“Science & Steam” Preview Auction Team Breker – May 14, 2022
Scientific instruments come under the lens in Auction Team Breker’s sale on 14 May
2022 in Cologne, Germany.
Of particular note is a fine group of 18th century timekeeping devices, highlighted by an Augsburg calendarium perpetuum (perpetual calendar) from 1720. The silver book-form pocket calendar with four bound-in bone tablets is engraved with delicate motifs of birds and flowers, the centre set with a rotating disc with digits, the reverse with additional information including the movable feasts, zodiacal signs and tables of the length of day and night and the rising and setting of the sun. The perpetual calendar helped calculate the day and date long before the arrival of the Filofax, Palm Pilot, Blackberry or iPhone. Much like its contemporary incarnations, however, an instrument of this quality would also have been a luxury item and a status symbol.
A device for timekeeping as well as taking bearings was the sundial. Sundials measured time publicly on church towers and in market squares before the evolution of the mechanical clock. For burghers and prosperous tradespeople, a portable sundial could be purchased to regulate time in the private sphere. Breker’s auction features a selection of early forms, such as the polyhedral cube dial by Nuremberg instrument- maker David Beringer. The Bavarian city of Nuremberg became an important centre of instrument making during the Renaissance. However, in comparison to the engraved perpetual calendar, the cube dial was a relatively modest affair, making use of European oak, fruitwood and the latest techniques in printing to reproduce the scales and chapter rings.
The sale takes place online, with telephone and commission bidding and the opportunity preview the auction in person by appointment. For more highlights, visit www.breker.com and www.youtube.com/auctionteambreker.
Live bidding via Liveauctioneers
Please contact the main office in Cologne/Germany for more details:
Auction Team Breker, 50997 Koeln (Godorf), Germany
Tel. + 49 (0) 2236-38 43 40 – Fax + 49 (0) 2236-38 43 430