Gerhard Emmoser, Celestial globe with clockwork, 1579. Partially gilded silver, gilded brass (case); brass, steel (movement). Germany.
Exhibition: Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 25, 2019–March 1, 2020
Between 1550 and 1750, nearly every royal family in Europe assembled vast collections of exquisite and entertaining objects. Public spending and the display of precious metals were expressions of power, and possessing artistic and technological innovations conveyed status. In fact, advancements in art, science, and technology were often prominently showcased in elaborate court entertainments that were characteristic of the period.