Renaissance Turret Wall Clock

  • This extraordinarily rare weight-driven turret wall clock dates to the Renaissance
  • This clock was once part of the collection of the Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois
  • The exterior is crafted of firegilt brass magnificently engraved with Old Testament stories
  • Renaissance clocks rarely become available on the market, and are found primarily in museums
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-1659

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This immensely rare Renaissance turret wall clock was once part of the Time Museum's collection in Rockford, Illinois. This incredible weight-driven piece is encased in firegilt brass, featuring exceptional figural engravings of the Old Testament stories of "David and Goliath" and "Judith and Holofernes" on either side of the clock. Phrases and sayings dealing with the precious nature of time are engraved on all sides. The mechanism has an alarm and strikes on the hour, indicating the time with a single hour hand and an applied chapter ring. The movement is crafted of iron and remains in original condition, featuring a verge escapement with a large iron rim foliot, iron weight driven going train, 2 hammers, side mounted alarm and a locking plate for the striking mechanism. With a virtually untouched movement and outstanding artistry displayed both inside and out, this is one of the most important Renaissance clocks to ever come on the market.

Clocks are one of the greatest and most important inventions of the Renaissance period, embodying the renewed interest in science, the arts and man's place in the world. The first mechanical devices that indicated time began appearing in the 14th century and were large, weight-driven devices placed in the turrets of public buildings that struck the hour and lacked hands and faces. This clock was created during the first period of household clocks, when spring-driven movements made it possible to create smaller and more complex mechanisms. Such creations, however, were a luxury accessible only to the upper class. These patrons placed pressure upon artisans to create more elaborate and more beautiful clocks, of which this particular timepiece can be counted. 

Renaissance clocks are an incredible rarity on the market, with the handful of known examples in the coveted collections of major museums throughout the world. Turret clocks similar to this specimen can be found in the collections of the British Museum in London as well as The Frick Collection and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Time Museum inventory no. 4019

German, circa 1580

9" high x 3 1/2" wide x 3 1/2" deep
This outstanding Renaissance-period turret wall clock was housed at the Time Museum in Rockford, IL
Period: 16th Century
Origin: Germany
Type: Wall Clocks
Depth: 3.5 Inches
Width: 3.5 Inches
Height: 9.0 Inches

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