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Automaton clock with lion, 17th century

This clock was made in the early 17th century in Southern Germany. The movement is linked to the lion's eyes, and the striking mechanism is linked to the lion tamer's arm and the lion's jaw. The monkey musicians were also animated.

The clock was purchased in 1654 by the father of Queen Hedvig Eleonora, Duke Fredrik III of Holstein-Gottorp. Following Denmark's victory over Schleswig, the clock ended up in Copenhagen. Eventually, it came into the possession of Arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, and was subsequently given to King Karl XV.

Photo: Alexis Daflos/


The Royal Palace of Stockholm
The Cabinet Meeting Room