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Post Lot Text
A RARE SILESIAN PARCEL-GILT MODEL OF CHRONOS SUPPORTING AN ARMILLARY SPHERE
MAKER'S MARK OF JAKOB MANNLINCH, TROPPAU (OPAVA), CIRCA 1630
On oval base, the border repoussé and chased with auricular masks framing cartouches with allegorical scenes with arcading above, the stem formed as Chronos, standing on a terrace applied with a salamander and a frog, holding his scythe with his left hand and supporting with his bowed neck and his right hand, an armillary sphere composed of two meridians, two polar circles, tropics and equator, with a finely engraved meridian, divided into the houses of the Zodiac with their pictorial representations and symbols graduated by 2 degrees, and numbered by 10, a central axis bearing a sphere for the Earth, capped with an hour circle engraved 1-12 twice, marked on base including an Austro-Hungarian control mark for 1806
Jakob Mannlich born in Augsburg moved to Troppau (now Opava in the Czech republic) in 1628 where he became a goldsmith, although he seems to have maintained his links with Augsburg. Heinrich Mannlich, probably his son born in Troppau, returned to his father's hometown and registered there as a goldsmith in 1658.
The armillary sphere is a demonstrational model of the universe. Composed of several rings (Armillae in Latin) and a band for the Zodiac, it represents the apparent movement of the celestial sphere around the Earth and marks the Sun's annual progress around the ecliptic.
Their use can be traced back to antiquity and the handful of earliest extant examples date from the Middle Ages. But it was in the 16th and 17th centuries that their construction reached a peak and they became such iconic instruments of science. Elaborate and decorative examples were made for princely collections and they became symbolic of astronomy in paintings and engravings of the time.