The Peacock Clock

Great Britain, 1766-1772

For more than 200 years now, the Hermitage has been adorned by a unique exhibit that never fails to delight visitors – the famous Peacock Clock. It was made in gilded bronze and silver by the English jeweller and mechanic James Cox. The figures of the peacock, cockerel and owl that form part of this automaton incorporating a timepiece are fitted with mechanisms that set the birds in motion. The time is shown in a slot in the cap of the mushroom. The clock was commissioned by Catherine II’s favourite, Prince Grigory Potemkin, for the Empress’s Hermitage. It was brought to Russia in parts that were assembled and put in working order by the celebrated Russian mechanic Ivan Kulibin. Today this is the only large 18th-century automaton that has come down to use altered and in functioning condition.


The Peacock Clock

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