The clock museum.
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The Clock Museum unique among the museums from Romania, opened its gates in the year 1963, in a hall belonging to PalatulCulturii (The Palace of Culture) from Ploiesti, by the care of professor NicolaeSimache, manager of History Museum between 1954-1971. Subsequently, the collection of clocks was brought into a building that had been constructed at the end of the 19th century; it belonged to Luca Elefterescu, a well-known coservative politician during the early decades of the 20th century, with several mandates of prefect of Prahova County. Those who visit the museum have the occasion to follow the way in which the means of measuring the time had developped, from the first "clocks"- the sun dial, the burning clocks, the clocks with water (the outline of the clock with water being taken over from d'HorologerieAncienne) or the clocks with sand- up to the "ancient" mechanical and modern ones. These wonderful works of horology are, often, not only the products of well-known horologers, but of men of art as well, who contributed in the way that they made the clocks as attractive as they could, creating even styles in this domain. Among the oldest pieces of the collection we name the and type pendules, made of golden bronze, engraved or cut, sometimes with enamelled dials. The oldest of the clocks, dated 1562, additionally asserts the intercrossing of preocupations for calculating time and for astronomy, as it has astronomical dials.
We feel morally obliged to name, among the most valuable works of the museum's collection, the pendules, with long cabinet and rich chiselled bronze decorations, gold pieces, exotic veneer or inlaid work. The symbols are present: the sun, the time, the child with the hourglass in his hand. The metal dial is ornated in its turn, with little enamel plates on which the ciphers are engraved. The rococo style is underlined by a few works: one of them had been created in Paris at horologer's Brulfer firm, in the 18th century having a wooden painted case, another work, of small dimenssions, moulded in brass thin paper, is decorated with a policrom enamel painting, showing a gallant scene. Among these clocks, there is one of immense beauty, a piece - a pedestal pendule - with high cabinet and supple white marble and golden bronze decorations. It is the work of some French artists from the 18th century and it was created at the request of an Austrian sleeping partner, August Klein, whose name is mentioned on the dial.
The museum's collection contains a significant number of exemplars that had been created at Swiss, French, German, English or American firms in the 19th and the 20th centuries. The clocks that had been set up in Paris, London or Liverpool workshops are also present in the collection. In their case the art of decoration is obvious. The jewel clocks, artfully created, are made of gold or silver, decorated with exquisite engravings and precious stones or with enamels of different nuances. The clocks are painted or decorated with floral, geometrical motives etc. Distinguished by their beauty, are the clocks that belonged to the Romanian kings Carol I and Carol II, those of Tzar Alexander II, the clock of the poet VasileAlecsandri and the pendant clock of MihailKogalniceanu's daughter, as well as the pieces that came from the firms Genevieve Sandoz, Oudin and others. A special lace is occupied by the clocks of great personalities, important representants of the Romanian culture and political life from the past: ConstantinBrîncoveanu, AlexandruIoanCuza. CezarBolliac, BogdanPetriceicuHasdeu, Ion Luca Caragiale, DuiliuZamfirescu, Ioan Al. Bassarabescu, AlexandruMoruzzi, MihailKogalniceanu, Theodor Aman, NicolaeIorga, PastorelTeodoreanu and others.