Lot No. 621 (89th Auction)
"VS" (Ulrich Schniep, München), 155 x 155 x 90 mm, circa 1580

An astronomical, single-handed, square cased horizontal table clock of museum quality with quarter hour / hour self strike "Grande Sonnerie", moon phase, moon age and indication of sunrise
Case: brass, firegilt, the side panels with applied pierced silver decoration, each panel centred with a cartouche with portraits of three ladies and a gentleman wearing contemporary clothes; four moulded feet, 3 rear bells. Dial: silver, engraved flower and foliate scrolls; applied brass chapter ring with hour knobs, Arabic minutes, radial Roman hours and Arabic 24 hours. A rotating disc with pointer for the moon age in the centre, on top a rotating disc with round aperture for the indication of the moon phase and a fixed and engraved sun pointer for the sunrise; single iron hand. Movm.: square brass movement, firegilt, monogrammed, engraved and pierced floral appliques, chain/fusee for going train, 3 barrels for hour strike and quarter hour strike, baluster-shaped movement pillars, 3 hammers, control dial for quarter hour strike, locking plate, hog's bristle, verge escapement, two-arm steel balance, finely florally engraved and pierced balance bridge.

Ulrich Schniep (died in 1588)
German clock and sundial maker
Schniep was born in Wiesensteig near Ulm; we know nothing of his childhood and apprenticeship. Schniep came to Munich in 1545 and was given citizenship in 1554. He began working for Duke Albrecht V and his successor Wilhelm V awarded Schniep the position of clockmaker to the court. The first volume of "Wissenschaftliche Instrumente in ihrer Zeit" (scientific instruments in their time) quotes Zinner as saying that Schniep supposedly built an instrument for Emperor Maximilian II in 1566, but nothing else is known about it. Schniep’s portable sundials are very obviously influenced by those created by Christoph Schissler, and many of his sundials have survived the time. Schniep’s son Alexius was also a clockmaker - the collection of the Beyer watch museum in Zurich holds a powder flask by Alexius that has an inbuilt sundial.
Source:,_Ulrich_%28gest._1588%29, as of 03/20/2014

Lit.: "Meister der Uhrmacherkunst" (masters of watchmaking) by Juergen Abeler, 2nd edition, Wuppertal 2010, p. 651.
Estimate  22,000 - 30,000 €

Price Realised  39,700 €
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