Old Passion's Clock Dictionary

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Z

Zaandam Clock :
( Pic )     A clock made between c. 1680 and 1730 in the area around the town of Zaandam in north Holland. The case of the Zaandam clock has an oak back panel, which is almost always outlined in multiple curves, though it may occasionally be rectangular. This panel is usually veneered in rosewood, or in less elaborate models painted. At the rear is an opening to accommodate the pendulum; at the front, on either side of the pendulum aperture, are brackets that carry the wooden case containing the movement. The case has four twisted or plain pillars and is usually surmounted by moulded frets with tiny glass doors at the sides. The dial is either of painted wood or of velvet-covered brass on which the chapter ring is mounted. In exceptional examples, the case of the clock is made of brass or gilded iron rather than wood. The striking train in the Zaandam clock is placed behind the motion train. The vertical strip pillars carrying the trains are not, however, connected by a top and bottom plate but by a horizontal bottom and top strip, thus forming a simple frame. The rigidity is obviously inferior to that of the Friesland clock. Nevertheless, the oldest Zaandam clocks take their cage construction from bracketed and Friesland clocks, although in most cases the pillars and the top and bottom plates are of wood. Old Zaandam clocks often have a quarter-hour hand beneath the hour hand. The alarm system, when fitted, is usually mounted behind the dial as in the ordinary stoelklok. The crossings of the wheels are often forked to form heart-shaped apertures. As a rule the pear-shaped weights are suspended on cords rather than chains, and the pulleys are made of wood. These stylish clocks are early and were produced for only about one-third the time the conventional Dutch bracket clock was made; they are therefore much rarer.

Zappler Clock :
A miniaturisation of the standing Telleruhr made in Austria. They are only about 2in. high. The name is derived from the rapidly moving pendulum suggesting the German 'fidget'.

Zebrawood :
A striped, straw-colored African wood that is sliced into veneers to cover an unattractive wood; also called zebrano.

Zodiac :
The zodiac is a broad band in the heavens, centered on the ecliptic, in which lie all the motions of the sun, moon and major planets. Since the orbits of these are in planes not far removed from the plane of the Earth's orbit, the zodiac extends to about 8 on either side of the ecliptic. The zodiac was divided by the early astronomers into twelve equal parts, each of 30 of Right Ascension. Each part was named after a constellation in the neighborhood, with its name or sign represented pictorially or by a symbol. The twelve signs are Aries (Ram), Taurus (Bull), Gemini (Twins), Cancer (Crab), Leo (Lion), Virgo (Virgin), Libra (Scales), Scorpio (Scorpion), Sagittarius (Archer), Capricornus (Goat), Aquarius (Water-carrier), and Pisces (Fishes). These signs or symbols are often engraved on scientific instruments to serve as a scale of dates.

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