Automaton Clock in the Shape of Diana on Her Chariot Artist: Unknown

first quarter of 17th century

European Art

On view, 2nd floor, European Art

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.


Case: gilt brass and ebony; dials: partly enameled silver; movement: brass and iron


base: 5 1/8 × 11 5/8 × 17 1/2 in. (13.02 × 29.53 × 44.45 cm)
11 3/8 × 6 1/8 × 13 5/8 in. (28.89 × 15.56 × 34.61 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Laird Shields Goldsborough in memory of Mr. Laird Shields Goldsborough, B.A. 1924

Accession Number



17th century


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 records is ongoing.



With A La Viellie Russie, 18 Fauburg Saint-Honore, Paris, by 1938; sold to Mrs. Laird Shields Goldsborough (Florence Mcconaughy Goldsborough, 1899–1982), New York, about July 1938; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1951
  • Clare Vincent, The Triumph of humanism: a visual survey of the decorative arts of the Renaissance, exh. cat. (San Francisco: Legion of Honor Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1977), 55; 58; 88, no. 147, fig. 83
  • Klaus Maurice, Die deutsche Ra¨deruhr: zur Kunst und Technik des mechanischen Zeitmessers im deutschen Sprachraum (Munich: Beck, 1976), 47, no. 280, fig. 280
  • John David Farmer, The virtuoso craftsman: Northern European design in the sixteenth century, exh. cat. (Worcester, Massachusetts: Worcester Art Museum, 1969), 162–63, no. 85, fig. 85
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

clocks, mythology, utilitarian objects

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.