If you’ve ever wanted a cabinet with secret compartments — and we’re talking about a lot of secret compartments here — then you’re going to like videos from the Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens exhibit that was at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).
One of the finest achievements of European furniture making, this cabinet is the most important product from Abraham (1711—1793) and David Roentgen’s (1743—1807) workshop. A writing cabinet crowned with a chiming clock, it features finely designed marquetry panels and elaborate mechanisms that allow for doors and drawers to be opened automatically at the touch of a button. Owned by King Frederick William II, the Berlin cabinet is uniquely remarkable for its ornate decoration, mechanical complexity, and sheer size.
In addition to the Secretary Cabinet above, there’s also a writing desk, a rolltop desk, and an automated Marie Antoinette music player.
Professor Brian Cox explains how Monarch Butterflies navigate by “monitoring the position of the sun, and compensating for its location in the sky using their internal timekeeping mechanism… even when it’s cloudy.” This is an episode 5 preview of the BBC’s Wonders of Life. Full screen this.
The Sutton Clock Shop on New York’s Upper East Side has been serving its customers for over 60 years and is truly a father-son business. Perched above the streets and filled to the brim with clocks of every shape and size, it’s a place where time continues to pass, and yet, simultaneously stand still.
Another great profile from Etsy.tv by independent filmmaker Catherine Stratton.
Meanwhile in Japan, how about a waterfall clock? Functioning almost like a “water printer” that displays, not only the time, but intricate Japanese-style flora patterns, Osaka City Station’s water fountain technology is fascinating to watch. You can see another view of the installation here.