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Time of Clocks. Historical Clocks from Estonian Collections

Time of Clocks. Historical Clocks from Estonian Collections

Time: 26.05.12–25.11.12  10:00–17:00
Location: Mikkel Museum

On Friday, 25 May, Time of Clocks. Historical Clocks from Estonian Collections opens at the Mikkel Museum. Clocks and watches from the Art Museum of Estonia’s collection and private collections will be on display. The exhibition provides a survey of historical clock types, as well as the materials, methods and decorative techniques used for making clocks.

“One of the objectives of the exhibition is to provide an overview of the clocks in Estonia which are in private collections. Most of the museum’s clocks decorated their owners’ homes at one time or another,” said the curator Kersti Kuldna-Türkson. “The museum is especially pleased that the clocks originating from private collections also provide insight into the history of clock production in Estonia.”

An extremely rare clock made in Tallinn during the 17th century is on display. The exhibition also includes a long-case clock that was produced in Tartu in 1726 and is almost the same age as the Kadriorg Palace. The clocks that were assembled during the 19th century in Tartu and Narva prove that several clock-making centres existed in Estonia. The tradition of clock making continued into the 20th century – the exhibition includes a clock made by a craftsman in Rapla in the 1970s.

Watches from private collections also introduce the various uses of timepieces. “A very unusual collection is one that dates from the beginning of the 20th century and is comprised primarily of pocket watches that belonged to Russian soldiers. The decorations and dedication engravings on the watches provide an idea of the position of Estonians in the Tsarist army and in the different armed forces, as well as the foreign policy and allied relations of the day,” added Kuldna-Türkson.

Valuable clocks have been donated to the Art Museum of Estonia which have been made by leading French and English clock-makers from the 18th and 19th centuries. A selection of clocks from the Art Museum of Estonia is also on display. “In the 18th century, the pride of every fairly wealthy household was a long-case clock, which was designed to accommodate large clock mechanisms,” said Kersti Kuldna-Türkson.

The metal, porcelain and stone mantle clocks that became popular in the 19th century are very decorative, with rich, expressive ornamentation and paintings. Clocks with different purposes, such as travel clocks with handles – carriage clocks – which were easy to carry, and small pocket watches, also date from that period.

Sundials from a private collection represent the oldest clock type. Although they were made fairly recently, their complexity demonstrates the development of astronomical science.

The exhibition was designed by Tanel Veenre and Aldo Järvsoo. The graphic designer is Külli Kaats.

The Mikkel Museum thanks the antique shop Idla Antiik, the RIOS gallery, the US Art Gallery and other private collectors that have loaned their clocks and watches to the exhibition.

Time of Clocks. Historical Clocks from Estonian Collections will remain open at the Mikkel Museum until 25 November 2012.