German Thingy aka Turmchenuhr

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by DeanT, Jul 4, 2019.

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  1. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    I'm thinking this is Southern German and circa 1580. Full steel movement apart from the later brass conversion to verge and pendulum. Has the alarm train present but is missing the alarm dial. The front dial has been replaced and needs a new one remade. The lower subsidiary dial shows the signs of the zodiac but is not currently connected. The rear has a strike indication dial.

    Apart from the issues i've mentioned its in pretty good condition considering its age. When you are 440 years old you expect some issues.....

    Cheers

    063L19077_9Y62C.jpg Lot 10(1).JPG Lot 10(2).JPG Lot 10(3).JPG Lot 10(4).JPG
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    It's pretty impressive, and well proportioned I think. Would it have had a wooden base or stat as it is now? That fusee on the right has a pretty coarse set of turns where the spring is most run down!
     
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    i think we need to see some photos of your clocks displayed around your house.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    That fusee has the look of an entirely hand-filed item, without benefit of any machinery at all.

    Can I see the remains of a regulator scale, (series of dots), in the edge of the top plate in picture 3?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Jan 22, 2002
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    Dean,

    You are putting together a fantastic collection.

    Regards, Ralph
     
  6. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    All I can say is wow. Any plans to get it working?
     
  7. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Correct Graham. Those dots are the scale for the hog’s bristle regulator.

    There appears to be little standardisation of fusees at this time. Often they are quite flat and without curvature. Sometimes they are the opposite with steep curvature towards the end. The grooves vary between wide and probably hand filed like this one to narrow and refined. It’s like everyone was doing their own method and the techniques hadn’t yet been standardised. The Germans started using brass fusees around 1590 usually with iron wheels so I guess they might have been easier to cut. I’ve also got one with original wooden fusees. It might end up having a brief holiday in the south of UK so you might get to see it and advise me on fixing the dial and holes in the backplate and making the missing moulding to cover the hole. Cheers
     
  8. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    I will get it to work and restore the dial and the other issues that I mentioned plus i'm sure there are other issues I am currently unaware. Interestingly the other i posted also has issues but is complete where this clock is missing parts. Given the mechanisms are quite similar they should provide a good template for restoration. I'm interested to know how the zodiac hand is driven.

    That said I won't run the clock very often as i think after 440 years it probably deserves a bit an easy life for a while!

    Its hard to comprehend these clocks were made in the late 16thC, four and a half centuries ago....
     
  9. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    19C17B61-0EDC-4DC1-A945-30A1C40C2219.jpeg

     
  10. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    despite how jealous that makes me, would you please hurt me more with more photos? i know you have clocks everywhere...
    thx.
     
    NigelW and gleber like this.
  11. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Looking at the subsidiary dial I can see its not the signs of the zodiac as the auction house described. I think it is actually the 7 planets and found a similar dial on a clock in the Met Museum dated 1568 which is in the attached link. I zoomed in on the dial and have attached that photo.

    Does anyone know how a plantery dial works? It also makes me wonder what the original front dial might have been?

    https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/209211


    CasparBehaimDial.JPG
     
  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dean,

    In the example from the Met that you posted, each day of the week is 'ruled' by its own planet, and I believe this was a common concept at the time, when astrology had a wider and deeper influence on many aspects of peoples' lives.

    I shall be attending a re-run of this year's Dingwall-Beloe lecture later this month, with the subject 'Heavenly Advisors: the astrological purpose of public clocks in Italy', given by Marisa Addomine, which I hope will shed more light on this subject. I find it rather interesting that so many of these early clocks that have survived have such complex astronomical indications when their daily and hourly timekeeping capabilities were, to be honest, very basic.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dean,

    Another thing about that Met clock, the pointer held by the figure on the left against the weekday dial is hinged, but I can't make out what the purpose is.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  14. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    As Graham pointed out, each day of the week has it's associated planet, Sunday has the sun. This actually is a calendar of the weekdays.

    Uhralt
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    d'oh, now why didn't I think of that, it's obvious really. I was racking my brains this morning to think what came in 7s. Mind you I had only just got up!
     
  16. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Thanks for the clarification of the dial's purpose. I thought it might be a day of the week dial. The Met Museum dial has both the German(?) spelling of the day of the week and the planetary deity.

    According to the book Geared to the Stars by Henry King, Augsburg clocks usually included subsidiary dials and these included Day of the Week dials with or without a representation of the planetary deity of the day.

    Here's a list the planets and Latin spelling.

    Monday, Moon, Lunae
    Tuesday, Mars, Martis
    Wednesday, Mercury, Mercurii
    Thursday, Jupiter, Jovis
    Friday, Venus, Veneris
    Saturday, Saturn, Saturni
    Sunday, Sun, Solis

    This style of dial is very common on the astronomical clocks by Jeremias Metzger and his followers. These clocks were only popular for a short period of time (10-15 years) in the 1560's and I wonder if the similar dial indicates this clock was made in the same time period and/or Jeremias Metzger or a close connection?

    I've attached a photo of another dial from a Metzger clock.

    Cheers

    2982_f.jpg
     
  17. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    I wonder if the dial spins and the pointer shows the day? Maybe the pointer is part of the lever to stop the dial from spinning?

    Cheers
    Dean
     
  18. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Yes, it is German. The "planet" names are in Latin. I also think that the dial rotates and that there should be a pointer.

    Uhralt
     
  19. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    I've had a chat to a serious expert on these clocks who knows what he is talking about rather than trying to piece it together like yours truly.....

    He said the Metzger (Metzker} group of clocks used these dials and the dial often rotated rather than having hands. The dials are cast and were available to clockmakers outside the original town of manufacture so for example a Nuremburg clockmaker could use an Augsburg dial. 'pre-made red-smith parts' as he described them. So the clockmaker could either use them with hands or design them to rotate.

    He also said there was an earlier group of clocks made by Lanz and associates which are similar in case style but calendar rather than astronomical movements of which this clock would appear to more similar. These clocks are have planetary day of the week dials but with hands rather than spinning. However, these dials tended to be engraved rather than cast.

    He indicated the case is most unusual design

    So my feeling is this clock is from the era of the Metzger clocks of 1550-1570's.

    I am struggling to understand how Metzger and friends made those Astronomical clocks 460 years ago....

    Cheers
     
  20. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    The knowledge to make astrological and astronomical indications was known to Giovanni Dondi in the 1300s, so these are actually building on centuries of knowledge

    Add in things such as the Antikythera Mechanism and you can see that the knowledge of these things is older still, even if it appears that it had to be reinvented
     
  21. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    I've attached a couple of photos of a clock attributed to Metzger from the British Museum collection. It has the same day of week planetary dial with a hand rather than rotating.

    Some complexity in the astronomical dial and movement!

    Cheers

    228250001 (003).jpg 308007001 (002).jpg
     

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