Master's Mark "MD", Augsburg, Height 350 mm, circa 1610
An important Renaissance clock "The Rampant Lion" - with automatons and hour strike Case: bronze, gilt, ebonized wood. Dial: silver, polychrome Cloisonnée enamel inlays, inlaid Roman/Arabic numerals, single iron hand. Movm.: brass/iron, punched maker's mark "MD" in a cartouche, moulded, stepped iron pillars, brass train, verge escapement, brass ring balance, count wheel, going train with gut/fusee, additional hour strike movement with barrel, strike on bell.
The gilt-brass rampant lion stands on an ebonised, octagonal plinth raised on gilt bun feet; the top is engraved with a checkered pavement pattern and the side panels are decorated with chased floral motifs. The lion’s left front paw rests on the engraved, upright cartouche with the dial, while its other, raised paw is holding a sceptre. The mouth opens with every hour strike and the lion’s eyes roll back and forth with the swing of the balance.
Klaus Maurice/Otto Mayr suggest the present clock with the initials "MD" could be the work of one of three possible master watchmakers from Augsburg: - Michael Debetshauser (born 1585) - Matthaeus Degen (1578-1619) - Michael Dirr (1571-1631)
In 1980/81 the "Rampant Lion" was on loan to two exhibitions in Munich and in Washington, respectively: In 1980 it was part of "Die Welt als Uhr" (the clockwork universe) in the Bavarian national museum and of "The Clockwork Universe" in the National Museum of American History and Technology (Smithsonian Institution). Both exhibitions were exceptionally successful - in Munich alone the exhibition attracted more than 82.000 visitors. The catalogue published by Klaus Maurice and Otto Mayr shows and describes the "Rampant Lion" on page 257 as one of the exhibits.
Similar figure clocks with lions are illustrated in Klaus Maurice , "Die deutsche Räderuhr", Vol. 2, Munich 1976, illustrations 318-323.
Provenance: - Cologne, Germany, private collection - Sold in our 79th auction in May 2009, lot 354, for 89.000 Euros. - USA, private collection
Estimate 30,000 - 50,000 €
Price Realised 40,700 €
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