FOREIGN CLOCKS :
A STRONG MARKET FOR GERMAN AND ENGLISH PIECES
Apart from French clocks collectors also seek 16th Century German and 17th or 18th Century English time pieces, which also bore testimony of some incredible technological inventions.
It must be stressed that the oldest surviving and working clock is that of the Salisbury cathedral in England dating back to 1386. In France, the clock of Rouen dates back to 1389. During the second half of the 15th Century some gunsmith had the idea to add a spring to the movement of clocks so as to supply them with a driving power though such power was not constant.
A solution was eventually found in winding the spring to a conical piece called the fuse.
In 1658 Huygens invented a rhythm regulator called the pendulum. Before that year a clock would lose or gain one hour a day whereby the pendulum reduced that gap to three minutes per week. Clock makers then designed the escapement, which produced that ticking noise familiar to our ears. Many types of escapements appeared until George Graham designed the cylinder escapement system in 1726 with the introduction of rubies, sapphires, garnets and crystals in movements to reduce wear.
Table clocks made in Augsburg or Nuremberg between 1550 and 1650 matched those produced in France during that period. One should however remember that it is however rare to find a piece with its original mechanism as most clocks were transformed during the 19th Century.
«An important Augsburg gilt-metal,
silvered and silver-mounted quarter
striking astronomical masterpiece table clock, by Johan Gottfridt Haase,
(Value US $ 700,000-1 million)»
«A South German copper gilt and ebonised quarter striking
(Value US $ 20,000- 30,000)»