Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012) (19)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 18, 2011 to January 2, 2012
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Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S104
Planisphere Clock (Pendule à planisphère)
Paris, France (Place created)
about 1745 - 1749
Oak veneered with kingwood; silvered brass; gilt-bronze mounts, glass; gilt paper
281.9 x 94 x 38.1 cm (111 x 37 x 15 in.)
This elaborate timepiece demonstrates the level of astronomical knowledge of eighteenth-century French scientists. The large main dial is composed of overlapping circular plates and three hands that indicate the time with a twenty-four hour chapter ring, the months of the year and their zodiacal signs, the days of the lunar month, and the local time in various cities and parts of the world, including La Californie. The four smaller dials grouped above show the phases of the moon, a tidal calendar for the ports of Northern France, the days of the week, and the times of the eclipses of
Very few such elaborate clocks have survived to the present. Unfortunately this clock is no longer in working condition as the movement is entirely missing.