Lilly's Art


Back to category Figure Clocks.

Figure Clock “Sultan“ with Moving Eyes and “Snapper”

Uhrenmännchen Sultan mit Augenwender und Schnapper


Austria/South German, 19th century

carved and polychrome mounted lime wood, hexagonal, marbleized base, case of the movement made of metal
anchor escapement, automatons (moving eyes and “snapper”) coupled with the movement
15 ½ in

This figure clock carved from lime wood and decorated with polychrome paint, shows a splendidly dressed sultan with a pipe on a hexagonal marbleized base. He wears a light shirt, a blue jacket with painted decorations, pantaloons and a turban. In his face there are two automatons operated by the clockwork: the eye automaton, which moves the carved eyes down and quickly up again, and the „snapper“, which slowly opens and suddenly closes the mouth. The movement itself is mounted in a painted metal case in front of the figure’s chest. It has an anchor escapement and a short pendulum. The enamel dial with Roman numerals has small hands that end in tiny trilobes.

In the late 18th and 19th centuries Orientalism flourished in art and architecture. It was a romanticized idea of Near and Far Eastern cultures. In addition to Egypt and China, the Ottoman Empire in particular was the basis for these oriental fantasies. The fascination for the mighty sultans dominating a huge world empire was probably the inspiration for this technically and artistically elaborate figure clock.

lit.: F. Haverkamp/B. Techen: Von Augenwendern und Schnappautomaten. Die Welt der Uhrenmännchen und Figurenuhren von 1635 bis 1960, Darmstadt 2018.

© 2015-2021 by Lieselotte Setzer GmbH - Lilly’s Contemporary Art Exclusive Antiques
Plankengasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria · Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday by appointment.
Showroom K&L (Dorotheergasse 13) Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, and Saturday 11 am to 4 pm
+4315128803 · · Legal Notice · Privacy

Wir nutzen Cookies, um unser Angebot für Sie zu verbessern. Sie stimmen der Verwendung von Cookies durch Verbleib auf dieser Seite und durch Anklicken von "OK" zu. Lesen Sie unsere Datenschutzhinweise...