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Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Table clock

Key data

Samuel Berckmann, Augsburg, ca. 1670

Hour chime and alarum

decagonal casing of bronze, fire gilt

spring with chain and fusee

hands of blued steel

height 12 cm, diameter 14 cm

enamel chapter ring, diameter 9.5 cm, width 2 1 cm

alarum disc, gilt, diameter 5.2 cm

Inv. 1983.1154.


Samuel Berckmann, born in Reichenstein in Silesia, was granted the right to practise as a smith in Augsburg in 1667. Many of his decagonal clocks are extant. The engraved signature, "Samuel / Berckmann / Augusta", is situated on the lower inside of the back plate. The engraved and punched case rests on four turned feet, between which hang circular stabilisers. Each side allows a view through small apertures on to the mechanism which is mounted on spiral pillars. On the chapter ring the full hours are indicated with Roman numerals (I-XII) and there are pointers also for the half and quarter hours (innermost). The alarum disc has Arabic numerals (1-12); the bell is mounted on the bottom of the casing.

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Basel Historical Museum
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Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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