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  1. #1
    Registered user. proto57's Avatar
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    Default 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald

    This one is a new acquisition for me, as of today. But it's been in the family since at least the mid-1930's, when my grandfather bought it in Bogata. I remember it during my childhood, when it still worked.
    I think the skull is hand-carved boxwood. The eyes are hand painted, but I am unsure of what they are made of. I'll be able to tell when I take it apart completely. Of course the left eye is hours, and the right, minutes. The whole clock is just over 4" high.
    As you can see, the movement is by J. Oswald. Were they known for novelty clocks such as this? I did a search for "skull clocks", but could not find anything similar.

    I haven't taken the movement out yet, but I can see the spring is in a barrel. Everything seems pretty intact so far... it's only missing one back screw, and the rate adjustment knob. I'm sure it will work fine with a cleaning and lubrication.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: proto57)

    Greetings Proto --

    Ah, you have a head for interesting novelty clocks If you go to this thread http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t...ighlight=Osuhr you'll find some information about Oswald and Osuhr.

    Hansen's photos (including another skull) are still available through it, as well. Richard T's seem to be no longer available. But he is and we're pleased for that! Perhaps he will chime in too.

    Regards
    Zepernick

  3. #3
    Registered user. proto57's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: zepernick)

    Zepernick, thank you for the link (I was going to say "head's up" but restrained myself... sort of). Hansen's collection is extraordinary! From the pictures I can see what type of setting knob will be right for this one. And it seems the early ones were still hand carved, and later ones are "composite". It seems they made them for a long time... maybe the 30's through the 50's, from the information there. I still can't tell what the eyeballs on this one are made of... maybe celluloid? But then I would expect them to be deteriorated.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: proto57)

    Proto --

    A nifty feature of this Message Board is the "Search" function, which does allow us to pick up information from earlier threads. And as long as we're here, I'll attach (below) some advertisements from Osuhr (aka Oswald) that appeared in 1931 issues of the Deutsche Uhrmacher-Zeitung, a trade journal.

    Alas, there's no skull among them. But perhaps someone in the future with an Osuhrian interest will find them interesting. And BTW there was a short article about Osuhr/Oswald in a 1929 DUZ on page 172. It appears that they did have a small catalogue.

    But no mention of the neat bonehead either.

    Regards
    Zep
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Osuhr DUZ1931 A.jpg   Osuhr DUZ1931 B.jpg   Osuhr DUZ1931 C.jpg   Osuhr DUZ1931 D.jpg  

  5. #5
    Registered user. proto57's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: zepernick)

    Quote Originally Posted by zepernick View Post
    Proto --

    A nifty feature of this Message Board is the "Search" function, which does allow us to pick up information from earlier threads.
    I apologize... I did search for "skull" but there were so many hits I thought I would ask. I'll be more careful in the future.

    ...and I edited this to add, that I would have added this thread anyway, even if I knew more about my clock, in case anyone was interested.

  6. #6
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: proto57)

    Neat clock Proto.I dont believe i have seen this model before, unusual and a nice find.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: Kevin W.)

    Witnessed one of these sold on Ebay a few months ago.
    It fetched a surprisingly good price.
    A genuine Oswald, especially the skull, seem to be very collectable.



    Ivan.

  8. #8
    Registered user. proto57's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: ivancooke)

    Thanks Kevin and Ivan. Of course this one makes it to my estate! I guess it's a post-mid-life thing, but I am getting all these old family objects in order and identified. I intend on labeling the bottom of them so in the future, family members will know what they are, and where they came from. Then they will know what to toss, what to sell, and what they might choose to keep.

    I should have it cleaned and ticking in the next day or so.

  9. #9
    Registered User Grant Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: proto57)

    Cool skull! I have the owl and a couple of the dogs. My four-year old just loves them. Enjoy!
    g

  10. #10
    Registered user. proto57's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: Grant Perry)

    G...it is a funny line of products: Owls, dogs, and... human skulls. But this one is more goofy than threatening, especially about 8:20, when it looked sort of sad and confused. I refuse to get hooked on the other versions though... if I start after the animals, I'll be lost.

    I have it back together. Nothing was worn, so I only had to clean everything, lubricate it, and put it back together. One of the pins on the lever was not vertical, and the balance is actually cocked... must have left the factory like that, it's adjustable pivots don't quite line up. But it runs fine... although about 6 minutes slow since this morning when I did it. I think that is within range of the adjustment, so nothing else is needed. Rich.

  11. #11
    Registered User cazboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1930's Skull Clock by J. Oswald (RE: proto57)

    Oh my, what an interesting clock. I agree, 8:20 would cast a confused look on poor old "Mr. Bonehead." Good find!

    Apparently the "rotating eyes" concept is not terribly unusual. Tom Kloss has one styled like a little puppy. You can see one view of it on my website - it's featured under the "Friend's Clocks" page.
    Doug Haeussler, NAWCC #0167553 - Prescott Valley, AZ

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