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Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Quadruple hour glass of the bell ringer of St. Thomas, Leipzig

Key data

Leipzig(?), 17th century

Spruce frame with pasted engravings, four glasses

overall height 69 cm, width 23 cm, depth 10.5 cm

Inv. 1880.190.


According to the inscription, CHRISTIANUS HEINING THORM: ZU ST. THOM. IN LEIPZIG., this is the hour glass of the bell ringer of St. Thomas in Leipzig, the church made famous by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Represented on the engravings above the hour glasses are two 'Turmmusiker' with trumpet and cornet. The dial in the middle (diameter 9.6 cm) is held by two rampant lions and has in its center a view of the city of Leipzig ("Lipsia") and, below, a Vanitas allegory with skull, hour glass and plants. The hand to mark the hours is wooden. Beneath the glasses there is another view of Leipzig in the center of a round calendar with indications of the day and the month, marked by a pointer (missing) and a pin (missing). Each glass carries top and bottom the indications 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 painted in red.

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