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Rack Clock

Sägeuhr

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Vienna, last quarter of the 18th century

Case
carved, polychrome mounted and gilt pine wood
Dial
enameled
Movement
verge escapement, short front pendulum
Height
42 ½ in

This particularly splendid rack clock captivates with its carved, polychrome set and leaf-gilt decor in the style of the late baroque. The rack board is decorated with large shell cartouches. The enamel dial is accentuated by gold-plated scrollwork. The short front pendulum swings in front of the dial. The movement is operated by an unusual mechanism: The heavy movement case is pushed up by hand on the rack, where it slowly slides down again. The rack’s teeth engage and drive the gear train. The rack reminiscent of a saw gave its name to this rare type of clock in German: Sägeuhr. In the 18th century, rack clocks were particularly popular in Austria and Germany.

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