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Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Pocket watch with automaton in shape of a lyre

Key data

Mechanism: Piguet & Capt(?), Geneva, ca. 1800

Gold enamel inset with pearls

hands: blued steel

height 7.2 cm, width 3.3 cm, thickness 1.3 cm

Inv. 1982.1007.


The arms of the lyre terminate in the heads of two eagles. Small inlaid pearls on the edges, on the foot and around the neck of the eagles accentuate the shape. The front shown here has an almond shape cut into it and glazed. Behind the glass are (at the top) the seconds dial in Arabic numerals with a hand for the seconds and quarter minutes, the balance wheel and the hour dial with Arabic numerals and division lines for the minutes with two hands. Beneath on a folding cover three putti play musical instruments. Hidden behind the cover is an automaton with six movements representing a pastoral scene with a shepherdess, two sheep, a drinking dog, a millwheel and water. The painting on the rear of the lyre depicts two lovers.

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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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