The clocks the Marquis of Cerralbo gathered for his collection are quite varied, although all of them are from 18th to 20th century English and French clockmakers. The clocks are distributed throughout the palace in the various rooms, placed on console tables, over chimneys or on tables. This indicates that the palace clocks were not acquired for collecting purposes, but rather simply to decorate or furnish the Madrid palace.
The collection includes diverse examples of the two mechanical systems that have thrived throughout clock making history: the English and French. The first is known for having conserved the spiral mechanism to maintain regular tension while the actual spring moves forcing them to have a rectangular machine that must absolutely be housed in a suitable box with enough inner capacity and was consecrated in the model generally called "bracket" for the tabletop version and did not change for two centuries. The French system, which adopts the smaller round machine known as Paris, eliminates the spiral and considerably reduces the volume which gave rise to the figurine clock and all types of adaptations that did not require an excessive size for storing the machine.
The first group is present in the 18th century collection with its classical wooden boxes, whereas the French adopted very different shapes in the most varied of golden bronze materials with or without Saxony, oriental, alabaster, marble or calamine porcelain figurations.
The mysterious examples are worth special attention. They get their name because you cannot see at a glance where the machinery is housed and therefore, one does not understand how they work. And above all, theres the great monumental pedestal clock situated in the Dancehall with an interesting conic movement of the pendulum, the invention of F. Farcot which gave it great prestige at the time.Salto de línea