Clock thumbnail 1
Clock thumbnail 2
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Clock

Artist/Maker

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Object details

Object type
Parts
This object consists of 6 parts.

  • Clock
  • Drawer
  • Key
  • Key
  • Fitted Case
  • Fitted Case
Materials and techniques
Silver and gilded silver, ebonised wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and ivory, glass
Brief description
Table clock, assembled from 17th-century shrine and clock, in its current configuration probably Berlin, 1880-1900
Physical description
Silver-gilt, ebony and ivory clock of architectural form in three sections. The rectilinear base supports a central body which is framed by a triumphal arch on each of the four sides. The top storey supports a lantern.
Dimensions
  • Height: 75.4cm
  • Width: 43.2cm
  • Depth: 24.5cm
Measured 24/05/24 IW
Production typeUnique
Marks and inscriptions
  • Kreitt Maÿr (On dial)
  • Elias Kreitt Mayr (on backplate of clock)
Gallery label
(Gallery 70, case 2) 1. Table clock Assembled 1880–1900 (Shrine, 1620–40. Clock, about 1690) This magnificent clock is a 19th-century creation, combining a 17th-century shrine and a table clock. Made to appeal to specialist collectors, the shrine’s original Christian nature can still be seen in the figure with a telescope (above the dial), who was adapted from a representation of Christ. Such transformations are masterpieces in their own right. Probably Berlin, Germany (Shrine: Augsburg, Germany. Clock: Friedberg near Augsburg, Germany; central figure the god Mars: possibly South Germany with later elements) Silver and gilded silver, ebonised wood with mother-of-pearl and ivory inlays, clock mechanism The clock dial inscribed ‘Kreitt Maÿr’ for Elias Kreitmayer Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.66:1 to 7-2008(16/11/2016)
Credit line
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Object history
Provenance: Collection Seckel, Berlin, ca. 1890. Collection Nathan Ruben Fränkel (1848-1909), Frankfurt a. Main. Private Collection, Milwaukee, ca. 1975. Acquired by Arthur Gilbert from S.J. Phillips Ltd, London, 1987.

Nathan Ruben Fränkel was a successful Jewish clockmaker from Frankfurt. Alongside his business, he built up an encyclopaedic collection of timepieces. We do not know what happened to this clock after his death and in the years before it resurfaced in 1975. This uncertainty is alarming because of the extent of persecution experienced by his family. Friedrich and Klara Fränkel, who ran a thriving watch business in Frankfurt, were forced into bankruptcy by the Nazis. In 1938, they fled to France where they narrowly escaped deportation and survived the war in hiding.

This object formed part of the V&A's special provenance display 'Concealed Histories: Uncovering the Story of Nazi Looting' (December 2019 - June 2021)
Production
The clock movement dates from circa 1690 and was made by Elias Kreitmayer
Summary
Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.
Associated object
Bibliographic references
  • Schroder, Timothy. The Gilbert collection of gold and silver. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1988, p. 24, fig. 7. ISBN.0875871445
  • Frauenberger, Heinrich, ed. N.R. Fränkels Uhrensammlung. Düsseldorf 1913, cat. no. 273, plate 42.
  • Löwe, Regina. Die Augsburger Goldschmiedewerkstatt des Matthias Walbaum. Munich (Deutscher Kunstverlag) 1975, cat. no. 96A.
  • Schroder, Timothy. The Gilbert collection of gold and silver: recent acquisitions. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1988, cat. no. M.
  • Marfels, Carl. Eine kunstvolle alte Standuhr. Deutsche Uhrmacher-Zeitung. Vol. 10, Berlin, 15 May 1890.
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20230606004515/https://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/museum-life/concealed-histories-uncovering-the-story-of-nazi-looting
Other numbers
  • SG 322 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • 1999.25 - The Gilbert Collection, Somerset House
Collection
Accession number
LOAN:GILBERT.66:1-2008

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Record createdJune 27, 2008
Record URL
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