The restoration of the mechanical device of the main bell of the Florence Cathedral was officially completed, and it was unveiled again today in Florence. The bell was also named ‘Paul Ucello Bell’ in honor of the magnificent clock face painted by the great Renaissance painter in 1433. The bell is located above the main entrance of the church and is concealed. It is one of the very few bells in the world that displays ‘Italic Hours’.
Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and Panerai have agreed to commission the restoration of the big clock, and two of the world’s great watch experts-Andrea Palmieri of ISIS Leonardo da Vinci Professor and Professor Ugo Pancani. With the support and contribution of Panerai, the restoration work of Dazhong was successfully completed, which enabled its machinery to operate smoothly again. Panerai is a premium sports watch brand. Founded in Florence in 1860, its historic boutique faces the Baptistery and is only a few steps away from the main church in the Archbishop’s Palace.
The bell of Florence Cathedral is unique in the world. It not only has a prominent position and the painted patterns on the clock face are from famous artists. It is also famous for its ‘Italian time’ time system. The method of measuring at this time is the ‘Julian time’ of ancient times (Julius Caesar, the emperor of Caesar, launched the Julian calendar created by Sosigenes of Alexandria in 46 BC). ‘Italian time’ is also known as ‘Ave Maria’. Its clock face design and time display are very different from those in modern times. Only one hand rotates counterclockwise. The 24th hour is not midnight, but sunset time. Start with a sunset. Therefore, the clock must be adjusted throughout the year so that the last hour of each day is synchronized with the sunset time.
The bell of Florence Cathedral is one of the oldest mechanical clocks in existence. The design of the clock face is very different. It was hand-painted by one of the great painters of the Renaissance, Paolo Uccello.
According to Giorgio Vasari (‘Ucello painted the clock face with the clock mark on the wall of the main entrance of the church, the head of the big clock is painted on the four corners’), the clock face was drawn by Florence painter U Cello (formerly Paolo di Dono, 1397-1475). The clock face is nearly seven meters in diameter. The 24-hour Roman numerals are arranged counterclockwise. The four corners of the clock are painted with the heads of four mysterious men. They are covered with a halo and overlook the central position. Some consider the four to be prophets, while others consider them the authors of the Four Gospels.
The original mechanism of the bell was designed and manufactured by Florence clockmaker Angelo di Niccolò in 1443, but no literature has been written in the subsequent generations describing the principle of the bell mechanism. The bell should be equipped with a hammer and counterweight system. Some similar parts were found in the church. Decades after the bell was completed, the machinery needed repairs. The project was first handed over by Della Volpaia clocks and scientific families. The first generation of repair work was completed by Lorenzo Della Volpaia in 1497. The famous ‘Planetary Clock’ is his masterpiece. The second-generation repair work was also completed by his son Camillo from 1546 to 1547, and the bell was almost rebuilt. After that, the bell was repaired several times. Until 1688, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Flowers was inspired by the institute of Galileo and Huygens and decided to change the mechanism of the bell to a pendulum system. The system operated until 1761, and was replaced by a new mechanical device designed by Florence clockmaker Giuseppe Borgiacchi, which has been operating to this day. Later, Ucello’s original 24-hour clock face was also changed to 12 hours, and the original hands were replaced. And until 40 years ago, the big clock was restored to the original magnificent clock face design and the old mechanical device, and finally returned to its original appearance. It is displayed again in 24 hours, with the hour hand turning counterclockwise, and the day begins with sunset.
In recent years, the church bell has been further repaired to remove the problems that affect the operation of the bell on the device, including harmful substances (iron oxide scale and dust) on the transmission shaft, shaft hole, escapement and pinion, as well as deformation, Aging, severe wear, etc. The first step of the restoration project is to disassemble the bell, to preliminary clean up the harmful substances inside the device, then to thoroughly repair the various parts, and finally reassemble the mechanical device and adjust it. For more than 20 years, the bells of Florence Cathedral have been adjusted by the two guardians sent by the Sanctuary of Our Lady, Lucio Bigi and Mario Mureddu, to adjust the sunset time for the bells. They wrote more books, becoming the only classics in history. For the past few centuries, the task of adjusting the bell has been the responsibility of inside the cathedral. In Florence, Giotto uses the ‘Our Lady’s Time’ as the city’s six times a day, three times in the morning (7, 11:30 and 12 noon), three times in the afternoon. The hourly time in the afternoon is adjusted according to the sunset time, which is one hour before sunset, sunset (or the 24th hour, believers will sing ‘Ode to Our Lady’ or evening prayer at this time), and one hour after sunset, which is ‘evening ‘. For example, Bigi and Mureddu wrote in the book: ‘The bell rings at the 24th hour, the purpose is to remind the farmers working in the fields that the city gates are about to close, please go home as soon as possible. The bell at 11.30am is called-grace time The purpose is to inform the church brothers that it is time to give a helping hand to help those in need in the city. ‘
‘Italian Time’ is a timekeeping system that measures the time of sunset from today to tomorrow. It is not midnight, but sunset time.
Prof. Andrea Palmieri and Prof. Ugo Pancani restructured the bell mechanism and then fine-tuned, balanced and adjusted the frequency. The restoration project was officially completed here.
The restoration project starts with the complete disassembly of each component, followed by targeted cleaning to remove accumulated harmful substances.
The mechanism of the bell hangs high above the main entrance of the interior of Florence Cathedral. The clock face painting showing time is from Paul. Hand of Ucello.
More than 150 years have passed since Panerai opened its first watch shop in Florence. Panerai continues to support the local historical and artistic heritage, and has refurbished its special site at Piazza San Giovanni. Store, this store is the most important store of the brand.