Clypsedra Water Clock

From the Clepsydra website:

In 1918 Pearson, Page & Jewsbury made ornamental brass products at their Illeene Works plant on Sherlock Street in Birmingham, England. Some of the items they made were water clocks in antiquated style. The reproduction water clocks bear fictitious names and dates from about 1650 to 1678. The clocks were made of ornamental brass and the parts were of simple construction, lacking the ornate embossing on the water canisters, or the detailed carvings on the base. The actual water clocks that were built from about 1550 until around 1595 were elaborate works of art. Toward the middle of the 16th century, building a water clock was a major production so they were embellished with deep hand embossing and elaborate carving.

It was not practical to add this art work to the reproduction water clocks as they were disigned to be only ornamental display pieces. They were kept simple to keep the cost down and to feature the shining brass. None of the clocks Pearson, Page produced would function as a timekeeper, and there are no known genuine water clocks of English make dated in the 1600s.

From an recent ebay auction:

"Very interesting water clock, It says 1692 but I am aware that a british company named Page, Pearson made repros in the early part of last century. It says that the maker is R. Nash Londini. Engravings of a woman and two cutouts of Gryphons, also text "Tyme is Short", "Ye night cometh", "Hora Fugit", "Anno Dom". Has float that comes up, fill with water and open valve to make into a time keeping device (I have never done this as the thing is old and I would be afraid to turn the valve for fear of damaging it. It is definitely a conversational piece. I bought it from a man who bought it from a man at a clock convention, he had bought it at an Estate sale of a Hollywood bigwig. It is clearly seen in the photo attached. A one and only with Hollywood lineage."

Opening asking bid was $1800.00 as the seller believed it to be the clock from the film.

From this still you can plainly see the version of this clock, unfortunately you can't see the top carving to be able to compare it to the one in the auction.

Fortunately though, in my collection of stills I have several set stills which are very useful for times like this. The clock on the left is from the ebay auction. The clock on the right is a blow up from a set still from The Time Machine. The carvings of the head and wings are clearly different. The eyes on the film clock are closer togrhter and appear to be smaller in diameter. The overalll shape of the head is also narrower and the cheeks and eyes look to be moe three dimensional where as the cheeks and eyes on the ebay auction are flat. The carvings of the wings are different as well.

Here is a photo I purchased on ebay dated 1931 illustrating three different antique time keepers. One of them is also a near identical copy of the one used in the film.

Once again though, the carving of the head and wings are slightly different. (see insert)

The photos below are from the clock listed on ebay

In this photo you can see the spiggot where the waterr drips out of. This actually gives valididy to the idea that these were not meant as actual timekeepers. There is no basin to capture the escaping water, it would end up on the floor.




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The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
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