Lot No. 235 (90th Auction)
Signed Margaritha Maultasch, J.V.T., presumably Augsburg, 56 mm, 194 g, circa 1580

A fragment of an one-handed pre-balance Renaissance watch with hour self strike
Case: bronze, firegilt, open-work, florally ornamented, rear bell. Dial: silver, florally engraved centre, radial Roman numerals, Arabic 24 hours, blued hand. Movm.: full plate brass movement, gilt, 2 barrels for hour self strike and going train, verge escapement, locking plate with internal teeth, 1 hammer, three-arm brass balance, balance cock with flower decor.

Margaret Maultasch (1318-1369)
Margaret, Countess of Tyrol (after 1366 nicknamed Margarete Maultasch) was born in 1318 in Tyrol and died on October 3, 1369 in Vienna. She was the daughter of Henry, Duke of Carinthia and Count of Tyrol and Gorizia, and his wife Adelaide of Brunswick.

The nickname "Maultasch" was first mentioned around 1366 in the third Bavarian installment of the "Sächsische Weltchronik" (Saxon World Chronicle) and then 1393 in the "Österreichische Chronik" (Austrian Chronicle). It stands for "harlot, loose woman" and was mainly used in papal and Bohemian propaganda.

Since 1425 this nickname was taken literally and Margaret was thought to have had a deformed mouth; the subsequent assumption, however, that Margaret must have been altogether very ugly is most likely false - at the time Johannes of Winterthur for example described her as a particularly beautiful woman.

Another explanation derives the name from Margaret’s favourite castle Neuhaus in Terlan, which the locals named "Schloss Maultasch" because of the nearby customs station called "mala tasca" (mouse trap).

It is of course also possible that the derogatory nickname was planted by Margaret’s first husband John Henry, who is known to have spread the most malevolent rumours about her.
Source:, as of 09/18/2014
Estimate  5,500 - 7,500 €

Price Realised  6,900 €
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