Lilly's Art

Picture Clock “Artists” with Automatons

Uhrenbild „Artisten“ mit Automaten


Vienna, middle of the 19th century

gilt Blondel-frame, painting oil on metal
silver-plated metal
verge escapement,, Viennese grande sonnerie on wire gongs, repeater, turn-off for strike, automatons operating every full hour, musical movement with two tunes by “Brüder Stern Wien”
27 ½×34 ¼ in

This delightful picture clock is characterized by an elaborate automaton mechanism that not only drives a waterfall, represented by rotating glass rods, but also moves limbs and a garment of the artists. Two tightrope walkers are balancing on a taut rope, another artist asks the viewers for a donation.

A musical mechanism with two melodies by the Viennese brothers Stern provides the real background music for the pictured scene with rich figure staffage.

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