A South German Ormolu, Silver and Gilt-Brass Quarter-Striking Astronomical Masterpiece Table Clock (HIERONYMUS SYX, AUGSBURG, 1705) will be on sale at Christie's Auction on July 5 at an estimated price of $ 524,400 - $ 786,600.
The case is embellished overall with colored glass Kunkelstein, the kneeling Atlas finial supporting a globe with engraved band indicating age of the moon, above a four-tiered structure enclosing the bells, each element with repoussésilver foliate ornament flanked by leaf-capped spheres about the stylised dolphin and baluster columns, the rectangular case with further silver foliate mounts and with eagle and dolphin head cast angles, on a conforming stepped spreading plinth with gadrooned border, detachable side panels, formerly on a further base (probably a turntable)
The main dial has three inner rings for variable Italian and Babylonian hours, each engraved '1-24', a silvered twice 12-hour ring in Roman numerals with outer quarter hour ring divided ‘I-IIII’ and with Arabic five minute markers, the reversible outer calendar ring engraved with six months to each side, showing months, days of month and corresponding Saints days together with dominical letters, the subsidiary dials: upper left showing the Golden Number ‘Cÿclus Aurei Numeri’ numbered '1-19'; upper right for Cycle of Indication ‘Cyclus Idictionum’ numbered '1-15'; lower left for alarm setting; lower right with Zodiacal calendar, engraved with corresponding symbols for the months, for setting the latitude for the variable hours numbered '12-19'
The astrolabe dial has the latitude plate with stereographic projections, engraved 'Tropicus Capricorni', 'Circulus Equinoctalis' and 'Tropicus Cancri', the finely engraved rete with pointers for 15 stars ('Crus Aquary', 'Venter Ceti', 'Piostrum Ceti', 'Oculus Jaury', 'Canis Major', 'Canis Minor', 'Lucida Hÿdra', 'Car Leonis', 'Spica Virginis', 'Cauda', 'Sinister Serpentary', 'Corona Septentrionalis', 'Caput Antinoj', 'Caput Serpentarii' and 'Crus Pegasi'), and showing orders of magnitude (1-3), the eliptic with zodiacal divisions and symbols, the double-ended rule indicating against the rete with one end showing the hours of daytime, the other engraved with sun face and indicating the position of the sun through the Zodiac throughout the year, aspect diagram to central disc and phases and age of moon viewed through an aperture, enclosed by a twice 12-hour ring; the subsidiary dials: upper left for ‘12’ or ‘24’ hour striking; upper right for strike / silent ‘Schlägt / Schlägt nit’; lower left showing Dominical Letters; lower right with planetary days of the week ‘Sool’ (Sunday), ‘Luna’ (Monday), ‘Mars’ (Tuesday), ‘Merc’ (Wednesday), ‘Jupiter’ (Thursday), ‘Venus’ (Friday) and ‘Saturn’ (Saturday); the left-hand side of the case with indications for quarter striking ‘1-4’, the right-hand side with 12 or 24-hour striking indications
The gilt-brass square-section posted frame movement raised above the base on turned pillars, signed to both end plates ‘Hÿeronimus Sÿx / Augustae Vindelicorum’ and with Augsburg ‘pine-cone’ marks, with blued-steel highlights and ornamental engraving, three-chain fusee movement and a standing barrel for the alarm, verge escapement, countwheel strike to bell and quarter strike to further bell, front-swinging pendulum; some later elements and some dials apparently non-functioning.