THIS MODERN DUTCH clock in the Zaandam style, manufactured (with minor variations) by the thousands, displays allegorical figures of the three Christian theological virtues—Faith, Hope, and Charity—above the dial. Behind them, the Titan Atlas bears the weight of the heavens on his shoulders. On the sides (not visible here), lions guard what appears to be a royal shield. Below the dial, a horse and rider swing back and forth incessantly in front of a picture of a sailboat and, in the background, a windmill.
Dr. Boli believes he may have found the most exuberantly mixed metaphor in the history of horology.
It is, however, all brought together with the motto
NU ELCK SYN SIN
—roughly, “To each his own.” It would be hard to think of a better material embodiment of that sentiment.