Borrell, John Henry (possibly)

Automaton Musical Clock

c. 1800

Ormolu (gilt bronze) case, Guilloché enamel panels, glass jewels, and metal movements with some contemporary parts
28 1/2 in x 15 in x 9 in; 72.39 cm x 38.1 cm x 22.86 cm
Credit Line
Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Hills
Accession #

NOMA's Automaton (mechanical) Clock was made in London, but was likely intended for the Chinese market. Automaton clocks of this precise type are associated with James Cox, the London inventor, jeweler, and toymaker who made them famous. In 1772 Cox operated a museum in London dedicated to his mechanical marvels, which delighted Georgian England crowds. While Cox's name is best remembered today, there were numerous London watch and clockmakers engaged in this specialized craft. Details on the punch decoration of NOMA’s Automaton Musical Clock indicate that this particular clock might be the work of Swiss-born English clockmaker John Henry Borrell.