Early Turret Clock for Domestic Use

Small Iron Gothic Turret Clock for Domestic Use

Germany, circa 1500


This piece is an early example of a domestic turret clock and the earliest authentic mechanical clock in the Halim collection. The dial is bordered by touch pieces and exhibits a single hand, as the depiction of minutes and seconds on a clockface was considered frivolous at this time. The posted iron movement features wood barrels in addition to verge and foliot escapements.


This clock is a miniaturized version of the larger iron turret clocks produced during the same period. These early personal clocks would have been available only to a select few;only nobles and members of the elite class had the monetary means to “miniaturize” the larger turret clocks for individual, domestic use. The Almanus manuscript circa 1485 indicates that the Papacy, the cardinals and other well-positioned members of the clergy had smaller, domestic clocks. From that manuscript, we can also deduce that these smaller clocks were well known by the mid 15th century. Clocks like this one were made in the same style for quite some time and are therefore difficult to accurately date.