• The Manolo March Collection Fr auction at Christies

    Sale 7817

    The Manolo March Collection From Son Galcerán, Mallorca

    28 - 29 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 160


    CIRCA 1790, VIENNA

    Price Realised  


    CIRCA 1790, VIENNA
    CASE: surmounted by a figure of Atlas supporting a mechanical globe, the four sides each set with an enamel dial and with urn and figural mounts to the projecting angles
    DIALS: twelve-hour time dial with Roman and Arabic chapters; twenty-four hour time dial (night and day) also showing day of week, date and month; long count dial eschatological dial calibrated with two outer rings in crimson and black (1-100) and inner rings in 100s (black 0-7777, red 100-3800); orrery dial painted with signs and symbols of the zodiac, mounted with a simple orrery showing the earth moving around the sun; all dials with pierced and engraved gilt-metal hands
    MECHANICAL GLOBE: the painted wood celestial globe showing the movement of the planets in the heavens
    MOVEMENT: single barrel movement with front-swinging pendulum (lacking), with direct drives to all dial work and the globe above
    32 in. (81 cm.) high, 13 in. (33 cm.) square

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    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.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Acquired through Pierre Delbée by Don Bartolomé March Servera for the Library in Miguel Angel, Madrid, circa 1965.