Vienna, around 1790
- “Johan Sachs Wien” (signed on dial and plate)
- Johann Sachs,
- Vienna, clockmaker to the imperial court, master 1765, †1816
- carved, painted, silvered and gilt lime wood, six Ionic columns, seven grand vases
- anchor escapement with fusee, regulator with half-seconds pendulum, quarter strike on bells with doublestrike of the quarters on two bells, reversing lever for petite sonnerie, repeater, turn-off for strike, indication of half seconds, date, days of the week with associated celestial bodies and months with number of days and corresponding zodiac signs, hand for fine adjustment, duration of one week
- 37¾ in
provenance: collection Prof. Dr. Hans von Bertele, Vienna
Johann Sachs is among the best Viennese clockmakers from the end of the 18th century. He received the title of master craftsman in 1765. In 1787 he was appointed clockmaker to the court of Emperor Joseph II and entrusted with the upkeep of the tower clock in the Amalia wing of Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. This splendid clock by master horologist Johann Sachs comes from the renowned collection of Prof. Dr. Hans von Bertele.
The case, carved from limewood, is guaranteed to impress with its generous dimensions (height 37 ¾ in., width 29 in.) and powerful contrast of gold, silver and dark green. Imposing edifices from Greco-Roman antiquity, interpreted in the design vocabulary of the Joseph II style, served as the inspiration for this magnificent carved piece. The base, with gilded tendril mounts, bears six silvered Ionic columns. Above the entablature with a frieze of rosettes and a gable is a tiered structure with a balustrade. Seven large vases underscore the opulent character of the impressive case. The case drum housing the clock’s movement rests on a short fluted column at the center of the temple-like structure.
The enamel dial with openwork hands and hour digits in Roman numerals exhibits an unusually large variety of indications. These include a display for the seconds (with a half-seconds precision pendulum), the day of the week with the associated celestial bodies, the month with the number of days and corresponding zodiac signs along with the current date. Additionally, the upper section of the dial features a fine adjustment. The extremely rare half-seconds pendulum,usually reserved for regulators, indicates the construction of a precise movement. The long duration of a week, despite numerous indications and a complex Viennese grande sonnerie (with a double strike of the quarter hour on two bells), is a testament to the outstanding prowess of renowned master clockmaker Johann Sachs.