Lot 9
  • 9

A carved giltwood quarter striking and musical table clock, Leopold Hoys, Bamberg, circa 1745

50,000 - 80,000 GBP
421,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • giltwood, brass, steel
  • 112cm. 3ft 8in. high
8½-inch shaped dial with gilt rococo mask, signed on a silvered plaque Leopold Hoys, Fecit Bamberg, the centre with date and mock pendulum apertures, the arch with a calendar dial flanked by schlagt/schlagt nit and spilt/spilt nit dials, the three train movement with standing barrels and anchor escapement, striking the hours and quarters on two bells and playing a tune at the hour or at will on a nest of ten bells with twenty hammers, the pinned cylinder interchangeable and inscribed Menuet, the ornate case boldly carved with scrolls, a lion, gryphon and putti and inset with mirror panels 


Possibly commissioned by the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, Friederich Karl von Schönborn (1674-1746) on the occasion of the coronation of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor in 1745.
Private Aristocratic European Collection

Catalogue Note

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.


Comparative Literature
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