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Details & Cataloguing

Masterworks of Time: Adolf Lange, The Golden Era of Glashütte

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Jacob Auch, Weimar
A VERY RARE GOLD DOUBLE DIALLED ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR WATCH WITH GEOCENTRIC PLANETARIUM CIRCA 1790
Movement: gilded full plate with going barrel, cylinder escapement, plain three-arm balance
Dials: first: white enamel, the edge with Arabic numerals for hours running twice from 1-12 in black and 1-12 in pink, four subsidiary dials for minutes, date combined with month, regulation, seconds combined with days of the week, aperture for winding, gold hands, the hour hand with an additional steel support carrying a square for rapid resetting of the calendar • second: light blue enamel geocentric planetarium dial decorated with gold stars and an outer month ring, various lines of the ecliptic zodiac marked in black, with three concentric hands of steel mounted with the earth, a gold sun and moon, the entire dial revolving once per year, the ecliptic line shown by a polished steel band attached to the engraved silver dust ring
Case: plain gold moulded bezels
diameter 68mm
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Provenance

Time Museum, Rockford, Il, Inventory No. 1698
Sotheby's New York, Masterpieces from the Time Museum Part II, 19 June 2002, lot 53

Literature

Peter Friess, Rediscovering Josef Weidenheimer (1758-1795), Antiquarian Horology, June 1999, No. 6 Vol. 24, p. 532, fig. 12

Catalogue Note

Jacob Auch, born in 1765, in Echterdingen, Germany, was a student of the famous German watchmaker Philipp Matthäus Hahn. Auch worked in the Atelier until Hahn's death in 1790 after which he opened his own workshop in Vaihingen. In 1798 Auch was appointed watchmaker to the court of Weimar.

Auch displayed a talent in mathematics at an early age; at eleven he was known to assist his teachers in the explanation of complicated mathematical problems. In addition to production of complicated astronomical watches he is also known to have made calculators; another skill he would have learnt from Hahn, who was known for his masterful calculations. Lorenz Julius Böckmann, head of the Physical Institute in Karlsruhe from 1764-1798, wrote an essay about Auch in 1790 and said that Auch could be considered one of the leaders in the development of the calculator. He noted that Auch's calculators were more precise, easier to use and more affordable.

For examples of Auch's Astronomical watches, see: Beyer Museum, Zurich; Württembergishches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart and Antiquorum Geneva, 14 October 1990, lot 394. For an illustration of the Auch in the Beyer Museum see Uhrenmuseum Beyer Zurich, Antike Uhren, pp. 84 & 85, Cat. No. 36 and the back cover. For a discussion of Jacob Auch and his work see, Alte Uhren, No.6, 1987, "Jacob Auch-ein Schüler von Philipp Matthäus Hahn."

For further information on other similar astronomical watches by Auch, see the exhibition catalogue, Ausstellungs Katalog Philipp Matthäus Hahn 1739-1790, Stuttgart, 1989, Table 22, and pp. 509-513.

Masterworks of Time: Adolf Lange, The Golden Era of Glashütte

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