Budapest/Habsburg Monarchy, first half of the 19th century
- “Kralik in Pesth”
- Samuel Králik,
- Pest/Hungary, *1815 Banska Bystrica, 1843 master, †1886
- polished mahogany veneer, maple stripe inlays
- Graham escapement, duration of one week
- 26 in
Seldom does such a richly detailed wealth of source material exist on a clockmaker as it does for Budapest court clockmaker Samuel Králik. He was considered one of Hungary’s top clockmakers and was in fact a national and international celebrity. In the magazine “Magyar Óra és Ékszeripar”, Count János Berényi describes Králik as a “remarkable, light-eyed and authoritarian man […] with his wavy, curly hair, his beaming eyes, whose entire being was characterized by a strange, almost contradictory mix of the strict, conscientious teacher and the playful, joyful artist. He was in fact an artist in the science of precision.”
Born in 1815 in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia), Samuel Králik moved to Vienna in 1829, where he took up an apprenticeship with Johann Kralik (to whom he was presumably related). In 1834 he moved to Pest (Budapest) to continue his training with Caspar Hagn. Following the death of his master in 1839, Králik married the master’s daughter and took over the clock shop at Schlangengasse 5. He received the title of master craftsman in 1843 and was chosen as the chairman of the Pest clockmakers’ guild the very next year.
This was soon followed by a veritable avalanche of prizes such as awards from the Hungarian Trade Exhibitions in 1841, 1843 and 1846, the Austrian Trade Exhibition in 1845 and an honorary coin from the General Industrial Exhibition in Munich in 1854. In 1851, Králik presented a clockwork mechanism with 13 exchangeable escapements at the London World Fair, which was subsequently acquired by the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Culture for the Joseph Academy in Pest. In 1852, Králik was selected as a member of the Academie Nationale Paris. He was awarded the gold medal at the 1862 London World Fair, the silver medal at the 1867 Paris World Fair, and in 1868, Emperor Franz Joseph bestowed him with the Golden Cross of Merit with a crown. The following year, Samuel Králik was appointed the royal Hungarian court clockmaker – an office he would hold right up until his death in 1886.
In his report on the 1871 London International Exhibition, Austro-Hungarian publicist Edmund (Ödön) Steinacker described Samuel Králik as one of “[…] the doyens of Hungarian exhibitors who are well-known abroad, who during his time made a significant contribution toward rescuing the honor of our […] fatherland.”
This “Dachluhr” regulator by the renowned Samuel Králik stands out with its delicate dimensions (height just 26 1/3 in.), its elegant and classic case furnished with precious mahogany veneer, as well as a rare long Graham anchor. An outstanding timepiece by one of the most prominent masters of Hungarian clockmaking history.