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Artist: Unknown

Automaton Clock in the Form of Diana on Her Chariot

ca. 1610

Gilt bronze and silver; dials: enamel; case: ebony and gilt bronze; movement: iron and brass.

base: 13.02 x 29.53 x 44.45 cm (5 1/8 x 11 5/8 x 17 1/2 in.) 28.89 x 15.56 x 34.61 cm (11 3/8 x 6 1/8 x 13 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Laird Shields Goldsborough in memory of Mr. Laird Shields Goldsborough, B.A. 1924
1951.19.2a-b
The most sophisticated Renaissance clocks, many that included automaton figures, were made for Northern European nobility and royal courts by specialist craftsmen in Augsburg in Southern Germany. This lavishly decorated clock also served as a table carriage. Diana has moving eyes connected to the clockwork and when a mechanism inside the case is wound up the chariot rolls forward, the two leopards leap, the bird comes forward, and the monkey eats the apple. If all these elements are set in motion the goddess shoots her arrow.
Culture: 
South German, probably Augsburg
Period: 
17th century
Classification: 
Timepieces
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

John David Farmer, The virtuoso craftsman: Northern European design in the sixteenth century, exh. cat. (Worchester, Massachusetts: Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, 1969), 162–63, no. 85, fig. 85.

Klaus Maurice, Die deutsche Ra¨deruhr: zur Kunst und Technik des mechanischen Zeitmessers im deutschen Sprachraum (Munich: Beck, 1976), 47, no. 280, fig. 280.

Clare Vincent, The Triumph of humanism: a visual survey of the decorative arts of the Renaissance, exh. cat. (San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1977), 55; 58; 88, no. 147, fig. 83.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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