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Rack Clock

Sägeuhr

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Vienna, last quarter of the 18th century

Case
carved oak wood, decorated with carved roses, foliage and flowers, original polychrome mounting and gilding
Dial
enameled
Movement
verge escapement, front pendulum
Height
30 in

In the 18th century, for the most part, rack clocks were highly coveted in Austria and Germany. The German name “Sägeuhr” (saw clock) of this type of clock is derived from the rack’s similarity with a saw. A rack clock uses its own weight (which is enhanced by an additional lead weight) as a power source. It gradually descends a toothed rack which meshes with the first wheel of the train. Winding is achieved by pushing the clock to the top of the rack again. This rack clock is decorated with appealing carvings and gilding and is embellished with polychrome paint. The garlands, bows, volutes and rose petals are typical for the Josephin style of that time (named after Emperor Joseph II). The movement is operated by a verge escapement. The white enamel dial is decorated with Arabic numerals and has a minute scale. In front of the dial oscialltes a short front pendulum.

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