The pendulum for this clock is missing, only the face remains.

‘Housebarn’ Clock

Hamm Clock, 1852. Manitoba Museum H9-6-867 (MC0258)

Little is known about Gerhard Hamm (probably ca. 1818–1866) other than that he was a clockmaker who worked with Peter Lepp (1817–1871) and helped train Kornelius Hildebrand (1833–1920). As he seems not to have passed on the trade to one of his children and died young, there are few surviving Hamm clocks. Gerhard Hamm marked the hour wheels of his clocks, including this one, with his initials and the year they were made. The dial was repainted in 1952.


This clock was probably brought to Manitoba in the 1870s, and then taken to Mexico when the owners emigrated, probably in the 1920s or 1940s. It was while the clock was in Mexico that its dial was repainted and the movement repaired, probably in 1952. 

Jacob Wiebe of Hochfeld, Manitoba, went to Mexico ca. 1969 to visit family. He purchased the clock while he was there and brought it back to Manitoba. A collector purchased the clock from him a few years later and donated it to The Manitoba Museum in 1975. 


  • Description Thirty-hour wall clock with pendulum and weight-driven movement (pendulum now missing), made by Gerhard Hamm (probably ca. 1818–1866) in Chortitza, Russian Empire (now Ukraine), in 1852. Arched dial is light with single dark border around the perimeter, not including the arch; border is thicker across the arch. Arch is hand-painted with a scene of a house set amongst trees, with mountains in the background. Spandrels are hand-painted purple, pink, and yellow flowers on their stems. White chapter ring with black Roman numerals; outer ring marking quarter hours and minutes, inner ring with Arabic numerals denoting the date (although the clock does not seem to have a calendar function). Inside the chapter ring are painted the dates 1852 (the year the clock was made) and 1952 (the year the clock was likely repainted). Two hands; rope drive; two weights.

  • Mennonite Clock Number MC0258

  • Object Name Hamm Clock

  • Manitoba Museum Accession Number H9-6-867

  • Date Created 1852

  • Maker Gerhard Hamm (probably ca. 1818–1866)

  • Location Made Chortitza, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)

  • Dial Form Arched dial

  • Face Design Motifs Landscape scene

  • DesignType Hand-painted

  • Type of Hands Brass

  • Number of Hands 2

  • Drive Rope

  • Weights 2

  • Other Markings GH/1852 (stamped on hour wheel)

  • Height 46.2 cm Width 33 cm Depth 13 cm

  • Owner The Manitoba Museum

  • Notes The pendulum is missing.


The painting appears to be a Mennonite housebarn sitting in a field amongst trees, a reminder of the family’s history in New Russia.

The painting appears to be a Mennonite housebarn sitting in a field amongst trees, a reminder of the family’s history in New Russia.


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