Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Celestial Globe with Clockwork, dated 1579
    Movement by Gerhard Emmoser (Austrian, active 1556, died 1584)
    Made in Vienna, Austria
    Case of silver, partly gilt, and gilt brass; movement of brass and steel; 10 3/4 x 8 x 7 1/2 in. (27.3 x 20.3 x 19 cm), Diam. of globe 5 1/2 in. (13.8 cm)
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.636)

    The silver globe, engraved with representations of the constellations, revolves to simulate the apparent movement of the stars, while the sun moves along the path of the ecliptic in accord with the sun's apparent motion through the zodiac during the year. The small dial (a replacement) near the top of the meridian ring registers mean solar time, while a movable ring within the horizon circle functions as a calendar. Emmoser, who began his career in Heidelberg, Germany, was appointed clockmaker to two of the great imperial patrons of art and science in the sixteenth century, Maximilian II (r. 1564–76) and Rudolf II (r. 1576–1612). The globe, listed in the early seventeenth-century inventory of the Kunstkammer of Emperor Rudolf II, seems from the beginning to have been intended for the Imperial Kunstkammer, rather than for practical use in an observatory.

    This work of art also appears on 82nd & Fifth: Celestial and Connections: Maps

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    On view: Gallery 520
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  • Celestial Globe with Clockwork, dated 1579
    Movement by Gerhard Emmoser (Austrian, active 1556, died 1584)
    Made in Vienna, Austria
    Case of silver, partly gilt, and gilt brass; movement of brass and steel; 10 3/4 x 8 x 7 1/2 in. (27.3 x 20.3 x 19 cm), Diam. of globe 5 1/2 in. (13.8 cm)
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.636)

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