With its delicate geometric fretwork carving framing the dials, this astronomical clock represents the most refined phase of 18th Century Viennese furniture-making. Executed around 1790, when various ambitious decorative schemes were being carried out in some of the cities most sumptuous palaces, including the Albertina, Palais Auersperg and particularly the Liechtenstein Gartenpalais in the Rossau district, where a liabrary with closely related ornament was made around this date. Interiors in this Austrian variant of the late Louis XVI style are characterised by jewel-like small scale ornament to the carving, precious textiles often embellished with silver threads, and parquet floors with intricate patterns in various woods. A closely related group of seat-furniture, including four fauteuils, a sofa, two benches and nine chairs, reputedly from the collection of minister Count Leopold Berchtold (d. 1809), was sold at the Dorotheum, Vienna, 2 December 1966, lot 982. A further example is in the Museum fuer Angewandte Kunst, Vienna.
The eschatological dial on the clock is extremely unusual and the origin of the chronology behind it is uncertain. It is probable that the inner black ring indicates the centuries lapsed since Creation and the outer black ring correlates with this to show the years since Creation. The inner red ring shows the centuries since the birth of Christ and the outer red ring the years. Thus, Christ is reckoned to have been born approximately 3848 or 3849 years after the Creation. The long hand moves once a year and the short hand once every 100 years.