Sunday, March 23, 2014

Beautiful and complex multi-dial automaton skeleton clock

Check out this incredible multi-dial clock created by Fran├žois-Joseph Hartmann (1793-1830), a clockmaker who worked in Paris. The clock features rarely seen automata, two calendars, the age and phases of the moon, the times of sunrise and sunset, the equation of time, world time and the signs of the zodiac! It is believed to be from 1801.

From the La Pendulerie web site:

When the lever is pushed a polished steel whirligig with mirrored glass background, set above a twin-headed fountain with winged leopard heads mounted with twisted steel rods to imitate running water, is simultaneously activated. The shaped rectangular base features a central palmette frieze flanked by ribbon-tied wreaths; it is raised on six turned feet.

The central sprung panel opens when a lever is pulled, revealing the spring-barrel movement for the animations. Mounted on a substantial oak mahogany-veneered baseboard supported on flattened ball feet, the underside set with a facetted sprung steel shaft and cone terminal, activating the automata work by means of a handle that activates a lever and thence the columns, whirligig and fountain. - See more at:

Here is where you can read more and see additional photos of this multi-dial automaton skeleton clock.

[ Thanks Felix! ]

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