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Hans Kock (d.1603)
Gilt-brass cased clock-watch with alarm, sundials and lunar volvelle in the form of a book

Punched on the striking movement: HK with monk's head, c. 1580

case; gilt-brass

case 100.6 mm (inc. pendant loop) length case 68.2 mm width case 27.4 mm thickness movement 83.5 mm length movement 52.4 mm width pillars 8.4 mm height

Case: Cast gilt-brass case with closing latches on the open edge. The spine is partially pierced and decorated with foliate scrolls and flowers. The back has urn and flower decoration with foliate scrolls in the upper part and a large roundel within a beaded border in the lower part. The roundel is pierced and engraved with urn and flower decoration. The bell is screwed to the inside of the back. Dials: On the outside, the lid has foliate decoration surrounding a large volvelle within a fixed circle engraved with the degrees and signs of the zodiac. The manually adjusted volvelle is engraved with place names in separate circles appropriate for their latitudes which are numbered 42,44,46,48,50 and 52 from inside outwards and inscribed: GRAD:ELEVATIO:POLI Around the centre is the inscription: QVANT: DIEI * QVANT: NOCT * Two large apertures in the volvelle reveal concentric circles engraved with quantities for the number of hours of daylight and darkness. On the solid area between the apertures three points enclose the inscription: MOVEATVR INDEX A AD GRADVM SOLIS. At the top a smaller roundel is inscribed: GRADVS DECLINATIOMAGNETIS and calibrated with a scale numbered 50 70 80 0 10 20 30. The central area of the roundel is formed by the base of the compass box which is rotated to comply with the required magnetic declination. The inside of the lid is engraved with foliate scrolls around a n adjustable horizontal sundial for use at latitudes between 45o N and 52o N inscribed with POLUS G the rest of the inscription obscured by the compass box. The hour lines are in concentric rings each numbered with the appropriate latitudes either side of the compass box. In the lower part has a lunar volvelle with an aspectarium engraved in the middle of the manually adjusted central disc inscribed INDEX DIERVM AETATIS LVNAE. The scale beneath the disc is divided 1-292 for the age of the moon. A fixed scale around the outside is divided I-XII-I-XII and the scale around the edge of the disc is calibrated 3-12-9 (the range of available hours of moonlight ?). A circular aperture in the disc shows the phase of the moon. The main dial has a pin-gnomon sundial in the upper part with signs of the zodiac to the left and right showing unequal hours with lines for the two tropics and the equator, each named and the dial inscribed DIEI HORAE PLANET. In the lower part, the clock dial has a chapter ring with hours I-XII-I-XII, T-shaped half-hour marks and alternate hatched and plain rectangles for the quarters. There is also a circle of touch pins at the hours. Within the fixed chapter ring is a manually adjusted ring numbered 1-24 to show Bohemian or Nuremberg hours. In the centre is a disc numbered 1-12-1-12 for setting the alarm. The blued-steel hand is not original. Movement: There are two quite separate mechanisms. Firstly a circular movement with gilt-brass plates and shaped pillars rivetted to the back plate. The movement is attached to the back of the dial by three bayonet lugs, one locked by a latch. The going train is powered by a fixed gilt-brass barrel with stackfreed, all the components of which appear to be original. Four wheel train of steel wheels. Verge escapement with a steel crown wheel pivoting between a gilt- brass block with engraved decoration on the visible side and a gilt-brass potence. The rate of the steel dumb-bell balance is regulated by hog's bristles mounted on a long gilt-brass angled arm which is moved by turning a blued-steel hand on the gilt brass drum on the back plate, calibrated 1-9 for regulation. Also mounted in this movement is the alarm mechanism. Mounted in a shaped movement at the top is the hour striking mechanism controlled by a gilt-brass count-wheel numbered 1-12. The striking movement is punched with the maker's mark HK conjoined and with a right-facing monk's head (the town mark of Munich). Hans Koch was one of the more prolific makers working in Munich in the second half of the sixteenth century. He became Hofuhrmacher to the Elector Albrecht V in 1554 and during his life, until his death in about 1603 he made watches and clocks for many wealthy patrons both in Munich and further afield. Literature: Baillie, 1929, pl. XXVIII and XXIX, p.124. Klaus Maurice. Die Deutsche Räderuhr, Munich 1976, p.63, ill. 471a-c. Gerhard König, Die Uhr, Berlin 1991, ill.53,54. David Thompson, ‘Watches in the Ashmolean Museum’ Part I, Antiquarian Horology, Vol. XXV. (Sept. 2000) p.505. D. Thompson, 'Watches in the Ashmolean Museum' Ashmolean Handbooks, 2007 Notes: 1. This object is an interesting combination of a clock-watch with alarm and astronomical compendium, a scientific instrument intended to provide calendrical information in its widest context. 2. The compass box and needle are later replacements.


Thompson (2007) 4

Bequeathed by J. Francis Mallett, 1947.