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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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"Wake up! Time to Die" - 19th Century Victorian Skeleton Automaton Alarm Clock - Haunted Horology #5

Yup, I'm quoting Leon Kowalsky's parting words from the futuristic movie Blade Runner... I just saw the latest director's Final Cut at the Ziegfeld theater in Manhattan recently and must say, it was one of the best cinematic experiences of my life. If you get a chance to see it on a big screen during the current re-release, do it!

This antique 19th century alarm clock (circa 1840-1880) couldn't be further from the future and wish there were more information about its functions to share with y'all but alas, you must imagine the Steampunk-esque automaton mechanics for yourself. I will say the obvious; the skeleton is sitting on an alarm bell, the coffin-boat, complete with Chadburn Telegraph is the clock dial and there are two holes in the coffin that might have something (or someone) that pops out.


via Ingenious.org.uk

See all the posts from my Haunted Horology Week;
1610 Screaming Skull Clock
Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
Rock Crystal 1710 Skull Watch
Rolling Eyeball Skull Clocks
All Memento Mori Posts



LAST DAY to enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->
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HORROR-OLOGY - 1610 Mechanical Screaming Biting Skull Clock with Animated Snakes for Eyeballs!

HORROR-OLOGY - 1610 Mechanical Screaming Biting Skull Clock with Animated Snakes for Eyeballs!Never mind this skull & crossbones automaton clock is nearly 400 years old, just look what it can do! Way scarier than any special effects from Pirates of the Caribbean.

During the first minute, the skull's expression seems to smile, the second minute it seems to laugh, the next appears to scream and finally, the jaws snap shut, as if the skull were trying to bite something. At the same time, one of the snakes slowly sinks back down into one of the eye sockets, while the other slowly comes out of the other eye, before retracting suddenly, as the first snake again springs out from its eye-socket. And to view the time, just open up the skull cap! It sold recently for $135,000.


HORROR-OLOGY - 1610 Mechanical Screaming Biting Skull Clock with Animated Snakes for Eyeballs!Designed & built in 1610 by Nicolaus Schmidt der Junger (Augsburg, Germany) as a skull set on two crossed shinbones and mounted on a gilt brass tripod, the hinged skull cap (restored) disclosing the dial. Later hexagonal ebony molded base. D. Silver champlevé enameled dial with floral decoration. Gilt brass single hand. M. Hinged oval gilt brass full plate with urn pillars, fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain steel two-arm balance without spring, gilt brass pierced and engraved irregular cock secured by a screw, with matching click for the ratchet wheel set-up. The movements of the automaton jaw and the snakes in the eyes are controlled by two six-spoke cams driven by the fusee and revolving twenty times an hour, so that the jaws take three minutes to open and then close suddenly while the snakes alternately pop out of, then return back into, each eye socket, twice a minute. Height 14 cm, including the base. Back plate signed.

HORROR-OLOGY - 1610 Mechanical Screaming Biting Skull Clock with Animated Snakes for Eyeballs!You can see the open-skull dial of the clock in the background

HORROR-OLOGY - 1610 Mechanical Screaming Biting Skull Clock with Animated Snakes for Eyeballs!Movement: fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain steel two-arm balance without spring

Provenance: Previously in the collection of Charles Georgi, one of the commissioners in charge of the Musée Rétrospectif de la classe 96 (horlogerie) at the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition, this watch was exhibited there in a showcase dedicated to this famous collection. According to Mathieu Planchon, the author of the catalogue, in addition to his collection of early watches and table clocks, Charles Georgi at one time owned on of the best “Cabinets de Curiosité”, upon which the organizers drew heavily, to fill most of the gaps in the various classes of the Musée Rétrospectif.

Related Posts;
Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
All Memento Mori Posts
Hatching Astronomical Clock

Via Antiquorum

Last few days to enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK



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"Wake up!  Time to Die" - 19th Century Victorian Skeleton Automaton Alarm Clock - Haunted Horology #5HORROR-OLOGY - 1610 Mechanical Screaming Biting Skull Clock with Animated Snakes for Eyeballs!

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