Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Automaton clock (seated monkey)

Key data

Carol Schmidt, Augsburg, 1st quarter 17th century

Hour striking train

figure: bronze, fire gilt

base: wood painted black, glass and iron

mechanism: brass and iron

plates gilt

spring with gut line on a fusee

bell: bronze

dial: silver, enamelled on the inside

hands: blued steel

height 32 cm, width 78 cm, depth 15.8 cm

Inv. 1982.1197.


Carol Schmidt, born probably in 1586 in Augsburg, became a master in 1614 and died in 1635/36. His signature, "Carll Schmidt", is engraved on the back plate. The dial has Roman (I-XII) and Arabic (13-24) numerals for the hours. The monkey sits on the gilded, engraved brass plate which closes the hexagonal case. Its right shoulder joint, jaw and eyes move. In its left hand it holds a mirror, in its right an apple which it raises to its open mouth when the hour strikes, as if to bite into it. The rolling eyes are connected to the going train. On its head it wears a fool's cap and a crown.

Selection of similar objects


Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTube
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM