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A GERMAN GILT-BRONZE AND BRASS ASTRONOMICAL AND QUARTER-STRIKING ASTROLABIC MASTERPIECE CLOCK
A GERMAN GILT-BRONZE AND BRASS ASTRONOMICAL AND QUARTER-STRIKING ASTROLABIC MASTERPIECE CLOCK
A GERMAN GILT-BRONZE AND BRASS ASTRONOMICAL AND QUARTER-STRIKING ASTROLABIC MASTERPIECE CLOCK
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THE BUSCHMANN MASTERPIECE CLOCK
A GERMAN GILT-BRONZE AND BRASS ASTRONOMICAL AND QUARTER-STRIKING ASTROLABIC MASTERPIECE CLOCK

DAVID BUSHMANN, AUGSBURG, DATED 1625 (1652)

Details
A GERMAN GILT-BRONZE AND BRASS ASTRONOMICAL AND QUARTER-STRIKING ASTROLABIC MASTERPIECE CLOCK
DAVID BUSHMANN, AUGSBURG, DATED 1625 (1652)
THE CASE: surmounted by an armilliary sphere engraved with the Signs of the Zodiac and dated 1625, above a balustraded gallery surmounted by an open scrollwork corona, the bells housed within a foliate cast and chased basket dome, with outset columns flanking the foliate engraved panels, the sides stamped to the inside with the Augsburg pinecone within a shield, on a domed repoussé base supported on gilt-metal sphinx feet, the underside with wax seal impression
THE MAIN DIAL: with twice XII silvered narrow chapter ring and outer gilt minute ring engraved with Arabic five minute markers and Roman quarter hour markers, the center set with an inner Arabic 24 hour ring for Italian hours centered by adjustable blued steel and silver shutters for displaying the hours of daylight and darkness, the six month brass saints' ring engraved on both sides with every day of the year with its relevant saint, the subsidiary dials displaying; to lower left indicating the days of the week with their corresponding deity engraved and decorated with champlevé polychrome enamel, lower right engraved with the months with their corresponding Zodiac signs decorated with polychrome enamel, top left for hour/silent and top right for quarter hour/silent
THE ASTROLABE DIAL: with outer narrow twice XII chapter ring with gilt center, the revolving rete pierced and engraved with the sixteen star constellations and the Zodiac, the gilt-metal double-ended rule indicating against the rete the hours of daytime, the other engraved with the sun indicating the position of the sun through the Zodiac throughout the year, the center engraved with the phase and age of the moon, the subsidiary dials displaying; lower left for ascertaining the golden number and dominial letters, the right dial engraved with the alarm disc, the top right dial regulating the rate, top left for switching between 12 and 24 hour striking system
THE MOVEMENT: triple chain fusees, the going train wound through the astrolabic dial running through the center of the clock terminating with a verge escapement with balance wheel regulation now with steel hairspring, the open tabled balance cock pierced and engraved with flowerheads, the hour strike train wound through the right side signed on the side plate 'Davidt Buschman Aug' with an elaborate florally pierced and engraved set-up to the blued steel click, the twice 24 calibrated silver dial decorated with multicolored enamels to the centre depicting exotic birds with foliage and flowerheads; the quarter train on the left side again with elaborate florally pierced and chased set-up work to the blued steel click for the spring barrel, the silver quarter dial elaborately engraved and decorated in multicoloured enamels with squirrels inhabiting scrolling foliage and flowerheads
23 ½ in. (59.5 cm.) high, 14 ½ in. (36.5 cm.) wide, 11 ½ in. (29 cm.) deep
Provenance
Richard Flagg.
The Richard and Erna Flagg Collection; Christie's, London, 12 December 2001, lot 142.
Literature
K. Maurice, Die deutsche Räderuhr, band II, Munich, 1976, p. 34, fig. 192.
K. Maurice and O. Mayr, eds., The Clockwork Universe, German Clocks and Automata 1550-1650, Munich, 1980, p. 192-3, No. 30.
Exhibited
Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin.
The Clockwork Universe, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich and National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution), Washington, 1980/81, No. 30.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

David Buschmann (b. 1626 - d. 1701), became Master on 5th August 1657.
The Augsburg clockmakers' guild stipulated that for a Masterpiece clock the following functions had to be fullfilled; 'a clock of the dimensions as hitherto, about a span high, which strikes the hours and the quarters. It shall also have an alarm and shall likewise show the astrolabe, the length of the days, the calendar and the planets and their signs. When the quarter hand is moved, all hands shall strike the hours both to 12 and 24, as one may select' (Maurice/Mayr, op cit, pp. 57-79).
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