Gallery Text

Crafted by one of the leading clockmakers in eighteenth-century Amsterdam, this clock displays important information but is also a richly symbolic object. Its elaborately ornamented dial keeps time and indicates the days of the week, the month, the phase of the moon, the lunar date, and the tides. The case, inlaid with woods imported from around the world, is adorned with a gilt brass mount showing Father Time holding an hourglass. Finials representing Atlas and a pair of trumpeting angels rise at the top of the pediment.

The true marvel of this clock is its music. To mark the hour, a set of ten carillon bells powered by an internal gear train sounds one of eight popular tunes.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Otto van Meurs, Dutch (1714 - 1783)
Long-case Musical Clock
c. 1750-1775
Creation Place: Europe, Netherlands
Level 2, Room 2240, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, The Arts in the Eighteenth–Century Atlantic World
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Physical Descriptions
Oak with burl walnut veneer, mahogany inlay (possibly with later additions), walnut moldings, and a gilt brass mount; silvered, gilt and painted brass dial
280.7 x 61 x 33 cm (110 1/2 x 24 x 13 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Case, mounts, and face by unidentified artists
Publication History

[Reproduction only], "Furniture", Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, November 1943)., repr. in b/w, p. 68

James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), pp. 176-7

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), p. 22, fig. 17

Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), repr. in b/w p. 33 as fig. 17

Exhibition History

Ancient to Modern, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2012 - 06/01/2013

32Q: 2240 18th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 01/01/2050

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at