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THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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Art experts think they may have found the world's oldest painting to feature an image of a watch.

Art experts think they may have found the world's oldest painting to feature an image of a watch.The portrait was painted in around 1560

Art experts think they may have found the world's oldest painting to feature an image of a watch.

The Science Museum is investigating the 450-year-old portrait, thought to be of Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence, holding a golden timepiece.

Curators have sent their findings to renaissance experts at the Uffizi gallery in Florence, and are awaiting their comments.

The painting is being shown as part of the museum's Measuring Time gallery.

The first watches appeared shortly after 1500 in Germany and horologists believe the picture, painted by renaissance master Maso da San Friano around 1560, "may well be the oldest to show a true watch".

Coat of arms

Science Museum curator Rob Skitmore said the watch was thought to be from southern Germany.

"As Cosimo was a great patron of science and technology, it is entirely likely he would have owned a watch of this kind which he displays here with pride," he said.

"The picture shows the close linkage between science and art, especially in those days."

The painting has been in the museum's collection for 33 years after being acquired from a private donor.

As it was being taken out of storage for the gallery, curators decided to research the painting - which was when they made their discovery.

The clue to the painting's identity came when Mr Skitmore realised a seal containing the Medici coat of arms was on the back of the canvas.

He said: "In our painting Cosimo would have been about 41 and his appearance is entirely consistent with a later view of him from 1574."

The Measuring Time gallery traces the history of timekeeping and contains one of the biggest collections of clocks in Britain.

via BBC

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Haunted Horology Week! Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch

Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull WatchI'm celebrating the week leading to Halloween with a variety of spooky timepieces!

Not long before Mary Queen of Scots had her own head chopped off, she had this bone chilling silver skull watch made. The case is opened by dropping the under jaw, which turns upon a hinge, while the watchworks occupy the place of the brain.

Likely one of the earliest examples of horological "Memento Mori" (artistic reminders of ones mortality).

See all my past Memento Mori watch posts-->Link


Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull WatchSideview

Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull WatchThe original engraved dial with 18th century modified to a balance-spring movement by J. Moysan of Blois, France.

Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull WatchEarly representations of the watch
(before photography proved its existence)

Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull WatchIt is believed Mary gave this watch as a gift to Mary Seaton, one of her maids of honor. The skull is of silver gilt and is engraved with lines of Horace, figures of Death with his scythe and hourglass, Adam and Eve, and the Crucifixion. The lower part of the skull is pierced to emit the sound when it strikes, being cut in the form of emblems of the Crucifixion. The works occupy the brain's position in the skull fitting into a silver bell which fills the entire hollow of the skulL The hours are struck on this bell by a small hammer on a separate train..

She sure must have been a barrel of laughs...

Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull WatchThere's something about Mary...

Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull WatchRelated Post: 1810 Skull Pocket Watch-->Link



Enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK


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16th Century Gun Powder Flask-Sundial Compass Watch

16th Century Gun Powder Flask-Sundial Compass Watch


Portable watches had only been around a few decades when this multi-function timepiece was built in southern Germany circa 1590.

Consisting of a round powder flask made of rosewood with inlaid and engraved rosette-shaped ornaments of brass and bone. A small clock with 1-12 hours twice situated on the outer ring. The small funnel of bone is closed with a springy lid made of brass. Below the center under the engraved lid with a transversally placed hinge, there is a horizontal sundial with indication of the hours from six o'clock in the morning to six o'clock in the evening. A small compass with north-south indication but without correction for the magnetic pole. The string gnomon is stretched by opening the lid and is only valid for one latitude. On the side of the flask, there is an opening to a funnel-shaped small pipe which is placed in the socket and allows for filling up the powder flask. Diameter 10.8cm


From the Beyer Watch and Clock Museum in Zurich-->Link
Museum Collection Photomontage-->Link

Related posts;

Wood & Bone Pocket Watches

Wristwatches of War


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Art experts think they may have found the world's oldest painting to feature an image of a watch.Haunted Horology Week!  Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch16th Century Gun Powder Flask-Sundial Compass Watch

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