Since the 13th century, a few special public clocks have included the movement of the sun, moon, earth and other planets, and from those early days Jacks were devised as human figures which actually "struck" the hours. Soon thereafter, automata appeared as mechanical figures that performed many and various acts, such as the four knights on horseback who joust on the hour at the Wells Cathedral in England. Over 300 clocks, for buildings or tabletops, which do far more than tell time, are presented here with concise historical explanations, detailed drawings, and clear color photography. 22 chapters examine the amazing mystery, novelty, and fantasy clocks that display magical acts, appear to require no power to drive them or have no apparent connection between the movement and the hands. Famous makers in England, Germany, France, and Switzerland created these special clocks which became treasures of royalty throughout Europe and Asia, particularly in Chinese courts. Clocks with mysterious, novel and fantastic features continue to be made up to the present for retailers such as Asprey and Cartier. For over 700 years these amazing clocks have delighted and challenged all who witness their makers' ingenuity.