BLW Mechanical globe and movement



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Britain Loves Wikipedia at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Mechanical globe and movement
English: Mechanical globe and movement

Georg Roll (about 1546-92) and Johannes Reinhold (1550-96)
Germany, Augsburg
Gilded metal and steel

This mechanical clock was bought by the Emperor Rudolph II in 1584 and housed in the Imperial Treasury in Prague. The globe served as a model of the universe simulating the movements of the sun, the moon and the stars. It could predict the movements of celestial bodies at any time in the past and the future and could tell the time by the position of the stars.

This clock, with its finely engraved dials, enamelled clockfaces and elaborately cast legs, was not simply a functional household item but more a treasury piece, bought primarily for its craftsmanship and technical ingenuity. Clocks were luxury items designed to impress as well as educate. By the 1550s it was fashionable for wealthy noblemen to have a sound understanding of all branches of learning, from art and literature to mathematics and the natural sciences. Clocks such as this were housed alongside automatons and scientific instruments such as astrolabes and sundials in Scientifica, collections celebrating human ability to control nature.

Collection ID: 246-1865

This photo was taken as part of Britain Loves Wikipedia in February 2010 by art_traveller.

Date Photographed in February 2010(2010-02)
Source Originally uploaded at http://www.britainloveswikipedia.org/
Author art_traveller


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