Art Deco clock face with German VH movement c1930.

SAR

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Mar 8, 2021
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A bargain auction purchase in UK turns out to be a bit of a mystery. A large oval art deco style clockface (34cm tall, 27cm wide), attached to a grandfather clock mechanism with VH logo, and a mountain of dust and fluff points to a long time in storage. All I can find out about VH is from NAWCC, so I have registered so I can share details. What I have learned is that VH is Villinger Hausuhrenfabrik, and made from 1920 to about 1925 when the owner, Willi Brunckhorst , married the daughter of Thomas Ernst Haller and was given a directorship in the Thomas E. Haller clock company. There seems to be some doubt about whether Villinger Hausuhrenfabrik made their own movements, or just farmed this out to another company. This could mean bought in another movement, or I suppose it could mean VH movements were made under contract by another manufacturer, but I thought if I give details of this one then it might help decide that.
Trademark.jpg BigClock1.jpg BigClock7.jpg BigClock3.jpg
BigClock2.jpg
The movement is a two-weight chain wound vienna-style dead beat movement, and the plates are 160mm high and 170mm wide - I haven't found another manufacturer using this plate size. It is a bim-bam with 5 chime bars, striking half hour as far as I can tell. There is no VH on the chime bar block. The VH trademark on the back plate is lightly stamped, the serial number is heavily stamped. Is this a sign that the movement was stamped VH after assembly? Maybe stamping is the wrong term, as I can't imagine a completed movement being subject to it, maybe 'impressed' is a better word.

The face is unusual, a large oval face with art deco style typeface, the outer edge being elongated octagonal, with no sign of anything being attached to the border. I would guess this dates to about 1930, and I have been wondering if this might have been for a shop display, as I can't image it in a free standing longcase. I would welcome any ideas here, maybe the typeface is diagnostic. The 2s and 8s look like 1928/1929 Bifur, but the loops on the 3, 6 and 9 don't match this typeface.

BigClock9.jpg

There is little wear on the movement, and I think after a good clean it should spring back to life, though I have no idea about what pendulum to use or what weights. I would be delighted to hear anything more about VH movements, compare notes with others who have them, and I am open to ideas about what to do with this oddity. Info on pendulum and weights to use would be appreciated too.

I hope this comes out OK - it is my first post ...
 

new2clocks

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Apr 25, 2005
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A bargain auction purchase in UK turns out to be a bit of a mystery. A large oval art deco style clockface (34cm tall, 27cm wide), attached to a grandfather clock mechanism with VH logo, and a mountain of dust and fluff points to a long time in storage. All I can find out about VH is from NAWCC, so I have registered so I can share details. What I have learned is that VH is Villinger Hausuhrenfabrik, and made from 1920 to about 1925 when the owner, Willi Brunckhorst , married the daughter of Thomas Ernst Haller and was given a directorship in the Thomas E. Haller clock company. There seems to be some doubt about whether Villinger Hausuhrenfabrik made their own movements, or just farmed this out to another company. This could mean bought in another movement, or I suppose it could mean VH movements were made under contract by another manufacturer, but I thought if I give details of this one then it might help decide that.
View attachment 642279 View attachment 642280 View attachment 642282 View attachment 642283
View attachment 642284
The movement is a two-weight chain wound vienna-style dead beat movement, and the plates are 160mm high and 170mm wide - I haven't found another manufacturer using this plate size. It is a bim-bam with 5 chime bars, striking half hour as far as I can tell. There is no VH on the chime bar block. The VH trademark on the back plate is lightly stamped, the serial number is heavily stamped. Is this a sign that the movement was stamped VH after assembly? Maybe stamping is the wrong term, as I can't imagine a completed movement being subject to it, maybe 'impressed' is a better word.

The face is unusual, a large oval face with art deco style typeface, the outer edge being elongated octagonal, with no sign of anything being attached to the border. I would guess this dates to about 1930, and I have been wondering if this might have been for a shop display, as I can't image it in a free standing longcase. I would welcome any ideas here, maybe the typeface is diagnostic. The 2s and 8s look like 1928/1929 Bifur, but the loops on the 3, 6 and 9 don't match this typeface.

View attachment 642281

There is little wear on the movement, and I think after a good clean it should spring back to life, though I have no idea about what pendulum to use or what weights. I would be delighted to hear anything more about VH movements, compare notes with others who have them, and I am open to ideas about what to do with this oddity. Info on pendulum and weights to use would be appreciated too.

I hope this comes out OK - it is my first post ...
Welcome to the forum.

What you have stated about VH is, I believe, the most up to date information on the firm. The issue is whether they were just wholesalers or if they also manufactured their movements. I do not believe any new information has surfaced to assist in this area.

We have folks who can identify unmarked movements, so perhaps they can identify the maker of your movement.

The dial looks fine to me.

Regards.
 

SAR

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Mar 8, 2021
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Thanks for your reply - now I am on the forum I can see in detail some of the pictures others have posted to see if I can match the movements detailed features and try and bring together the VH information. Have just spotted one thread that says the VH business went bankrupt in 1925 - whereas before I had only seen that it stopped production around 1925.

When you say the dial looks fine - do you mean it would be the sort you would find in a longcase clock, or are you saying it would look fine on its own hanging on a wall. The wooden baseplate is pretty deep for that (7.5 inches - 19cm), due to the chimes being horizontal behind the pendulum.

Steve
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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Have just spotted one thread that says the VH business went bankrupt in 1925 - whereas before I had only seen that it stopped production around 1925.
In Schmid's 'Lexikon der Deutschen Uhrenindustrie' we read that the company was 'dissolved' (aufgelöst) in 1925.

When you say the dial looks fine - do you mean it would be the sort you would find in a longcase clock, or are you saying it would look fine on its own hanging on a wall
I think new2clocks simply meant that the dial looked fine as it is and didn't need to be refurbished.

JTD
 
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SAR

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Mar 8, 2021
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When I bought it, it was described as a "long case grandfather clock movement", but I don't have a case, just the face and the movement on the baseboard. I can't find any pictures of cased clocks with oval faces like this. But the movement is very deep, so I don't see it hanging on a wall either, and it was chain wound so you would need access to the chains. I am confused over how it would have been used. The large face I thought might mean a large space, maybe as part of a shop display, or hotel or bar, built-in with a cupboard or rear access to the chains.
 

SAR

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Mar 8, 2021
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I think I found the maker of the movement. I found a weight driven long case clock on here identified as a Kundo, and it has the identical striking mechanism on the front of the clock and a great many other similarities, though it is different in having the bim and bam on opposite sides, whereas mine are on the same side. This clock was dated mid or end of the 1920s and has a serial number 21286, whereas mine has serial number 15819, and can't be later than 1925 as that's when VH expired.

Here's the two for comparison, mine on the left, kundo on the right :

BigClock3 (2).jpg Kundo.jpg

Maybe I am on to something - need to find some more Kundo pictures.

Thread I lifted this from is : here
 

Alligator97979

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Dec 30, 2018
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I was searching for info on these clocks I’m inheriting but don’t have yet and I noticed your dial matches the brown clock here. Sharing for your knowledge.

B0BEB2D4-E902-4806-A188-D392D5B8DDBE.jpeg
 

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