So-called First Rolling-Ball Clock

1596, Artist: Christoph Margraf



So-called First Rolling-Ball Clock

The Rolling-Ball Clock: Invented for Emperor Rudolf II
The court clockmaker Christoph Margraf invented the rolling-ball clockwork, which featured a new principle of timekeeping. A ball runs down a slope between two wires, sets a second ball in motion, and then is raised back to its initial position. A counting mechanism transfers the information to a clock face. The three such clocks that have been preserved are mounted in cases with reflecting mirrors and scenery.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer Wien Raum XXVII

Object data

Object Name

Rolling-Ball Clock






Christoph Margraf (nachweisbar Prag 1595 - 1612)


Wood, velvet, gilded copper alloy, glass, silver ore, painted parchment, iron


H. 40,3 cm, L. 28 cm, B. 23 cm


Cum gratia et Priuilegio Sac: Caes: Maiest: ad Quindecim Annorum Christof Margraf fecit et Inuent: 96

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer

Inv. No.

Kunstkammer, 845

Erste Kugellaufuhr

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