Sometimes opportunist clockmakers adapted suitable oil paintings; in other cases specialist painters created scenes depicting a clock-tower to which could be fitted a dial and a movement.
Depictions of castles, town halls and, in particular, religious buildings were favourite subjects. In this case the large-format, 5ft 7in x 3ft 11in (1.7 x 1.2m) canvas is the depiction of a thus far unidentified cathedral with a centrally mounted striking clock movement.
Numerous people are standing in the foreground and a mountain range is shown in the background, which would support an attribution to a Swiss artist.
This picture clock is being sold without reserve by Metz in Heidelberg in the auction on March 20-21.