The timeless story of time

Intach conducts a walk in clocks gallery of Salar Jung Museum

It was a walk back in time at Salar Jung Museum on Saturday morning as Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage conducted a walk in the clocks gallery. “Humans have been tracking time using sun and the shadow it casts from the early times. Later civilisations discovered and used sundials, and in the absence of sun, used water and sand to track time,” said Anuradha Reddy of Intach, who led the walk.

The Salar Jung Museum has one of the largest collections of clocks and time pieces that show the history of evolution of time-keeping. One of the earliest pieces at the museum is a hexagonal clock of 17th century from France. It’s a chunky brass piece with the clock face flat on the ground, and another is in intricately wrought blue mantel piece made by legendary watchmaker Edme-Jean Causard in 1760 and acquired by Salar Jung Museum.

“The pastoral societies had a stake in knowing time and the length of the day to harvest crops. But time pieces were expensive and clock towers came up at many places of the world to inform people about time. The Mecca Masjid in the city has a sun dial,” said Ms. Reddy, as she narrated the history of time pieces.

“Watches became the objects of beauty and desire. Time is of essence for everything, even Hindustani classical music is played by time and season. We may be checking out time on our cellphones now, but these pieces have timeless appeal,” said Ms. Reddy.

But for dozens of children of St. Anthony School, Kattedan, the clock gallery did not have much of an appeal. They ran to hear the chime of the grandfather clock on the ground floor of the museum where at 12 noon, a liveried gentleman peeks out of the clock face, and rings the bell.

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