A fine example of German Engineering

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Loubord, Feb 11, 2019 at 1:21 PM.

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What is the style of this clock

This poll will close on Feb 16, 2019 at 1:21 PM.
  1. Bauhaus

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  2. Art deco

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  3. Jugendstil

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  1. Loubord

    Loubord Registered User

    Oct 22, 2017
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    I bought yesterday at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival this Lenzkirch bracket clock. I believe it is from the 1930's, but would like to confirm it. 1930's because of the style, maybe Bauhaus, and there is on top what I believe is a Catalin™ (Patent in 1927) piece. There is also some marks on the beautiful movement, see the pictures. I have checked with the list of Lenzkirch serial numbers on the web, and the 2 Million seems to be the production after the 1920's. The movement is a beauty, the plates are unusually thick, it is big with a Grande sonnerie, that I had to adjust. Just to get the movement out of the case is an exercice that need almost an instruction manual. It is a purely piece of German engineering, complicated, sturdy and beautiful.The zebrawood and brass case is built in two verticals parts that open in the middle like a book, with a rectangular base and a four-sided top with a thin rectangular colored piece of Catalin at the summit. The dial is porcelain over metal, it is surrounded by a piece of carved brass which itself is attached under it to a ⅛ inch brass plate. Notice the medallion over it. If someone knows its signification, I would appreciate. Hope you enjoy my new acquisition.

    243) Lenz Kirch - 2 Million.jpeg 243mvt) Lenz Kirch .jpeg IMG_1822 2.jpeg IMG_1823 2.jpeg IMG_1824 2.jpeg IMG_1804.jpeg IMG_1808.jpeg
     
  2. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    Most unusual case, as to style it isn't Jugendstil and not typical Deco, perhaps it is vorsprung durch Bauhaus. The motif with riding hat and crops appears to be to do with fox hunting.
     
  3. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    I agree with Jonathan, the case is very odd. Looking at some of the inside, I cannot help wondering if the movement was fitted later to an earlier case. I have never seen a Lenzkirch which had everything, including the chime rods, attached to the front door like this one, but of course I haven't seen them all. And then the pencil marks on the inner side of the surround....

    I am just thinking aloud - but it does seem odd to me. Any other opinions?

    JTD
     
  4. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User
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    Feb 18, 2004
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    I would call the case and Arabic dial Biedermeier style. It's probably a "retro" clock. I suppose with the late serial number the clock dates to late 1920s - early 1930s? The serial number dates I'm not an expert.
     
  5. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Nov 18, 2012
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    Why six chime rods? Are Grand Sonneries usually six rods? Hinges are robust. If the movement is on the door why not a piano hinge? It's beautiful just the same.
    Ron
     
  6. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    Dec 21, 2006
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    Four rods for Westminster chime, two long rods for the hour strike. Typical on wall clocks but scarcely utilized on mantel or bracket clocks.
    An interesting piece. Clocks like this always remind me that no matter how many clocks you've run across, there's always one you've never seen.
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Jonathan,

    There were packs of fox-hounds in Germany in the 1930s, (there's a rather famous book on horses and riding by the MFH of a Berlin pack from that period), so perhaps this case was specially made for one of them. The combination of dark wood and brass stringing is reminiscent of English Regency styles.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  8. Loubord

    Loubord Registered User

    Oct 22, 2017
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    I have red all the comments. Very interesting ! Looking more closely to the case, I have found a name on the lock mechanism : Asprey, 167 Bond Street. Well, there is an article on Wikipedia on this firm : "Asprey was established in England in Mitcham, Surrey, in 1781". It is a "designer, manufacturer and retailer of jewellery, silverware, home goods, leather goods, timepieces and a retailer of books". It is a luxury outfit that could built jewels, luggages, etc. for the riches of the world. My hypothesis would be that the case would have been crafted by the Asprey outfit for an Association of Fox hunting either in England (more probable) or Germany with the Medaillon over the dial as a trademark. They needed a movement to go with the case built in exotic wood with engraved brass, porcelain dial, etc., and they choose a high-end Lenzkirch, because of sturdiness and luxury. If I could find who belongs the Medaillon (PLEASE someone, tell me how we call the one in good English !), I would be able to confirm my hypothesis. What do you think ?
     
  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Loubord,

    The Asprey connection explains a lot. As far as I know they didn't make anything like this themselves, they would have bought it in, or perhaps just assembled it from outside components. I think that porcelain plaque at the top is just a generic fox-hunting motif and isn't connected to any particular pack. I see Chris Radano has proposed an approximate range of dates for it, perhaps one of the other Lenzkirch experts here could narrow that down a little? The dial isn't porcelain by the way, it's vitreous enamel over brass or copper.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  10. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Dating a Lenzkirch movement from the serial number is fraught with difficulties, since there various tables have been compiled which vary in their accuracy. I think the best I can find for the serial number 2,064,585 is between 1920 and 1925.

    Others may be able to do better.

    JTD
     
  11. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    You could always contact Asprey and see if they can be of any help, they are still at that address. When I lived in London I remember walking past it and looking in the window which was all my budget allowed.

    I'd never thought about fox hunting in Germany before but google shows hunting with hounds was banned by the Nazis in 1934 and has been ever since.
     

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