MUSICAL CLOCKS EXHIBITION: The Triumph of Music Over Time

Music, Classical and opera

Handel and Charles Clay’s Musical Clocks

In the 1730s Handel provided music for a series of clocks created by watch and clockmaker Charles Clay. These beautiful machines, which incorporated automata, paintings, sculptures, furniture and gold and silver work by some of the finest artisans in London, also included chimes and pump organs that played extended musical excerpts from popular operas and sonatas.

This exhibition provides the opportunity to view a Clay clock from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in an intimate Georgian setting which recalls the context in which such new inventions were originally viewed in the clockmaker’s own home. It will be joined by a gilt bronze relief from another Clay clock on loan from the V&A, and a manuscript of Handel’s clock tunes from the British Library.

In addition a recording of the music from a Clay clock in a private collection demonstrates the earliest ‘recordings’ of Handel’s music made during his lifetime.

The exhibition is kindly supported by the A.C.H.Crisford Charitable Foundation.

Exhibition Event


Thursday 2 January, 6.30-7.30pm

Booking opens for Friends of Handel House on Monday 11 November and the general public on Monday 25 November.

Exhibition Talks at 3pm

Exhibition Talks are delivered by volunteers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge. Talks will last between 15-20 minutes and will take place on Saturday 11 January and Saturday 1 February.


Event phone: 020 7495 1685
Event website:
1 person listening