-soldered lugs and a steel disk pinned behind the dial. The lugs limit the excursions of the ring, and when positioned for Italian hours it can be moved by only about two hours either way.
Length: 147 mm (the dial overlaps: length of the case 144 mm)
Width: 92 mm
Hight: 54 mm
Movement - distance between the plates: 25 mm
History and provenance.
Ilbert collection. According to Ilbert's ledger, no.340 Q, the clock was acquired at Christie's, London, 20 June 1939, lot 120. This was the collection of Mrs.Ida Netter (p. ), and lot 120 was: "A German Table Clock, ...; and Another, in rectangular metal gilt case, the base engraved with a celestial calendar 6 in. wide"; sold to "Gardiner" (= Malcolm Gardner), together with CAI 2112, for £ 5/15/6.
In a letter from Francis Mallet to Ilbert, Bath 16th September 1943, this clock appears to be mentioned: "Your Fussen clock sounds very interesting." (ARCH ). Ilbert sent a photograph of the table on the bottom of this clock to K.D.
Kendrick at the BM in January 1944, assuming, like all experts at the time (see below), that the clock was made in Fuessen (see 1944 11 1,1).
Presented by Mr.Gilbert Edgar CBE in 1958; reg.no. CAI 2152.
A fairly large number of clocks and some watches with these punchmarks are known to exist, and there has long been confusion over their identification. A clock signed by Hans Kiening of Füssen, but not marked, led to the assumption that these clocks were all made by Kiening. This unsatisfactory situation was summed up by Stolberg (1970/71). Zinner (1956) 415,474 investigated the marks on the sundials of some of these clocks and as a result first suggested Hans Koch as the clockmaker, a supposition which became certainty when the other mark could be compared to the signed and marked masterpiece of Veit Schauffel of Munich and shown to be the town mark of Munich (Leopold  117 note 57). See also no. .
Hans Koch was admitted a master in Munich in 1554 and worked for the Dukes of Bavaria in the years 1557 1599. He was a versatile maker: besides the present, unconventional clock he is known to have made a complicated tabernacle clock (Deutsches Uhrenmuseum, Furtwangen [formerly Helmuth Kienzle Museum, Schwenningen]) and several simple ones of that type (a.o. Schloss Schwarzenberg, Vienna, several private coll.), as well as round horizontal tableclocks, notably three dated ones: 1587 (private coll.), 1591 (Bayer.Nat.Mus, Munich) and 1596 (Museum f.Kunst u.Gewerbe, Hamburg). In addition there are a complicated book watch (Ashmolean MuseumOxford). Some of his horizontal clocks have bases with sundials by Ulrich Schniep and by Markus Purmann 1). Several of his works are illustrated Stolberg (1970/71) and Maurice (1976); see also Verzeichnis (1989 91).
Clocks of this type (a plain rectangular box) are rare and often appear to have been made for precision timekeeping. (Stockholm with x beat!)
The table on the base of the clock is a very simple one; essentially it gives values for three months only. The disadvantage of this type of table is that it can only give the first approximation of the length of day: the irregularity of the Sun's motion in the Ecliptic is not incorporated. The length of the longest day is given here as 15 h 52 m (modern value for 48: 15 h 51 m). This table is essentially of the type published ca.1474 by Regiomontanus, but it progresses by single days (the table of Regiomontanus progresses by three degrees, Zinner ).
Regulation by varying depth, the construction originally present in this clock, was frequently used by Koch in his plated movements, and may have been his invention (see Introcuction). It is found, in various states of completeness, in clocks dated 1587 (priv. col.; Maurice fig.505), 1591 (BNM Munig; Marice (1976) fig.506), 1596 (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Maurice (1976) fig.506 - caption), undated (Time Museum, Chicago; unpublished) and an undated movement (priv. coll.; unpublished), and also, complete, in the bookwatch (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Maurice (1976) fig.471). The construction did not remain exclusive to Munig; examples from Augsburg are several globes by Johann Reinhold and Georg Roll dating from between 1584 and 1589 (p. ). in these Augsburg examples it is combined with regulation by revolving weights on the balance (p. ). A square horizontal clock by Jost Bürgi of Kassel, dating from 1590 91, also has regulation by varying depth (Hess. Landesm., Kassel).
The earliest instance of this train count for the calendar, which yields a very good value for the tropical year, is found in a clock by Jeremias Metzger of Augsburg dated 1564. This clock forms part of a group of three so called Metzger type clocks, which are very similar to each other. Two are signed by Metzger and dated 1563 (Waddeson Manor; see Ward ) and 1564 (Kunsthist. Mus., Vienna; ill. Maurice  fig.158); the third is signed Caspar Bohemus, Vienna 1568 but is thought also to have been made in the Metzger workshop (Metr.Mus., New York; ill. Maurice  fig.159). Both the 1564 and the 1568 clocks have the improved train, but the one dated 1563 has a more primitive one resulting in a year of 365 days, which suggests that the improved train had only recently arrived in Augsburg. The train was subsequently adapted to epicyclic use, probably by Johannes Reinhold of Augsburg, who used it in that way in 1581 (see no. , CAI 2129).
The drive for the 24 hour dial, 19 driving 57, is commonly found in German clocks with astrolabic dials (see e.g. no. ). The reason for not gilding the brass wheels was probably to avoid exposing these precision parts to the high temperature of fire gilding and thus risking softening the temper of the material. This feature is also found in the mechanical globe by Jost Bürgi of Kassel dated 1594 (Leopold/Pechstein  44 5)
1) Two sundials signed with engraved initials HK, dated 1567 (Mus.hist. Science, Oxford, cat. Billmeir  no.46) and 1578 (Bayer.Nat.mus., Munich, Bassermann Jordan  79 83), were formerly ascribed to Hans Koch but are now thought to be by the goldsmith Heinrich Koch of Esslingen (Maurice  135 with litt.). The punchmark HK conjoined (not in combination with the Munig mark), which occurs on a number of watches, probably belongs to a different maker.
On the table hours and minutes are abreviated "H.l". What does "l" stand for?
Check construction of dial; is 24 ring manually adjustable? Answer: it is moveable, but there are no holes for a prodder.
Case: the brazed join is at top left looking from the table-side. The dove-tailing is not very clear.
Spring: 17 x .6 mm. The width varies slightly (+/- .5 mm). The outer end has one rivet and a half-hole straight in line (cut through when the half-hook was made). One rivet could have been used for a block in the half-slot, but the other hole makes no sense: re-cycled spring.
Note the key-hole for winding.
An early photograph (Ilbert's album of F.H.Green) shows that at that time there was a hog bristle regulator mounted on the moveable arm, pivoted under the same screw. This piece (steel?) has now gone and there is a fixed pair of bristles under the cock (where they do no good at all).
Francis Mallet to Ilbert, Bath 16th September 1943: "Your Fussen clock sounds very interesting." (ARCH ).
BIBLIOGRAPHY (Pauline Wholey – 2019)
Baillie 2 (1947) G.H.Baillie, Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World 2nd ed (London 1947).
Bertele (1953) H.von Bertele, `Precision Timekeeping in the pre Huygens Era', HJ 95 no.1143 (December 1953) 794 816.
Britten 7 (1956) Britten's Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers, 7th ed. by G.H.Baillie, C.Clutton and C.A.Ilbert (London 1956).
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.
Lloyd 3 (1964) H.A.Lloyd, Old Clocks, 3rd ed. (London 1964).
Lloyd (1964) H.A.Lloyd, The Collector's Dictionary of Clocks (London 1964).
Stolberg (1970/71) L.Stolberg, `War Hans Kiening Uhrmacher?', SFAU 10 (1970/71) 31 49.
Britten 8 (1972) 37.
Leopold (1974) J.H.Leopold, Die grosse astronomische Tischuhr des Johann Reinhold, Augsburg, 1581 bis 1592 (Luzern 1974).
Maurice (1976) K.Maurice, Die deutsche Räderuhr, 2 vols. (Munich 1976). Page numbers refer to vol.1, fig. numbers to vol.2
Britten 9 (1982) Britten's Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers, edited by G.H.Baillie, Courtenay Ilbert, Cecil Clutton, 9th edition revised and enlarged by Cecil Clutton (London 1982).
Wehrli (1998) - R.Wehrli, `Frühe Federzuguhren', Chronométrophilia 23 (1998) 37-58.
The mechanism for adjusting the depth of the escapement is not orginal but part of an elaborate restoration. John Leopold has established that there is ample evidence that the clock originally had a normal stackfreed device.
- Not on display
- Latest: 2 (Jul 2015)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This clock was formerly part of the collection of Otto Koch. His 161 watches and clocks were sold at Christie's London Auction House, 20th June 1939 - 'the property of a Lady'. Otto Koch, who died in 1919, had been a partner in the jewellery firm of Robert Koch in Frankfurt, founded by his father Robert Koch in 1879. Robert Koch died in 1902. After Robert’s death the firm was continued by Louis, his younger brother. Otto's widow, Ida, married again in 1930, Emil Netter, who died in 1936. In 1938 the firm was “aryanized” and ‘sold‘ to Robert Bosch at which point the assets were frozen. In the late 1930s Ida Netter managed to flee from Germany, secretly taking the collection of watches and clocks with her, first to Holland, then to England where they sold at Christie’s. Ida Netter died in Washington DC in 1981 (Information supplied by Eric Koch, the grandson of Otto Koch; for information about the sale and the fourteen clocks and watches from the collection acquired by the BM in 1958, see Spoliation Advisory Panel Report published March, 2012 )
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.2152 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: Q340 (Ilbert Ledger)