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  1. #1
    Registered User Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    Default Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings?

    Hi, all.

    This may be futile, but I'm wondering if it's possible to determine a manufacturer or to date a cuckoo clock which has no markings whatsoever on the back plate (or on the case itself)?

    I've attached a few pics. The movement plates appear to be sand-cast, but beyond that my knowledge is limited. (By the way, it's a one-day movement).

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!
    John
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 01.jpg   Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 02.jpg   Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 03.jpg   Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 04.jpg   Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 05.jpg  

    Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 06.jpg   Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 07.jpg   Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 08.jpg   Cuckoo clock with poinsettia-like carvings 09.jpg  
    John C.
    About 3/4 of my clock collection. Still photographing the last 1/4!

  2. #2
    Registered User Tom Kloss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Spaceman Spiff)

    Hi

    Very nice clock indeed. Poinsettia and a Mountain goat. I never have seen one with that motif before. Another unique item is the way the bellows are mounted up above with bellows on the side of the pipes and not on the pipe tops. I'd be interested in seeing a better picture of the bellows and pipes.

    Tom.
    "Find a need and fill it". Henry J. Kaiser


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Tom Kloss)

    I think, from the arm which engages the count wheel, that the movement is Hubert Herr. I can't even guess the vintage. But I would guess from the cast plates that it is pretty old.

    David

  4. #4
    Registered user. Chris Radano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: dholk)

    The flower is edelweiss. The goat is often referred to as an ibex. I would guess the date c. 1895. The movement could be dated earlier if the plates were held together by pins. These types of cast plated movements began to appear around 1865, and movemnts with stamped plates appeared c. 1900. Most of these clocks were unsigned. It could have been assembled by an individual clockmaker with an apprentice, or a factory. Nice clock!

    Rick Ortenburger's book "Black Forest Clocks" contains more information which may be helpful. I am looking to see if Zepernick can impart any knowledge on the topic.

  5. #5
    Registered User Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Tom Kloss)

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments!


    Quote Originally Posted by T.J. Kloss View Post
    Another unique item is the way the bellows are mounted up above with bellows on the side of the pipes and not on the pipe tops. I'd be interested in seeing a better picture of the bellows and pipes. Tom.
    Hi, Tom.
    Not sure I follow, but here are some more pics of the bellows & pipes.
    John
    P.S. One strange thing about this cuckoo compared to my other cuckoos is that when it strikes the hour, it goes "cuckoo, bong; cuckoo, bong" when all of my others go "bong, cuckoo; bong, cuckoo." Not sure if this is because the wires which lift/control the bellows/hammer/etc are attached wrong, or if this is just the way this clock was designed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0877.jpg   IMG_0878.jpg   IMG_0879.jpg  
    John C.
    About 3/4 of my clock collection. Still photographing the last 1/4!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Spaceman Spiff)

    seems like when the cuckoo stops it stops at a wrong time ending with the bong when it should end with the last note of the cuckoo, course it could very well be made that way, i had a similar thing happen with a modern cuckoo and all it took was loosening the screw on the star wheel moving it and tightening again but thats not that case on yours...any way all that aside thats a very nice clock
    Ryan

  7. #7
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: itbme1987)

    John, your clock bonging after the cuckoo is a simple adjustment to the maintenance cam that stops the cuckoo. You would have to split the plates enough to change the gear placements.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  8. #8
    Registered User Tom Kloss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: harold bain)

    Hi

    Ah so, it has conventional mounting. The way the first picture was cropped I couldn't see the pipes. I thought they were mounted above the movement.

    Tom
    "Find a need and fill it". Henry J. Kaiser


  9. #9

    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Tom Kloss)

    Thought Chris' comments were good. Until, that is, he asked if I might have any comments. Only a couple of FWTWs

    We can of course talk about general trends (changes, developments...) over the three-and-a-half centuries cuckoo clocks of some type have been around. Or the two-and-a-half that they've been nesting in the Black Forest. And of course you can talk about general changes after Eisenlohr famously "bahnhäusled" them. For instance, at the crude level, from movements with wood plates, cast brass "massiv", cast-brass "open", and rolled 'n' stamped.

    Yet there was so much overlapping of features at any time, and across the industry and over time that, at the specific and individual clock level, dating becomes an affair that is iffy to the core. This normal iffiness is aggravated by three other factors.

    There's the strong tendency -- a marked yaw with all antiques -- to hope that a clock is from an earlier rather than a later period, and to date clocks earlier rather than later. Secondly, there's an expectation that has been titillated (yep) by Antique Roadshow shows. This is the assumption that experts should be able to date a clock to within a few years.

    Thirdly, and more to our own situation, we tend to apply general guidelines which are found in some publications (<-- careful there) without critically examining them. Or more specifically, without checking how accurate the guidelines are in cases where we can actually date or identify makers independently.

    A couple of examples. No snorting on the first, please.

    -- Have a cuckoo (wood bird on brass) with a cast-brass "open" plate "straight-bar" movement (chains) with all cast/cut wheels (nothing stamped) and plates pinned together. Taking this and that, especially the statement (in Ortenburger?) that those movements held together by nuts instead of pins tend to be later, and looking at some illustrations in some clock books, might have said, hm, 1875 "or so."

    -- But the movement has a small GHS stamped in. And Gordian Hettich Sohn was not around until sometime after 1880. So that put it back until, say, 1885? But it's in a case of a Jugendstil, aka "new German" style. So let's add another decade. Then (damn, shouldn't have looked) the same movement, identified as from Gordian Hettich Sohn, is shown in Mühe, Kahlert and Techen's volume (1988) Kuckucksuhren. It was found in two clocks with cases made by R. Bichweiler & A. Tritschler of Furtwangen. And these two clocks, now in the German Clock Museum, are (somehow) known to date from 1898.

    But then -- my estimate having gone from the front end of a quarter of a century to the end end -- I found an article about Gordian Hettich and Gordian Hettich Sohn that seemed to say that they also bought in movements from other firms.

    -- The other example comes from a DR Patent granted to Gebrüder Siedle of Triberg in 1879. The specifications and illustrations were picked up by a German clockmakers' journal in 1880. The patent specs began by stating that metal frames (i.e. cast brass plates) were still seldom found in Schwarzwälder clocks. But the Gebrüder had come up with a less expensive type (cast brass open plates) with the same exactness. And so on.

    What's interesting here is that the plates are not pinned together nor do they have nut nuts. Rather, the mounting side (front) pillar ends are threaded and take those cast "duck feet". And the other ends are riveted in.The specs claim that it's cheaper, firmer, and easier to work on. Will attach two views from the AJU article. Some of these movements BTW show up in modern volumes but I haven't seen any mention of the patent or dating.

    AND at the end of the article -- as a bit of advertising no doubt -- Gebrüder Siedle listed firms which were by 1880 already using their patented movements as Schotten types, and in a (not shown) cuckoo variant. Will add these names.

    So, yes, it's delightfully messy. As we'd expect with cuckoos.

    Regards,
    Zep
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AJU 1880 S.216-217_2_1.jpg   AJU 1880 S.216-217_3.jpg   AJU 1880 S.216-217_4.jpg   AJU 1880 S.216-217_1.jpg  
    Last edited by zepernick; 11-03-2008 at 05:45 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered User Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: zepernick)

    Thanks, Zep, for that very informative reply (and for keeping us grounded).

    I appreciate the time you took to reply and to impart your thoughts!


    John
    John C.
    About 3/4 of my clock collection. Still photographing the last 1/4!

  11. #11
    Registered user. Chris Radano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Spaceman Spiff)

    I have a GHS movement w/pinned plates, I would date early 20th c. Sorry to put you on the spot, Zep. Compared to American + English clocks, there is not as much available on Black Forest clockmaking in the English language. So, your postings are regarded as reputable, and appreciated.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Spaceman Spiff)

    In mine ignorance, I would have thought that the lyre plates would have some significance. Apparently not.

    bangster
    1. Check out the REPAIR HINTS & HOW-TO's forum! Click Here.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    In mine ignorance, I would have thought that the lyre plates would have some significance. Apparently not.

    bangster
    Greets Bangster --

    I'm not a cuckoologist nor would claim to be. Rather, in preparing a longish history of the Black Forest cuckoo for a Tran Duy Ly volume (which hasn't appeared), I had to go through the literature fairly carefully. And some of the things that struck me were sketched above.

    As to the "lyre" or Lyra plate configurations as independent markers, one can see 'koo movements of cast-brass with it that are identified by some experts as "earlier" and some -- with highly similar configurations -- identified by the same experts as "later" (see e.g. pages 98f. in Ortenburger). Other indicators (e.g. nuts, wood/metal perch for 'koo, some stamped parts) when bunched are apparently considered more, hm, indicative.

    My own impression FWIW is that both straight-bar and lyre-type cast-brass plates were found during the same periods. And as a result neither is a reliable indication by itself as to an "earlier" or "later" movement.

    Regards,
    Zep

  14. #14
    Registered User Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: zepernick)

    I'm resurrecting an old thread about one of my still-as-yet-unidentified cuckoo clocks, not because I want to beat a dead horse, but because I've recently acquired a similar clock (which still has a label) and am wondering what the chances are that they'd have been made by the same maker...? (I realize the carvings are not exactly alike, but....)

    I'd never seen another cuckoo like this one (with edelweiss flowers), nor had many of my friends (or even some of those who posted earlier in this thread), so I was quite surprised to find a 2nd one! The price was good, so I decided to buy it as a birthday gift for a friend of mine who'd greatly admired mine. Unfortunately the top piece is missing. Attached here are photos of the newly-purchased one, also showing the label. What's the opinion of whether it might be from the same maker as the clock which started this thread?

    Additionally, as the fate of coincidence would have it, I just today encountered this cuckoo top on ebay, which would appear to be a perfect match for this 2nd clock! I thought: What luck! A perfect top for the clock! Measurements seemed to be perfect & everything! Unfortunately, although I bid several times up until the last second, someone else beat me out. I was very disappointed, but also shocked at how much $ a simple top/crest can bring! (almost TWICE as much as I paid for the clock itself!! )

    (Zep or anyone: Any word on when Tran Duy Ly's Black Forest cuckoo book mentioned in an earlier post is due to come out?)

    Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and comments!
    John
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_5859.jpg   IMG_5863.jpg   IMG_5867.jpg   IMG_5861.jpg   IMG_5855.jpg  

    John C.
    About 3/4 of my clock collection. Still photographing the last 1/4!

  15. #15
    Registered User tom427cid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible to identify cuckoo clock with no markings? (RE: Spaceman Spiff)

    Hi,
    A Question for Zep re cuckoos--In the upcoming new book has any study been made or attempted to, in a general sense ,localize different areas based on styles of carving? I do not necessarily refer to those clocks produced after WWI but to clocks from about 1830 to 1890. This seems to be sort of the golden age of the carved elements. Anything prior to 1830 is of such a different style dating is a bit simpler(not by any means easy) It seems with the advent of the brass plates everything begins to get a bit foggy,especially after the cases with the banded(inlay)motif. The reason that I raise the question is that I activly search for the older examples(no matter the condition) and I have become aware of different styles of carving-or was it meerly the skill of the carver?
    Thanks for your time.
    tom

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