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  1. #1
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Cuckoo Quail Clock

    Hi, All,
    Well, seeing all of the recent interest in Cuckoo Clocks on the Boards, it’s time to show and ask questions about my very, very first clock acquired when I was about eight years old. I came across it when my parents dragged me to an old Salvation Army thrift store in the 1960s- some place I hated to go to at the time. (Now I haunt the shops regularly, looking for ‘finds’).

    Please indulge me as I tell you the story. As I said, I HATED going to that store and I was so bored. But as I wandered aimlessly around, I did stumble across a box of interesting parts, sitting on the floor in a rather dark and stuffy part of the shop. It was this cuckoo and quail clock, complete with all three weights, the topper, and with the box frame relatively unscathed. The front frame was detached, the top bird broken away from the topper. There was no back, and there were three chains, but all were off of the clock. It was a seeming mess to me, but, as I say, I was quite intrigued.

    Upon opening the left door, a tiny bird poked his head out, raised his little wings, and even opened his faded, red beak and gave me a rather pathetic little squeak! When I opened the right door, another bird appeared and did the same, but without a squeak this time.
    I had to have it! Picking up the huge box which was at least half my size, I timidly went to the counter to inquire as to a price. I had a whole quarter in my pocket at the time, a treasure to me. Feeling quite wealthy, I asked “How much for this box of stuff?” of the lady behind the counter.

    She lowered her glasses, and peered over the counter and into the box. “Hmmm,” she hummed. “What do you want that junk for? Is your mother around?” Disheartened, I looked into her face. “Yes,” I said. “My parents are here somewhere. But, how much for the box of stuff?” I clutched it tighter, now somewhat afraid I wasn’t going to be going home with my newfound treasure. “Hmmm,” she said again. “I don’t know. How about ten cents?” She was now trying to hide a smile. “Sure!” I said, much too enthusiastically. “I have a whole quarter!”

    I practically dropped the box in an effort to dig the coin out of my pocket. Proudly placing it on the counter, I pushed it towards her. She gave me my change, and related that she probably shouldn’t have sold it to me, as my mother would be mad. I just picked up the box and went to find Mom and Dad.To make a long story short, my Mom was rather annoyed, but my Dad was a bit more supportive, somewhat glad that I was interested in fixing it.

    I spent weeks trying to repair it, making several trips to the library to try to learn more about it. The books helped me to figure out how to finagle the chains back onto their proper gears, and after gluing the case pieces together during the next few weeks while carefully using my best model building techniques, I was finally ready to test!

    I asked my Dad to help me hang it on the wall in the garage. He did so, and, after realizing that I had forgotten a pendulum, made one out of spare wood from my Dad’s ever present box of scraps.

    Early the next morning, the glue was dry on the new pendulum and I snuck out to the garage to hang it and see what happened. “TickTock, Ticktock,” it said. Then it stopped. It took me a few days to figure out that the tick tock had to be even, and, when it was finally adjusted on the wall, the clock ran all day!

    Needless to say, I was overjoyed to discover that at every fifteen-minute interval, the little bird on the left would make a squeaky little sound, flapping his wings and beak, and hopping up and down with each squeak. I realized that he was telling me that it was 15 after the hour, or 30 minutes after, etc. At the hour, he would proudly hop and chirp “TweetTweetTweet” four times in succession, and after, his brother would appear, proudly flapping his wings, and opening his beak, would bow and let out a longer, deeper single “cuck coo”, once for each hour. I was completely thrilled!

    My Mom wasn’t and said it would stay in the garage, which it did, with me proudly winding it every day before school. The clock came with me when I finally left home, traveled with me from Los Angeles to Washington state to Phoenix, Arizona and finally here to Tennessee, where it is proudly still running on my office wall, cheerily counting the hours as I’m sure it once did many years ago.

    Thanks for “listening”! Now, on to the current condition of the clock and to my questions:

    As you can see from the pictures, the movement is filthy. (I really should have it properly cleaned and serviced, but so far have not done so.) It seems that it once chimed and counted the hours, but there is no back and the chime hammers and associated levers are missing. The original numerals on the face were replaced by a previous owner many years ago, I think, and are too small (opinions about this needed, please). The hands, while bone, are the wrong size, and of course the pendulum, while a later, purchased replacement, is the wrong size. But it does run, keeps good time, and I love it.

    I’ve never been able to find out much about it, so I would love everyone’s help with identification, age, and anything else anyone could provide. I'm guessing late 1800s as to age, but am not certain. It looks so very primitive! I’d love to know who might have made it as well. The movement is not marked, as far as I can ascertain. The clock is large, being 16” wide by 23” high tip to tip, and runs about 32 hours on a winding. The weights are larger than are typical 30 hour weights found on modern cuckoo clocks, and are about the same size as today's eight day weights..

    Thanks again for your tolerance in reading my long post. Looking forward to hearing from you Cuckoo Experts! Also, after looking at the pictures and realizing how absolutely filthy the clock is, I'll most likely not run it any longer until after a very good cleaning!

    All my best,

    George Nelson
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows.jpg   Cuckoo Doors.jpg   Cuckoo Face.jpg   Cuckoo Movement.jpg   Cuckoo Overall.jpg  

    Cuckoo.jpg   Left Bird.jpg   Quail.jpg   Right Bird.jpg   Side of movement.jpg  

    Top Bird.jpg  
    Last edited by George Nelson; 04-20-2017 at 01:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: George Nelson)

    Beautiful story George! When I was eight I barely knew how a clock looked like and you restored a cuckoo and quail clock!
    Holy Cow, what a nice cuckoo you have! As you say, it needs a heap of TLC, but I love it! The 1890's would be the most recent date I would venture for it. i'll try to find any clue on possible maker, but I'm not an expert like those who used to poste here some time ago.

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  3. #3
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: ballistarius)

    George,
    Good news!
    The maker of your clock was PHS (Philipp Haas und Söhne). According to W. Schneider, your movement corresponds to their later type of cuckoo/quail. PHS continued making C/Q movements with wooden plates as late as the turn of the century (19th to 20th, I mean).
    Congrats!

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  4. #4
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Red face Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: ballistarius)

    Aitor,

    I'm so glad you chimed (or should I say, "cuckooed") in! I have certainly come to respect both your knowledge and talents when it comes to cuckoo's! I am really happy to know the maker of my longtime friend. It is so very dirty, and do need to have it serviced. Do you know of anyone here in the States that does good, reliable work? As I say, it runs fine, but does indeed need some TLC.

    By the way, do you (or anyone) believe that the numbers are replacements? Also, there is some type of grease on the movement. Is that original or a later, more creative 'repair'? Does anyone possibly have a catalog picture of my clock? Lastly, is there a picture of the correct pendulum?

    Thanks for any help. It is sincerely appreciated!

    Best to all,

    George

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: George Nelson)

    Nice clock George, I've been looking for a nice Cuckoo clock to add to my collection but haven't found one yet. The hunt continues.

  6. #6
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: sylvester12)

    Hi, sylvestrr12 and All,

    Since posting this clock, I've sort of gotten "the bug" to add another Cuckoo to my collection. I've always collected American clocks above all, but after seeing Ballistarius's echoing cuckoo and the others posted lately, I've come to appreciate the intricacies of the old Cuckoos. All the action: a quail hopping and chirping, a cuckoo bowing and calling, wings flapping and beaks opening, the every 15 minute and hourly chiming all add up to quite a complication in a clock! I'm fast learning to appreciate them. I think I'll look for a table or shelf model next, as I'm completely out of both wall space and wife tolerance!

    Best to all,

    George

  7. #7
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: George Nelson)

    George,
    I'd wish I had enough kowledge about cuckoos...
    I am too far away to suggest a clock repairer for you. Maybe you should ask Jeff http://ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG about that, but he doesn't pop up much by here lately.
    The numbers are clearly replacements: The outlines of some of the older, bigger ones can be seen on your pic. Notwithstanding, the replacements are nicely nailed to the dial. The bone hands are replacements too and too short. They are nicely made.
    The quail and the koo bellows are modern replacements, the cuck one looks original, so as the three whistles are.
    Unfortunately, I haven't got any PHS catalogue. Most part of one is reproduced on Karl Kochmann's book 'Black Forest clockmaker and the cuckoo clock'. Lacking order and outdated, it is still a little useful book. Your clock doesn't appear there, too.
    Fortunately, your case is of a very common type. I own a related, 40 years later and simpler one. The pendulum is a wooden rod with a wine leaf having an 'arch' over it. My clock is at the repairer's now and I didn't take a pic of the pendulum

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  8. #8
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: ballistarius)

    Aitor,

    Thanks, as always, for your most helpful information, and your knowledgeable assessment of my clock. It is very much appreciated!

    I was thinking about contacting Jeff through his web site. He certainly has some fantastic clocks, worthy of drooling over!

    All my best,

    George

  9. #9
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: George Nelson)

    It's always a pleasure for me being of some help to others, George!
    Be careful, I can notice that you're starting to suffer a stroke of the cuckoo fever. Really dangerous!

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  10. #10
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Quail Clock (By: ballistarius)

    Yes, Aitor, my wife will most likely give me the dreaded "face" if I bring another noisemaker into the house. However, of all of my now 73 clocks, she loves the Cuckoo the most! I'm looking now for one within my quite meager budget!

    Best,

    George

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