Mantel and Table Clocks

Musical table clock with automaton

    Musical table clock with automaton

    USA, Pennsylvania, Bradford


    Dwight Hubbard

    Wood, steel, brass, glass, fabric; carving, mechanical work, painting

    117 x 66 x 33 cm

    On wooden plate: “AMH/1900/DGH”. On the stands of Apostles figurines: “Johannes, Simon, Zebedäus, Thaddäus, Petrus, Andreas”


    Clock in the form of a Gothic cathedral, made of thin openwork wooden elements. Three- -storeyed building with two bell towers dominating above the central clock tower crowned with the gable and decorated with crockets is mounted on rectangular socle.

    The automaton is mounted on the first tier. It features six figurines of the Apostles, which appear every half an hour from the left extension, move in front of the audience along the church portico and hide in the right portal doorway. The names of the Apostles are written in German on the figurines’ stands. The action is accompanied by the sounds of musical movement with the cylinder for eight tunes and sound comb with thirty-six teeth. A keyhole is set in the base left side. Carved bracket with electric light bulb is on right wall flat end. Narrow balcony surrounds the second the second tier, a niche with swinging openwork doors and arched windows on both sides is in the center. The gongs, which the clock beats on, are behind the doors. Carved flat figurines of griffons continue the walls. Black dial with golden Roman numerals and two white openwork center hands is in the central part of the third tier. Apertures with square pins for the winding key are next to the divisions marking “4” and “8” o’clock. The cathedral is mounted inside wooden case with three glass wall sides. Lateral sides are the doors on ornately shaped hinges. The doors for access to the movements are on the rear side of the solid rear panel covered with green fabric. Light-colored wooden plate with initials and dates is made from dark wood using the intarsia technique.

    A model of the cathedral and the clock were created by Dr. Dwight Hubbard in 1900 and presented to his wife Amelia on their wedding anniversary. Dr. Hubbard was a physician at the coalmine in Bradford, PA. In 1926, the clock was presented to Richard Walker Wright, and in 1966 conceded to the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hall, where they remained until recently.