Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Terrifying Timepieces

The skeletal spotlight shines this time on:
The Death Watch

"Aren't you dead yet? Well, give it time."

This terrifying antique timepiece is good for reminding you that your time is running out. Every time you look it it, it tells you that precious seconds are ticking away, never to be reclaimed again.

"Aaaaaagh! Look at the time, I'm late! Get it? LATE?"

A clock like this would be the kind that stopped when you died, and would be buried with you. It reminds me of the old children's song:

"Ninety years without slumbering,

Tick tock tick tock

His life's seconds numbering...

Tick tock tick tock

But it stopped short,

Never to run again

When the old man died."

To view the time you open the skullcase. Marvelous.

Here's another one thatI like more than the one I featured. You can actually buy it here:

But when it comes to skull clocks, this one has to top them all. Read about what it does:

"Designed & built in 1610 by Nicolaus Schmidt der Junger (Augsburg, Germany) as a skull set on two crossed shinbones and mounted on a gilt brass tripod, the hinged skull cap (restored) disclosing the dial. The movements of the automaton jaw and the snakes in the eyes are controlled by two six-spoke cams driven by the fusee and revolving twenty times an hour, so that the jaws take three minutes to open and then close suddenly while the snakes alternately pop out of, then return back into, each eye socket, twice a minute. Height 14 cm, including the base. "

Look out! Snakes! That was one sick clockmaker.

I'd never get anything done for watching the skull open and close it's jaws and the snakes pop out of the eyes. It probably gave the owner's kids nightmares, too. The producer of the 3-D movie "The Mask" (not the Jim Carrey vehicle) must have seen this at some point, because during a nightmare sequence ("put the!") snakes pop out of the skull mask's eyes at you.

Go ahead, laugh! But I've got my eyes on you, sucker.

Another antique clock bent on shoving your mortality in your face constantly.

These very rare novelty clocks were built by Oswald of Germany between 1926 and 1944. These models are quite hard to find and generally cost a few thousand dollars. The dials are represented as the eyes separating the hours on the left and minutes to the right. Don't depend on these timepieces if you need to tell the time quickly and accurately. You have to stand there and figure it out every time.

You are gonna DIE! Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to YOU!

This antique 19th century alarm clock,circa 1840-1880, must be an updated version of Cheron, come to ferry you across the river Styx on his coffin-steamboat when your time is up.

"Forsooth, I wonder how dost thee open it up to tellest the time?"


Patrick said...

Those are some very cool clocks! I don't have any skull clocks at home, but I do have 2 skull watches- one of them, made by Fossil, has a small skull at the base of the face. When you press a button, it lights up with animated green flames coming off the skull. The other one is a bit more in the pirate style, with a nice looking skull and crossbones right in the center of the face.

Fred said...

Patrick, the watches sound neat!

I wouldn't mind having a skull clock if it chimed the hours with Chopin's Funeral March. Or a cookoo clock with a skull that popped out every hour and said "One hour closer to death!"

Those would be popular in funeral parlors, I'm sure. :)

Karswell said...

Tha first clock is the coolest thing I've ever seen!