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MMD > Archives > January 1999 > 1999.01.17 > 03Prev  Next

Musical Clocks at Geymueller Schloessel, Vienna
By Bill Maier

The museum Helmut Kowar writes about is a wonderful old home of the
bourgeois banker, Jakob Geymueller, built circa 1808.

This home has many rooms open to the public that are furnished
faithful to that time period.  It is located west of the old historic
first district in an area called Poetzleinsdorf, which is an easy ride
on tram #14 from the Ring road around the first district.  What you
will see here is a perhaps the best display anywhere of Biedermeier
furniture and clocks placed in harmonious room settings.

After suffering serious damage in WW2, this Schloessel was saved from
demolition by Dr. Franz Sobek, who proceeded to house his impressive
clock collection there.  Now under the control of the Austrian Museum
of Applied Arts, the palace "Geymueller Schloessel" flourishes as a
first-rate museum.

Musical clocks on regular display there include many Stutzuhren (mantel
clocks) and Stockuhren (bracket clocks) with cylinder musical movements
hidden in the clock base, often activated by the clock movement. This
special exhibit should swell the number of mechanical musical movements
on display.  Hopefully some demonstrations will be incorporated within
the tours so we can hear these fine old Austrian musical boxes.

Dr. Erica Hellich has written a book on the museum titled "Alt Weiner
Uhren", published by Callweg Verlag, and there is an excellent book on
Biedermeier furniture titled "Biedermeier", by Angus Wilkie, Abbeville
Press Publishers, New York 1987.

I've noticed Austrian musical box cylinders have the treble end adja-
cent to the winding spring.  The museum has such a box by A. Olbrich
on display.  Perhaps someone can comment on the reasons why such a
format would be advantageous?

While in Vienna, the Clock Museum in the center of the city (Schulhof
2, 1010 Wien) may be of interest as they also have many musical clocks.
Be prepared to climb steps!


Bill Maier

(Message sent Sun 17 Jan 1999, 18:37:10 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Clocks, Geymueller, Musical, Schloessel, Vienna

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