Rare Antique Whale Oil Clock. Germany, 19th Century

Antique German whale-oil clock. Rare and original piece. In good working order.



Rare antique whale-oil clock made in Germany in the 19th century, in fine condition. The clock shows the classical design of those days, with tin body, glass ampoule and a base for the wick. The ampoule is held and framed by a tin ring with engraved Roman numerals: as the oil level descends (being consumed by the wicks flame), the clock tells us the time. So it fulfills a double function: it is a clock and a lamp too. The design is stylized and good-looking, with the top ampoule standing on a turned stem and an ample circular foot. It also mounts a side handle to carry it. This rare antique whale-oil clock will draw anyones attention for its original quality and old-time charm. Measurements: Width: 5.12 in / 13 cm. Height: 13.58 in / 34.5 cm.History of Oil ClockOil clocks derive from plug clocks, which are thought to have been invented by the British king Alfred the Great (849-899). They became very popular during the 19th century, mostly in homes with limited resources that could not afford a mechanical clock. They are also known as silent clocks for their absence of movement. They work in a very simple manner: the user must fill the deposit with lamp oil and light the wick. The fuel burns out and its level marks the time of the day through a scale. These clocks are not very accurate but make it possible to know the time of the day in an approximate way.

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