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Castellated dial clock

1500/1550

British Museum

British Museum

The spread of large cathedral and church clocks throughout Europe during the fifteenth century led naturally to the production of smaller versions. Domestic clocks were designed to stand on a bracket mounted high on the wall. This allowed a sufficient drop for the weights to give a reasonable running time, perhaps requiring the clock to be wound twice per day.It is difficult to say where this clock was made, but the gothic buttress corner pillars on the movement suggest a Germanic origin. The clock has been modified by the addition of a third wheel to the going train to give the clock a longer duration. The dial is a later modification, to allow the clock to be used in a domestic situation. In its original form the clock was designed to drive the hands on a remote dial, probably on the outside of a tower.This weight-driven iron clock has two gear trains, one for the timekeeping (the going train) and the other for striking the hours (the striking train). The verge escapement is controlled by an oscillating weighted foliot. The frame of the clock is held together by pins and wedges.

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Details

  • Title: Castellated dial clock
  • Date Created: 1500/1550
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 51.00cm; Width: 27.50cm; Depth: 3.40cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1967,0601.1
  • Production place: Made in Europe
  • Material: iron
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Edgar, Gilbert. Donated by Edgar, Eileen. Previous owner/ex-collection Knowles-Brown, F H

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