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Painting and Graphic Art

Astronomical longcase clock

Key data

Philipp Matthaus Hahn and assistants, Kornwestheim, 1775

Case: solid walnut; painted dials screwed on to brass disc

weights lead (ca. 25 kg)

height 209.6 cm, width 46 cm, depth 29 cm

Inv. 1913.94.


Only two clocks by Philipp Matthäus Hahn with such a comprehensive system of dials are extant. The main dial in the middle has the minutes of mean time with two subsidiary dials for the minutes (below) and seconds (above) of real time; on the left are the hours (below) and the phases of the moon with a movable horizon (above); above, in the middle, are the constellations over a fixed horizon; on the right, the positions of the sun with a movable horizon (above) and calendar with the days of the month and week (below). The engraved signature is situated above the main dial: "erfunden / von M. Hahn / in Kornwestheim / and verfertigt / durch / seine Arbeiter / 1775° (devised by M. Hahn in Kornwestheim and produced by his workers 1775). The clock was made for the Basle silk manufacturer Wilhelm Brenner. The mechanism was carried on his back to Basle by Mauritius Steiner, one of Hahn's apprentices; the weights were cast in Basle, and the casing was commissioned by Hahn from a Basle joiner.

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