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Detail of a clock face

Extraordinary timepieces dating from 1630-1830

Christopher Pinchbeck II (1710-83)

Astronomical clock 1768

RCIN 2821

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This four-sided astronomical clock is designed to impress with its comprehensiveness and complexity, and with the superb quality and glamorous materials of its case.  On a visit to its maker's workshop, the diarist Lady Mary Coke noted that the clock's design was ‘partly His Majesty’s and partly Mr Chambers his Architect’.  Although the extent of George III’s contribution is difficult to judge, his involvement reflects his strong interest in all matters of scientific and technological advance.  The clock includes a planisphere (which displays the visible stars at a given time and date), a thermometer, and dials recording the time at locations around the world.