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Mantel Clock “au cercle tournant” in form of an Amphora

Kommodenuhr au cercle tournant in Form einer Amphore

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Austria, first quarter of the 19th century

Case
polished granite and steel
Dial
rotating dial ring (“cercle tournant”) made of blue painted steel, tongue of the snake, made of steel acts as fixed hand
Movement
octofoil plate, outside cadrature, verge escapement with balance wheel, grande sonnerie on bells
Height
14 ¼ in

Clocks made of polished granite combined with carved steel are rare and emit a particular elegance due to their refined materials alone. This granite is a medium-grained stone with an attractive blue-grey hue, which was extremely popular during the Habsburg Monarchy. What is unusual, and therefore striking, about this clock, is not just its elegant urn-shaped figure, but also in  particular the horizontal chapter ring, a so-called “cercle tournant”. A steel snake winds its way around the upper clock case, displaying the time with its tongue as a fixed hand. The snake has been  considered holy since antiquity and represents the art of healing and eternity or immortality – like the everlasting nature of time itself. A second snake winds itself around a medicinal chalice, making reference to Asclepius, the Greek god of the art of healing.

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