table clock
Augsburg, 17th century
Master J.O. Halaicher
Silver, steel, mastic (?);
casting, carving, gilding
Mechanical clocks were often decorated with the image of a solar disc. Possible reasons for this could be that time used
to be measured by the Sun moving
in its orbit, and also that this detail
recalled an older and more accurate
device for measuring time – the sundial.

The 17th-century Augsburg clock
in the Moscow Kremlin Museums’
collection is a fine example of the
use of a sun disk in its decoration.
A vivid illustration of the Augsburg Baroque, this clock has a silver-plated
case resting on four curved legs
in the shape of a floral tendril,
the walls of which are richly decorated
with large chased flowers and
well-designed graceful Cupid figures.
The lower plate of the watch is decorated with filigree details which have been well preserved down to the present day: floral curls and luxuriant flower buds, echoing the vibrant flowers on the sides. The upper, gilded part of the case is also decorated with floral motifs.
The long minute hand on the dial is made
in the form of an openwork curl, while
the hour hand is a sparkling solar disc
with subtly marked eyes, nose and lips -
the personification of the Luminary, allowing the time to be counted precisely as the sun appears in the sky.