Current issue of Antiquarian Horology

Volume 39, Issue 1, March 2018

The front cover shows the Henlein medal, 1905. He is shown as a conqueror, the portable watch in his left hand being a victory over the ‘old’ immovable weightdriven clocks, represented by the weight with a chain under his right foot 
Photo: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg.
For further information on the Henlein iconography see the article by Günther Oestmann in this issue.

This issue contains the following articles:

Timing the stars: astronomers, clockmakers and German precision horology around 1800
by Sibylle Gluch (pages 34–54)
Summary: This article is based on the Dingwall-Beloe Horological Lecture delivered at the British Museum on 17 November 2016. It discusses the interconnections between astronomy and horology in eighteenth-century Germany. It examines the concept of precision underlying the use of clocks in astronomy, and the collaboration between astronomers and clock- and watchmakers in the early days of German precision horology. To this end the article presents two case studies: an early Dresden regulator clock, used and probably also constructed by the astronomer Johann Gottfried Köhler, and the construction process behind what is likely to be the first German lever watch. The examples highlight the ways in which knowledge was transmitted from the centres of horology to the periphery, but also disclose the difficulties such transfer entailed.

The first transparent watch
by Juan F. Déniz (pages 55–68)
Summary: In the year 1888 a timepiece saw the light of day whose distinguishing feature – transparency – had not been seen before in watches. Through contemporary press reviews and exhibitions it can be ascertained what impact it had on the fin de siècle context. The third part of this article focuses on the technical-aesthetic qualities of the model to gain a complete overview in order to determine its relative importance in the history of watchmaking. Read this article here

New light on French enamel painting (1630–1660): tondi as models for the decoration of watches
by Catherine Cardinal (pages 69–79)
Summary: Watches produced in Paris and Blois between c. 1630 and c. 1660 lent themselves through their shape to the depiction of historical subjects painted on enamel that are frequently based on engravings. This article presents some examples of watches whose decoration was based, not on engravings, but on tondi (round paintings) by two French painters, Sébastian Bourdon and Charles Poerson. It also investigates the material circumstances that allowed enamel-painters to have recourse to tondi, revealing the personal connections that existed between these two types of artist.

Sixty years of AHS study tours
by Peter de Clercq (pages 80–91)
Summary:  Between 1957 and 2016, members of the AHS undertook almost thirty horological study tours abroad or to regions in the UK, which were reported in the journal. Drawing on these reports, this article gives an overview of the tours and discusses those who organized the tours and guided the groups. It is illustrated with previously unpublished photos from the collection of R. H. Miles.

Early watches—The argument over priority in Italy and Germany
by Günther Oestmann (pages 92–97)
Summary: Peter Henlein – Nuremberg – the world’s first pocket watch: these three notions seem to be inextricably linked, but were (and are) heavily contested. These disputes are described briefly, with special consideration of the life and work of Enrico Morpurgo, professor of Italian in Amsterdam (1894–1972).

Welsh time balls and time guns
by William Linnard (pages 98–102)
Summary: An account is given of the various time balls that were in operation in Cardiff and Newport during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and also of the time guns installed in Swansea at about the same time. None of these historic and now obsolete time-signalling systems seems to have functioned very satisfactorily.

An unusual electrical time switch on a turret clock signed Selfe of Greenwich
by Chris McKay (pages 103–107)
Summary: The article discusses a small turret clock with an original electrical mechanism to turn the lighting behind the dials on and off at set times. It was probably made by Thwaites and Reed of London in the period 1895–1918. It is signed for the clock- and watchmaker Francis Crese Selfe (1855–1944). The possible original situation of the clock in or around Greenwich is also discussed.

There are two short notes:
Henry Jones of London: his birth, marriage and family by Andrew James (pages 108–111)
A relic of the Gold Rush by David Read (page 112)

The issue totals 144 pages and is illustrated mainly in colour, and is completed by the regular sections Horological News, Book Reviews, AHS Programme and Calendar, AHS News, Letters to the Editor and Further reading.