A carved giltwood quarter striking and musical table clock, Leopold Hoys, Bamberg, circa 1745
- giltwood, brass, steel
- 112cm. 3ft 8in. high
Private Aristocratic European Collection
Leopold Hoys was born in Vienna in 1713, the son of a coachman to Emperor Charles VI. in 1726 he was apprenticed for six years to Christopher Pruner, a clockmaker in Klagenfurt and in 1739 he became a Master clockmaker. He moved to Bamberg in 1742 and in 1745 became head of the guild of clock and watchmakers. In 1757 he was appointed court clockmaker to the new Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim. Leopold Hoys died in Bamberg in 1797.
The arms on the cresting of the clock are of Franz Stefan von Lothringen (1708-1765), see p.60, who became Holy Roman Emperor in 1745 and was married in 1736 to Archduchess Maria Theresa, daughter of Emperor Charles VI of Austria.
The Prince-Bishop of Würzburg and Bamberg in 1745 was Friedrich Karl von Schönborn, (1674-1746). Between 1705 and 1731 von Schönborn was Vice Chancellor to the Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna. Having been made Prince-Bishop in 1729 he initially remained in Vienna but began extensive works at the Würzburg Residence. It is tempting to conjecture that von Schönborn might have commissioned Hoys, the Vienna-born new leader of the clockmaking guild in Bamberg to produce this magnificent clock to celebrate the coronation of Franz Stefan as Holy Roman Emperor.
The sumptuous carving of the case, with its large scrolls of various shapes, its sculptural silhouette and asymmetric rocaille and trelliswork, putti and animals is a remarkable example of the exuberant Franconian Rococo. Very similar carved decoration so expressive of the South German rococo taste can be found on a pair of so called Jahreszeiten (seasons) consoles from 1751 which were formerly in the collection of Schloss Seehof, the splendid summer residence of the prince bishops of Bamberg. They are now conserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, inventory numbers 356127 & 356128 and illustrated in Sangl, Sigrid, op. cit., fig. 120-124.
Stangl, Sigrid, Das Bamberger Hofschreinerhandwerk, Munich, 1990, pages 223-227, fig. 120-140. Clocks by Leopold Hoys are illustrated Tardy, Clocks The World Over, English Edition, Vol. 4, pages 264 and 270; Heuer, Peter and Maurice, Klaus, Europaische Penduluhren, page 267 & Fig. 2