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Alarm Clock in a Reliquary-Like Case
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Alarm Clock in a Reliquary-Like Case


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The case of this intriguing timepiece with its rock crystal cylinder resembles a medieval reliquary. The tiny haloed female figure with hands raised in prayer at the top is Ecclesia (the Catholic Church) accompanied by personifications of Faith (with the Old Testament tablets of the Law and New Testament chalice), Hope (anchor), and Charity (two infants). The timekeeping mechanism is not attached to the case- and appears to have been altered to fit it- so it is possible that the case was made as a reliquary into which the mechanism was fitted. The tiny dial was probably rarely looked at, as every hour was struck on the bell. The mechanism is divided into three tiers: the "going train" makes time advance (upper), the striking train strikes the hours (middle), and the bottom train sets off the alarm.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
5/13/1958Treatmentcleaned
11/09/1979Examinationexamined for condition
9/09/1982Treatmentcleaned; examined for loan
Exhibitions
  • Undercover Stories in Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980.
  • French Clocks in North American Collections. The Frick Collection, New York. 1982-1983.
Provenance Harding, New York; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1930 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1930

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Creator
Period
ca. 1650? (Baroque)
Medium
partially gilded silver, gold, silver, rubies, enamel, rock crystal, and glass case; gilded brass, steel, and bell metal movement
(Timepieces, Clocks & Watches)
Accession Number
58.222
Measurements
8 15/16 in. (22.7 cm)
Geographies
  • France, Rouen (Place of Origin)
  • France, Aix-en-Provence (Place of Origin)

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