Round box clock, Renaissance

Southern Germany, Early 17th Century.

Brass, gilt.

15,3 cm x 8,1 cm.

This small, unsigned clock mounted on a box dates from early-seventeenth-century southern Germany. The clock’s shell and dial are made of hot-gilded brass. The hour hand is blue annealed and the dial is equipped with both Roman and Arabic numerals. These kinds of timepieces were mostly made by master clockmakers in Augsburg between the 1550s and the late 1600s. They were very expensive precision instruments, whose purpose was to display not only the time but also their owners’ wealth and power. Clocks of this kind were often made as gifts for rulers and nobility.