An exceptionally fine and rare mid 18th century Czech cut-brass and pewter inlaid, musical clock playing six tunes on 13 bells and hammers, with annual calendar and automata star,  Joseph Graff Prague. Numbered 117.

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Lot 75
An exceptionally fine and rare mid 18th century Czech cut-brass and pewter inlaid, musical clock playing six tunes on 13 bells and hammers, with annual calendar and automata star,
Joseph Graff Prague. Numbered 117.

£ 14,000 - 18,000
US$ 18,000 - 24,000

Fine Clocks

19 Jun 2019, 14:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

An exceptionally fine and rare mid 18th century Czech cut-brass and pewter inlaid, musical clock playing six tunes on 13 bells and hammers, with annual calendar and automata star,
Joseph Graff Prague. Numbered 117.
The case:
constructed of fruitwood, possibly once ebonised and inlaid all over with cut brass and pewter, the shaped metal work further enhanced by engraved detailing including shading, foliage work and in the lower apron a pair of profile heads flanking a female bust. Surmounted by a heavy gilt bronze figure of a lion pawing a vacant shield and bough, on a caddy top with pediments set into the sides over shaped glazed side windows revealing the movement and canted front angles mounted with gilt leopard's heads and terminating in squat human heads within rocaille work.

The dial:
the seven inch circular enamel dial with pierced blued steel hands reading against black enamel Roman and Arabic numerals, the dial cut just below XII to display a six-pointed star decorated in green and red stones, on a gilt and engraved brass dial plate further set with five subsidiary dials for
Tune selection, comprising Allegro - Minueta - Sechamo - Minueta - Polonesa and Minueta
Strike/Not Strike
Play/Not Play
Repeat/Not Repeat and
Annual calendar, with two blued steel hands giving the month and the date of the month, each month engraved with the number of days, the days of the saints and the sign of the zodiac.

The movement:
The main plates measuring 8.5ins x 6.25ins and framed by a wide wheatear border, signed in a rococo engraved cartouche in the otherwise plain centre "Joseph Graff Prag No117". The going train with a chain fusee terminating in a pivoted verge escapement, the quarter chiming train with a spring barrel and acting on a pair of graduated bells nested above the movement, the musical train with spring barrel and playing the selected tune via a five inch long pinned barrel with 13 bells and hammers mounted on an engraved brass assembly mounted below the main movement plates.
70cms (27 1/2ins) high

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Professor Hans Bertele von Grenadenberg (1903 - 1984)

    Literature:
    This clock is illustrated in Maurice, K.(1976) Die deutsche Raderuhr Band II. Munchen: C.H. Beck, plates 930 a and b.

    Joseph Graff of Prague married in 1757. Examples of his work can be seen in the Prague Museum.
Contacts
An exceptionally fine and rare mid 18th century Czech cut-brass and pewter inlaid, musical clock playing six tunes on 13 bells and hammers, with annual calendar and automata star,  Joseph Graff Prague. Numbered 117.
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