5 July 2000
A GERMAN GILT-METAL STRIKING TOWER CLOCK
The side panels attributed to Alexander Mair, probably Augsburg, fourth quarter 16th Century
The case surmounted by a pinnacled tower with upper dome pierced and engraved with griphons, cherubs and satyr masks above a further band pierced and engraved with huntsmen and lions, eagles and other beasts, the balustraded arcade flanked by four gadrooned urn finials, the detachable side panels engraved on one side with Apollo, and the other Diana, representing the sun and the moon, both panels monogrammed 'AM' and flanked by Corinthian columns embellished with tassled drapes, the ogee-moulded repoussé base decorated with formalised strap-work with trailing leaves and flower heads, the main chapter ring with outer I-XII chapters with touch-pieces and inner Arabic chapter ring 13-24, steel hand, central alarm disc with Arabic chapters 1-12 and engraved in the centre with foliage, the quarter ring below engraved 1-1111 with steel hand, the spandrels lightly engraved with fruit-laden swags, the reverse applied with the hour ring with chapters 1-12 and touch-pieces, the plate engraved with formal strap-work and engraved below within a cartouche 'O MISERO COLVI CH'E GIORNI CONTA, ET PARGLI L' UN MILL' ANNI, E'NDARNO VIVE ET SECO IN TERRA MAI NON SI RAFFRONTA', the partially re-trained movement secured by four steel pillars of square section, the going train with fusee and end-capped spring barrel, now with verge escapement with front-swinging pendulum (originally foliot), the strike train with countwheel, fusee and capped spring barrel, the strike on a bell in the tower via a hammer carried on a vertical turned steel arbor
Sir Julius Wernher, 1st Bt. (1850-1912), Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, in the Billiard Room, by whom bequeathed, with a life interest to his widow, Alice, Lady Wernher, subsequently Lady Ludlow (1862-1945), to their son
Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Bt., G.C.V.O. (1893-1973), Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, and by descent.
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1913 Luton Hoo Inventory, p. 14, no. 42, in the Billiard Room.
Alexander Mair, or Mayr, was born in Augsburg in 1559 and listed as an engraver. He was also possibly a landscape artist as pictures with a similar monogram have been attributed to him.
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As her triptych, Surprise Ending, is offered to benefit the charity Hopeland, the artist explains how her work engages with a digitally overloaded world
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