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Help identify German maker

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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Hi,

Does anyone have any information about a probable German clockmaker of late 16thC who used the conjoined initials HB. There's also III engraved opposite the HB. There's also a picture of a man between the HB and III so maybe a portrait? I guess its also possible it was the engraver.

Thanks

Here's the description:
A finely engraved gilt brass miniature hour striking table clock with alarm and phases of the moon
Signed with monogram HB conjoined, probably German, last quarter 16th century
Of square section, the shaped pediment with turned finials to the corners, surmounted by a bell suspended from chased straps supporting the figure of a knight; front panel with moon phase aperture flanked by putti musicians playing lute and bagpipe above the applied I-XII / 13-24 chapter ring enclosing alarm setting disc with blued pointer, later hour hand; the hinged and latched side panels engraved with allegorical figures; maker's (?) monogram on the back panel engraved with scrolling vines and centering a portrait bust within a ring indicating hour last struck, pierced with winding apertures and opening to adjust the count wheel, raised on molded ebony base with gilt pad feet, two train posted frame movement with shaped gilt corner columns, foliate engraved standing spring barrels, iron striking train, going train retaining iron great wheel but with brass wheelwork to the later crown wheel of the verge escapement, later two arm balance with spring and indexed regulator pivoted in plain strap bridge; separately wound alarm planted on engraved strap at the side of the frame; moon phase advanced by detent and cam on the striking train 6 ½ in (16.5 cm) high, 4 in (10 cm) wide including base


24775486-21-1.jpg 24775486-21-2.jpg
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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Here's some additional photos. The initials HB are clearly seen on the first photo. Miniature at 16.5cm high including the base. Has a moon dial on the front. Obviously in need of some TLC!

Also does anyone know what the pictures on the sides represent? 7 virtues or something like that?

HBback.PNG HBfront.PNG HBmovement.PNG HBmovement2.PNG HBside.PNG HBside2.PNG HBtop.PNG

Photos from Bonhams.
 

DeanT

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zedric

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Aug 8, 2012
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Hi Dean

Given the age of this clock, I think you'd need to be trying to contact experts in the area - maybe museum curators or the like. The only person I can think of who might be able to point you in the right direction would be Fortunat Mueller-Maerki - his email address is in his recent postings, such as
Bookreview: The Sundials of Berlin by Guenther Bemesch (2018)
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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To give an idea of the scale of this clock here is it compared to a standard English bracket clock which is 48cm high.



74DE0905-26BB-408B-9B1D-9894407540FD.jpeg
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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I've identified the engravings on the side. They are 2 of the 7 liberal arts which was a popular series in the 16thC. The two on the sides are Gramatica and Dialectica.

The seven liberal arts were taught in two groups: the trivium and the quadrivium :
  • Trivium. Grammar. Dialectic (logic) Rhetoric.
  • Quadrivium. Arithmetic. Geometry. Astronomy. Music.

AN00089053_001_l.jpg
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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Great shades of Quintilian: Change and the Curriculum!
Yes Steven that's exactly what it is! Thanks for the link. I did like that Grammar was spelt with one "m" rather than 2!

The rebirth of classical learning was one of the key features of the renaissance and this clock is a prime example of the wealthy's new found interest in science, technology and classical learning. There are a few other engravings I am trying to interpret at the moment including the musicians next to the moon dial.

There is a possibility that the clock is Dutch and not German. There is still a lot I don't know at the moment and the research is ongoing.....
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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I found a clock in a brussels museum also with a conjoined HB but with some extra engraving of what looks like a 4. The museum likes the clock is about the same age as mine and also has engravings of the 7 liberal arts on the side. The first two photos are the Brussels clock and the last is my clock showing the HB engraving.



musées-bruxelles-8_01.jpg musées-bruxelles-1_01.jpg HBback.PNG
 

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