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Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Astronomical table clock by Niklaus d'Annone

Key data

Basel, late 17th century

Case: copper, gold-plated with silver inlay; hands: blued steel

H 66 cm, W 30.3 cm, D 26.3 cm

Inv. 1889.70.


This late example of a tower-shaped clock is the costliest of all the clocks to have been preserved here in Basel. The maker engraved his signature – Nicolas / Annone / A / Basle – between the two small dials at the front. D'Annone joined the guild in 1678 and died in Basel in 1703. Crowning the case is a figure of Atlas; the globe he is supporting on his shoulders is a lunar calendar for 29½ days, showing the phases of the moon. The top of the case features two silver portrait medallions of the Sun King Louis XIV at the front and the Dauphin at the back. The two small dials show the planets ruling the hours (left) and the signs of the zodiac (right), and each has two hands as well as a silver dial with Roman numerals showing the hours and a golden dial with Arabic numerals showing the minutes. The star signs, months and saints’ days can be read at the back and the clock set to strike either every hour or every quarter hour.

Selection of similar objects


Basel Historical Museum
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Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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