Lilly's Art

One Year Going Regulator (“Laterndluhr”) “Ludwig Helbig in Wien”

Laterndluhr – Jahresuhr Ludwig Helbig in Wien

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Vienna, first half the 19th century

Ludwig Helbig,
Vienna, *1797, 1826 authorization, † 1844 (in Vienna Josefstadt no. 130)
polished mahogany veneer, maple stripe inlay
silver-plated with engraved floral décor, signed, indication of seconds
brass movement encased with glass panels, ruby-set escape wheel, Graham anchor with ruby pallets, maintaining power, seconds pendulum with spring suspension, micrometer adjustment, external barrel for the string, separate key for adjusting the anchor, limitation for winder and descend of the weight, division for adjustment by a hand on the rating nut, oval off-center weight, signature on the plate "Ludwig Helbig in Wien", duration of one year!
56¾ in

The most prominent and surely the most elegant and expensive model of 19th-century Viennese clock making was and is undoubtedly the so-called “Laterndluhr”, a wall clock that incorporates formal elements of the silhouette of a street lamp, hence its charming name in
German (Laterndl is a little lantern). This type of regulator, which was created through the
brilliant collaboration of Austrian cabinetmakers and master clockmakers, was certainly also the most important wall clock for export thanks to its unusual elegance and outstanding craftsmanship. Even in F. Kaltenböck᾽s standard work on the art of Viennese clockmaking, there are only a handful of authentic year-going “Laterndl”- regulators, and in our 45 years of art history-related work with Viennese clocks, we have only come across a singledigit number of these masterful, rare timepieces. This exceptionally precise clock impresses with a standard of quality equivalent to that of a masterpiece. The completion of an elegant clockwork mechanism with a yearly cycle was the declared culmination of a clockmaker career, and was reserved for a select, skilled few. Any friction losses of the gear train had to be kept to an absolute minimum. To protect against dust and dirt, which could in turn impair the mechanism’s precision, special works were encapsulated in glass. Alongside its exceptional beauty, this magnificent year duration regulator also stands out thanks to the delicately constructed, flat movement, the masterfully crafted anchor with ruby pallets, and the particularly refined gears. At the time of its creation, it already represented the pinnacle of the art of Austrian clockmaking. And to this day, this handcrafted masterpiece is the highlight in the collection of any connoisseur who loves and values the most famous Viennese timepieces of the early 19th century.

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