Master's mark "PRT" Paulus Rosentreter, Nuremberg, 63 mm, 262 g, circa 1560
An important, rare and large Renaissance verge clockwatch with hour self strike and stackfreed Case: firegilt and silver, back side lavishly florally pierced, the edges engraved with geometrical pattern, silver case band with pierced and engraved geometrical design. Dial: silver, florally engraved border, radial Roman numerals, the centre field engraved with an animated landscape, a river scene and a large castle, single blued steel hand. Movm.: firegilt brass full plate movement, punch mark "PRT", verge escapement, stackfreed, foliot and hog's bristle, locking plate with internal teeth, 1 hammer/1 bell.
This watch from Nuremberg is a supreme example of the transition from the "horologium ferreum", the pendant watches with movements that were - particularly in Southern Germany - in the first half of the 16th century completely made of iron, to the French constructions, which at the time already used brass or gilded brass parts. "The surviving early German pendant watches all have a stackfreed because it allows a flatter design", writes Klaus Maurice. The stackfreeds always had full plate movements." The signature around the master’s mark at 12 on the back plate is "PRT", which we read as "Paul(us) RosenTretter"; the mark clearly shows a rose branch with leaves and large petals that is wound around a shoe or boot - one can observe the design particularly well when the mark is turned on its head. It is unclear yet if the shapes above the opening of the shoe and at its back end are related ornaments. It is quite impressive to see how elaborate the hand filed iron cog and crown wheels of the watch are; an even greater surprise, however, are the details of the movement and the strike mechanism - produced less than 50 years after Peter Henlein. There are not even 20 years between the earliest known German master’s mark of Caspar Werner of Nuremberg in 1548 and this mark of his fellow countryman "Paulus Rosentretter", who became a citizen of Nuremberg as well as a master in 1566: "Paulus Rosentretter, Cleinvhrmacher, ist maister worden adi 24. November 1566" (Paulus Rosentretter, watchmaker, became a master on November 24, 1566). Unfortunately Rosentretter did not have much time to enjoy his new rights; he died only 12 years later on May 23, 1578, probably not even 40 years old. Hans Sachs, shoemaker, Meistersinger and poet had been laid to rest only two years before him - which means that our watch was a contemporary of that famous son of Nuremberg. At this point in time the watch is the only existing piece created by this master; a monstrance clock made of rock crystal and bearing the mark "PR", which Heinrich Lunardi mentions as having possibly been created by Paulus Rosentretter – today no. 1392 of the "Sammlung fuer Plastik und Kunstgewerbe" in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna – was probably made in Augsburg and certainly dates to the first quarter of the 17th century; hence it clearly cannot be attributed to Rosentretter.
Estimate 27,000 - 35,000 €
Price Realised 49,600 €
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