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Back to category Cartel Clocks.

Important Week-going Cartel Clock with Lunar Phase

Bedeutende Kartelluhr mit Mondphase und Wochengang Johan Vellauer in Wienn


Vienna, around 1765

“Johan Vellauer in Wienn”
Johann Vellauer,
Vienna, * ca. 1748, master 1765–1819, † 1819
carved and gilt lime wood
anchor escapement, Viennese grande sonnerie on bells, repeater, turn-off for strike, indication of date, day of the week, lunar phase and lunar date, duration of 8 days
50 in

This extravagant cartel clock by Viennese clockmaker Johann Vellauer from the collection of the renowned clock expert Prof. Dr. Hans von Bertele is an absolute rarity. Aside from the long movement of eight days, the moon phase display – which for us was thus far unknown among timepieces of this type – is a testimony to its masterful uniqueness.

As is common for Viennese cartel clocks from this period, the case is ornately carved and plated with gold leaf. The aperture for the pendulum bob is surrounded by acanthus foliage. Above this, lush garlands of flowers and grapes spring up out of two cornucopias. The finial has the shape of a large snake-entwined vase.

Above the enamel dial with the display of the time, date, and day of the week is the moon phase with an arched dial for the moon date. The shifting of the boundary between day and night on the moon’s surface, which is visible from the Earth, is simulated with the help of two small metal plates superimposed over the disk. By turning the disk, the moon emerges little by little from behind the left-hand plate, to then disappear again behind the right-hand one.

This exceptional timepiece of excellent provenance is published and depicted in Frederick Kaltenböck’s standard reference work “Viennese Timepieces”.

provenance: collection Prof. Dr. Hans von Bertele, Vienna
illustrated in: F. Kaltenböck: Viennese Timepieces, Munich 1988, p. 179, fig. 384.