Martin Riches with a clock

Exhibition at the Saarland Clock Museum

The Saarland Clock Museum is housed in what, for 250 years, was a clockmaker's workshop and a farmhouse. This combination of farming in good weather and clockmaking in the cold winters was common in the Black Forest and the Jura but rare in the Saarland. The last of the clock-making dynasty died in 1938 and the house passed to the town of Püttlingen after the death of his widow.

The collection comprises 650 exhibits including clocks, watches, sundials and tower clocks as well as clock-making machinery. Their most prized exhibits are perhaps a clock that belonged to Maria Antoinette and a clock made at the house itself.

plan of the exhibition Exhibition layout drawing
Construction sketch
Isometric drawing of the exhibition The upper floor exhibition space was divided by two rows of columns and diagonal braces; the walls are of exposed masonry. The museum is a Listed Building - so, no screws in the walls!

I suggested enclosing the columns to provide 12 panels for displaying clocks and other material.

The panels were made of recycled material and I am pleased to say that it will also be recycled for future exhibitions.
Above: On the left is the Singing Machine, on the right: my work table and between them eight clocks, each mounted on its own panel, and four other panels with texts and illustrations. On the wall in the middle is a screen with a video of the Thinking Machine

view of two clocks and visitors View from the entrance

explaining a clock For me, one of the pleasures of this exhibition was listening to clear explanations of my clocks by a master clock maker, Klaus Hoffmann, which began All clocks have four components, a driving force, a time base, an escapement and a display.

Herr Hoffman demonstrating the Singing Machine The Singing Machine demonstrated by
Herr Hoffmann.

It sang some scales and vowel sounds and its party piece: Ut Queant Laxis

Dress note:
The exhibition ran during the 2018 heatwave. Outside temperatures were around 35°C / 95°F but it was pleasantly cool within the massive walls of the museum.

two clocks and a visitor These two clocks received especially close attention.

Their pendulums turn a so-called count wheel.
Once a minute this wheel suddenly releases a mechanism to give a new impulse to the pendulum.

The interest lies in waiting for it to happen and then, over several more minutes, figuring out how it works.

exhibition poster The exhibition was sponsored by:
  • Regionalverband Saarbrücken
    Regional Association Saarbrücken
  • Stadt Püttlingen
    The town of Püttlingen
  • Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
    Municipal Gallery Saarbrücken
  • Orte der Kunst und der Kultur
    Places of Art and Culture
  • Freundeskreis alter Uhrmacherkunst e.V.
    Friends of the Ancient Art of Clockmaking
    Museum website

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