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Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Night and day clock

Key data

Georg David Polykarp Hahn, Kornwestheim, 1776

Case: iron

front and chapter ring: brass

dial: enamel, with black numbers

hands: perforated brass

height 37.8 cm, width 28.9 cm, depth 16 cm

diameter of chapter ring 21 cm, dial I7 cm

Inv. 1982.1207.


David Georg Polykarp Hahn (1747-1814), younger brother of Philipp Matthäus, was a professional surgeon but worked occasionally in his brother's workshop. The engraved signature is situated in a cartouche in the middle below the chapter ring, "Georg David Hahn / in Kornwestheim / 1776". The Roman numerals on the chapter ring and the pointing hand above are cut through the brass face and backed with red silk so that when a burning candle is placed behind them they are visible at night. The ring rotates anti clockwise and the pointing finger indicates the time. For the daytime the hours are indicated on the enamel dial in Roman numerals and the five minutes in Arabic numerals. The mouvementé outline and engraved decoration of the front are manifestly in Rococo style.

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

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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