Iac. Mayer in Wienn. A fine Viennese or Austrian 4 tune musical longcase clock. ZZ11

This very unusual clock features a three train weight driven movement. The third train is used to drive a musical complication. Musical clocks are not common and are not to be confused with clocks that are quarter striking. Musical clocks are more complex and require a substantial amount of effort to produce. The works are constructed in brass and it is designed to run eight-days on a full wind. The substantial rectangular shaped plates are joined by five knopped and ringed pillars. The winding barrels are grooved. The escapement is a recoil design and features a seconds length pendulum. The strike train is regulated by a count-wheel that is mounted on the front plate. This clock will strike each hour on a large bell that is mounted above the movement. The third train is set up to play music. The music is performed on the hour. The sound is generated from nine hammers chiming on a nest of nine bells. The hammers are actuated by the large pinned set barrel that is located between the movement plates. This barrel shifts from one tune to the next automatically on the hour. It plays one of four tunes each hour before it resets itself and starts over.

The dial is brass and features applied decorations in the form of cast brass spandrels, an engraved time ring and seconds ring, decorative medallions and a lunar calendar display. The engraved chapter ring frames the matted center on the dial. This center section is textured in an attempt to make the finely formed steel hands more visible when viewing the time. The applied time ring is engraved with an interior minute ring, Roman style hour numerals, a separate minute ring located on the outside of the hours and Arabic formed five minute markers. Fleur-de-lis are used as half hour markers. The time ring along with the seconds ring and calendar are treated with a silver wash. This clock is signed on the lower section of this time ring by the Maker along with his working location. Four finely cast brass spandrels incorporating the skillfully engraved medallions are applied to the corners of the dial. Each medallion depicts one of the four seasons. The dial sheet is also decoratively engraved along its’ perimeter with a herringbone pattern. In the arch one will find additional engravings in the form of scrolls and strap-work. An aperture for the display of the age and aspect of the moon is central located here. The three additional subsidiary silvered rings are for the schlagt / schlagt nichts (Silent / Strike) selector, a calibrated ring to adjust the moon phase and on the right is the day of the week. Overall, this movement is excellent quality. The fact that it survives today in excellent working order is proof of this.

The case is constructed in walnut. This fine example is elevated off the floor on four turned ball feet that are applied to the base molding. This molding is boldly shaped in an ogee form. This Queen Ann style molding transitions to the base which has molded corners. The waist is long and narrow which highlights the excellent proportions of the case. The waist door is quite large and fills the waist section. It is trimmed with a molded and also features a circular cut out in the center. This circular opening is trimmed with a brass ring and is fitted with glass. This window measures just over four inches in diameter and is called a "Lenticle." Its purpose is to allow one to view the motion of the pendulum bob with out having to open the door of the clock. It also informs the admirer that this clock is fitted with a long pendulum. The front corners of the waist share the same molded pattern found in the base. The bonnet or hood was originally designed with a modified bell or caddy top. The upper section is now missing. What remains is a boldly shaped cornice molding that is decoratively shaped. Below this is a frieze. Large tombstone shaped glass side lights are positioned on each side of the hood. The arched hood door is fitted with glass and opens to access the dial.

This fine case exhibits very narrow proportions. This example stands approximately 92.5 inches tall and is approximately 19.5 inches wide at the widest molding on the hood.

This clock was made circa 1775.


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