Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Astronomical table clock

Maker:
Movement probably by Jeremias Metzger (German, ca. 1525–ca. 1597)
Maker:
Signed by Caspar Behaim (Chasparus Bohemus) (Austrian, active 1568–84)
Date:
1568
Culture:
German, Augsburg
Medium:
Case and dials: gilded brass; Movement: iron
Dimensions:
Overall: 14 1/4 × 8 1/2 × 5 3/4 in. (36.2 × 21.6 × 14.6 cm)
Classification:
Horology
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.634a–d
Not on view
In the 1500s, priceless knowledge was validated through splendid casework. Supporting technological endeavor was a way for noble sponsors to earn intellectual kudos, even to magically gain scientific knowledge as if by osmosis. Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, for example, famously filled his curiosity cabinet with clocks. This example shows the stars’ positions, days of the week with planetary rulers, the time in Roman and Arabic numerals, daylight and nighttime hours, and the date; it even includes a disk for setting an alarm. Its Viennese maker, Behaim, may have collaborated with Metzger, of Augsburg, whose clocks were so sought after that he stretched guild rules to meet the demand.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]
Signature: Engraved on left side of case: MEFECIT · CHAS / PARVS · BOHEMVS / INVIÆNNA · AVS / TRIA ANNO / 1568

Marking: Each struck twice on movement:
[1] crescent moon and the initial B inside a trefoil motif.
[2] crescent moon and star over star and crescent moon, inside shield-shaped motif.

On movement: (punched, in cameo) CB and moon and stars within a shield (maker's mark)
Charles Stein (before 1878–1886; Stein Collection sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 10–14, 1886, no. 215); Frédéric Spitzer (before 1893–ca. 1906) ; J. Pierpont Morgan (by 1906–17; to MMA)
Related Objects

Case clock

Date: 19th century Medium: Gilt brass Accession: X.122 On view in:Not on view

Toilet set in original leather case

Artist: Fourteen identified German (Augsburg) goldsmiths and other German artisans; Japanese (Imari) porcelain maker Date: ca. 1743–45 Medium: Gilt silver, hard-paste porcelain, cut glass, walnut, carved and partially gilt coniferous wood, blind-tooled and partially gilt leather, partially gilt steel and iron, textiles, moiré paper, hog's bristle Accession: 2005.364.1a–d–.48 On view in:Gallery 551

Mantel clock

Artist: Clockmaker: Franz Xavier Gegenreiner (German, active 1760–70) Date: case ca. 1710, movement ca. 1760–70 Medium: Case: tortoiseshell backed with brass leaf, pearwood veneered with rosewood; and partly gilded silver; Movement: gilded brass and steel Accession: 46.162 On view in:Gallery 533

Diana and the Stag

Artist: Joachim Friess (ca. 1579–1620, master 1610) Date: ca. 1620 Medium: Partially gilded silver, enamel, jewels (case); iron, wood (movement) Accession: 17.190.746 On view in:Not on view

Tureen and stand

Artist: Bernhard Heinrich Weyhe (German, 1702–1782) Date: 1769–71 Medium: Silver, silver gilt Accession: 2009.263a–c On view in:Gallery 533