Hohenelbe/Bohemia, first half of the 19th century
- A. Ullrich, Hohenelbe (Vrchlabí/Czech Republic)
- polished walnut veneer, inlaid back panel
- anchor escapement, seconds pendulum, knife-edge suspension, jumping second, duration of one month
- 50 ¾ in
This exceptional wall clock with a one-month movement was manufactured in the first half of the 19th century in the far north of the Habsburg Empire, in the Bohemian town of Hohenelbe (Vrchlabí) in the Giant Mountains. A flourishing textile industry had brought wealth to the small town with its renaissance castle and Augustinian monastery, evidently paving the way for a first-rate clockmaking trade.
This timepiece, with its elegant upright rectangular case shape with rounded edges and generous glass panels, represents a fascinating variation on Viennese regulator clocks. The intensive grainy texture of the walnut wood emphasizes the aesthetic impact of the veneer sheets, which are joined in such a way that they are mirror images of one another. In front of the high back panel, decorated with inlays, swings the long seconds pendulum featuring a knife-edge suspension. This wonderful precision clock with a long running time illustrates the high commitment to quality of the Viennese craft of clockmaking, to which even master craftsmen well beyond the imperial capital felt obliged. At the same time, it also bears testimony to the daring innovation of the regional clockmakers who brought forth such rare Austrian timepieces, which are today highly valued by collectors.