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European Art
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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 × 29.53 × 44.45 cm (5 1/8 × 11 5/8 × 17 1/2 in.)
28.89 × 15.56 × 34.61 cm (11 3/8 × 6 1/8 × 13 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Laird Shields Goldsborough in memory of Mr. Laird Shields Goldsborough, B.A. 1924
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.
Probably made in Augsburg, Germany
On view
South German, probably Augsburg
17th century

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.

John David Farmer, The virtuoso craftsman: Northern European design in the sixteenth century, exh. cat. (Worchester, Massachusetts: Worcester Art Museum, 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.

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.