A fascinating Austrian, or possibly South German, rack clock mounted on a shaped giltwood backboard. Circa 1780.
The origin of these interesting clocks goes back to the 17th century; the concept being that the weight of the clock , as it descends down the rack, provides the motive power. Examples are to be seen in Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks by Derek Roberts, pages 61 & 62.
The substantial brass rack, which is bolted to the backboard, has applied gilt metal floral decoration to the top and bottom.
The convex white enamelled dial, some 3.25" (8.5cms ) in diameter, has roman numerals and blued steel hands. Surrounding it is an attractive gilded mask with putti to either side symbolising time, one carrying an hour glass and the other a scythe, whilst in the centre is a cockerel. The rest of the mask features floral and other decoration. The movement, which is surrounded by lead to increase the driving weight, has a three wheel train, verge escapement and a pendulum which swings to and fro in front of the dial.
The attractively shaped softwood backboard, to which the rack is fixed, has a raised border with nearly all the original gilding still intact. The body of the backboard, also gilded, has red painted flutes running down it.
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