Figure Clock with Moor
Johann Georg Kreitmeir, signed
Munich, c. 1690
Fire-gilt bronze, silver, iron; plinth: different woods in intarsia
Signed: ?Iohan Georg Kreitmeir / München?
Four quarter-hour chimes; the monkey spins and the dog jumps on the hour
Height 33 cm
This splendid figure clock boasts a moor with a dog and a monkey and points to a revolving sphere with a crooked staff to display the time. The hexagonal ebony plinth is decorated with six small panels made of indigenous woods in intarsia, on which different flowers are shown, including a daffodil and a tulip. The intact workings of the automaton are hidden in the plinth itself, which the Master has signed with his full name ?Iohan Georg Kreitmeir / München.? Johann Georg Kreitmeir (also written Kreittmayr or Kreutmeyer), came from a family of clockmakers in southern Germany. His father, Johann Georg the Elder (? 1660), was employed as a clockmaker in Friedberg near Augsburg before settling down in Munich (Abeler 1977, p. 362). Johann Georg the Younger managed to enter into the service of the elector Ferdinand Maria of Bavaria with a wage of 50 thalers. As the court clock maker, he was responsible for all clock works in the electoral residence in Munich. He was made a court artist under the rule of elector Maximilian II Emanuel on June 15th 1690 and was given a yearly wage of 200 thalers. Kreitmeir appears to have not been active during the Spanish governorship of Max Emanuel, as he was demoted to his original terms of employment on January 29th 1703. That only a limited number of clocks from Kreitmeir have survived makes this present automaton a valuable testimony to the art of clock making in Munich in the late 17th century.