Clock and gunpowder horn, anonymous, c. 1590 - c. 1596

Clock and gunpowder horn, anonymous, c. 1590 - c. 1596

forging, h 38.9cm × w 20.5cm × d 16.4cm More details

This clock was originally intended as merchandise for sale or as a gift. It was hung up in the ‘Save House’ as the only means of providing a sense of time during the long, polar nights. On 3 December 1596, it froze. Barentsz and Van Heemskerck shoved a parting letter into the gunpowder horn when they left. Three centuries later, the horn was rediscovered with the letter still inside. The letter cannot be exhibited due to its fragility.

On display in room 2.9 Visit via the Highlights 1600-1650 tour

Listen to audio fragment (from the multimedia tour)

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