>?> The Merlin Mystery <?< 

Clocks and other things identified in Real Life

Jonathan Gunson has used modern computer-aided art in the MM book, which means he has been able to combine traditional painting with scanned photographic images. This is confirmed by the fact that in the back of the book, he credits Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges for permission to reproduce their clocks. The purpose of this page is to identify as many of these "real life" photographs, and paintings from real life, as possible (without any idea if this may help solve the MM or not). Identification of many of these objects has been made by members of the MM Bulletin Board, and I do not claim to have found them all myself without their help. I am collecting them here for us all to view.

This will probably never be "complete", but if you have any to add (or corrections), please let me know. You can e-mail me (see below), but better still and for faster response, post something on the MM Bulletin Board for me "solstice".

Merlin Mystery Illustration

Pages in MM


Real Life Photograph


The Sceptre with Cross (part of the Crown Jewels, kept at the Tower of London)


The Gargoyle book - both from Notre-Dame cathedral, Paris
(they don't actually face each other, I put them like that)


Selfridges clock, London

supported by "The Queen of Time"

(it has recently been re-painted a much darker blue)


"Vampire" Gargoyle, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris


Victoria Memorial, outside Buckingham Palace, London


Statue of Peter Pan, Kensington Gardens, London

19 & 16

Golden Eagle, RAF memorial, Victoria Embankment, London


"Alchemist" Gargoyle, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France


The Life Guards, of the Household Cavalry, London


Statue from the front of Notre-Dame Cathedral
(still looking for close-up)


Statue from the front of Notre-Dame Cathedral
(still looking for close-up)


150 years of photograph stamp - was based on an Australian stamp?


Statue of Athena, on the front of the Atheneum Club, London


The Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London (where the Wand and the Solution are kept)
Sign photo by Whiz Kid.


The coins are based on the design on the doors of the Bank of England:

Photos by Whiz Kid, who explains:
"The Lion emblem is quite impressive. This is what has been used for the coins and on the handle of the Excalibur sword in the MM book. I wanted to get a facing view to show the latin inscription better than in the book where it always seems to be at an angle. The emblem is identical on both doors but high up. Although the lion emblems look identical, they have different latin inscriptions around them!"


Clock on building, Horse Guards Parade, London


Astronomical Clock, Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic


City clock, Chester, England. The face of this clock can also be seen in the background, top right of page 29


Fortnum & Masons clock, London

(also on
page 23)

The New Palace of Westminster clock (commonly known as "Big Ben", but Big Ben is in fact the bell that chimes, not the clock tower)

(also 25)

Royal Exchange Building clocks, Threadneedle Street, London. There is another one on the other side of the building.

Photos by Whiz Kid, who explains:
"The name plate of the Royal Exchange is at the left side of the entrance and I thought perhaps a photo of this with the clock in the background to show its location better would be worthwhile. I got the added bonus of a double-decker bus just leaving the bus stop outside the Bank of England.
The Left hand clock is as near as I could get to match the one in the MM book on page 25. This photo clearly shows the coat of arms with its figures superbly painted and even the motto underneath.
The other clock is on the right side facing the entrance to the building and is of less importance. I decided to wait until the hands were exactly opposite just for fun, which was not easy as I was standing in the middle of the traffic."


The background to the "Butteryfly clock" is also taken from the Astronomical Clock, Prague

(see page 28 above)


"Faith" by Andrea Pisano on the South Door of the Baptistry in Florence, Italy


Tintagel Castle, above the cave, England

Could this be Merlin looking out to sea?


Stonehenge, Whiltshire, England


The crest of "King's College" New Zealand, where Jonathan Gunson attended (appears 9 times in the book)


Tower of London guide



Pilot in photo frame has been suggested as Antoine de St Exupery author of the Little Prince, I'm not convinced... never found a photo of him with a moustache to start with???????

This is Antoine de St Exupery


It has also been suggested that the pilot may be one of the Wright Brothers. Orville Wright did have a similar moustache, but the goggles and helmet shown in MM would not be appropriate for him?????

This is Orville Wright


Another suggestion for the identity of the pilot is the author Richard Bach. He does indeed have a moustache, and writes about flying as he himself was a fighter pilot (and has books published by HarperCollins).

Return to The Merlin Mystery

Page generated manually using Netscape 3.0 Gold editor, last updated 09/07/2001. e-mail: