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spring-driven clock / clock-case / alarm clock

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1897,0802.1

  • Escapement

  • Description

    Alarm clock; movement with three trains: going with verge escapement and driven by fusee, striking with 'rack and snail' and driven by standing barrel, alarm driven by standing barrel; as alarm sounds a flint-lock mechanism is released to light a candle which then springs into upright position; white enamel dial with gilded brass hands; alarm setting dial at centre; regulator dial in upper right corner; strike/silent lever (missing) lower right; gilded brass case, cover engraved with Britannia seated amidst trophies, sides with cavalry-men in armed combat.

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  • Date

    • 1715-1725 (?)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 195 millimetres
    • Width: 100 millimetres
    • Height: 140 millimetres (lid open)
  • Curator's comments

    For a similar clock see Frederick Kaltenbock, Viennese Timepieces, Nicholas Gunther, Vienna, 1993, p.77.

    A further example, very similar to the British Museum clock is described as follows
    A FINE AND INGENIOUS GERMAN STRIKE-A-LIGHT AND ALARM CLOCK, circa 1740. The mechanism is contained in a gilt-brass case, supported on four claw-shaped feet, the case plain, but with mouldings round the base and with a hinged cover. The left side containing an enameled dial with brass and steel hands and fitted with hinged and glazed lid, to the front is a flintlock mechanism with cock and steel. The clock consists of a brass movement with verge escapement and sprung balance wheel, a strike and an alarm train. The alarm is set by means of moving the blued steel hand on the dial towards the remaining hours before striking. Fitted into the base is an arm with a socket for a candle which is held against a spring. When the alarm is activated the bell starts sounding and the flintlock mechanism fires, kindling the gunpowder in the pan which lights the candle which rises to a vertical position as the cover is automatically released. The clock strikes every full hour and has a repeating possibility, the movement is of twenty-four hours duration. Internet www.artfinding.com - 1/10/2010.

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  • Location

    Not on display (Members' Room)

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited: 2007-2008 29 Nov-10 Mar, London, The Wellcome Trust, Sleeping and Dreaming

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1897

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1897,0802.1

Alarm clock; movement with three trains: going with verge escapement and driven by fusee, striking with 'rack and snail' and driven by standing barrel, alarm driven by standing barrel; as alarm sounds a flint-lock mechanism is released to light a candle which then springs into upright position; white enamel dial with gilded brass hands; alarm setting dial at centre; regulator dial in upper right corner; strike/silent lever (missing) lower right; gilded brass case, cover engraved with Britannia seated amidst trophies, sides with cavalry-men in armed combat.

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Object reference number: MCC3180

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