biedermeier Vienna regulator

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
look what the clock addiction stork brought: a biedermeier vienna regulator, c1840-1850 (according to a couple of forumites who were very helpful via private message), with one-piece 'pie crust' dial. got it from my clock mentor so i paid close to what it's actually worth (rather than my other deals as of late), but it floats my boat and he and i are both happy with the deal. cleaned, oiled, suspension spring mount tightened, runs great. verge pallets are a little grooved but ok for now. note 2-piece bob... a front and a back joined by two screws through the back...

biedermeier_.jpg case_top_dial.jpg pendulum_rod_pulley_bob.jpg case_front_bottom.jpg case_door_latch.jpg case_back.jpg back_hanger.jpg case_back_bottom.jpg bob_back.jpg beat_plate.jpg dial_back_movement_side.jpg escape_wheel_verge.jpg mounting_bracket_2.jpg mounting_bracket_pendulum_top.jpg movement_back.jpg top.jpg
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
Excellent, Bruce!
What is the wood of the case? Walnut?
Regards.
i always asked and i have no idea how to identify the different woods.... perhaps brian fisher might know?

my clock mentor thought it might be rosewood... either way, i had no idea the case was so lovely when i first saw it because the room it was in was kind of dark.

it's not that i don't like my gothic (other) vienna, but the clean lines and simple nature of this one speak much more to me.
 

brian fisher

NAWCC Member
Jan 20, 2017
1,723
429
83
houston, tx
Country
Region
well, judging by the pix (sometimes difficult to do on a 'puter) the veneer is not mahogany and it isn't walnut. doesn't look like rosewood to me either. usually, that species is more of a black and brown striped gradation. maybe some sort of fruitwood is my guess? doesn't look like cherry to me either.

nice find bruce!
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruce linde

new2clocks

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2005
3,065
436
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
so are biedermeiers austrian? pardon my ignorance!
Biedermeier is a type of design usually associated with furniture, I believe. Although usually associated with German clocks, any clock of that style, regardless of origin, would be considered Biedermeier.

The clock looks Austrian to me.

Regards.
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
thought you were saying this was austrian.... is it correct to call it a 'biedermeier vienna regulator'? or should i just call it a biedermeier and leave it at that?

p.s.: just thought of a new possible tagline: 'so many clocks... so little time! :)'
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
careful... i'm in one of those kid-asking-dad-why-the-sky-is-blue moods! :)

what are austrian attributes (and how can i learn more)?
 

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,164
80
48
Brooklyn
Country
Region
Very nice! I think at least some of the wood is rosewood. I'm curious whether the seconds dial shows true seconds, or like the later Vienna regulators makes a revolution in about 45 seconds despite the seconds dial being marked in 60 divisions. I see the seconds dial on your clock isn't marked at all, leading me to think it is also "false."
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
45 seconds.... still have never found the answer as to why 'they' thought that was a good thing. :)

boss: and let's give them a second hand, so they can 'see' it tcking
clockmaker: but the length of the pendulum means the escape wheel goes around every 45 seconds
boss: they'll never notice!
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
The most noticeable is the bayonet mounting bracket and the keyholes in the backplate. They are almost exclusive to Austrian clocks, although there are a few German examples.

thanks... i try to tell friends and family how posting and learning about new acquisitions is the frosting on my clock cakes, but they don't get it. much appreciated!
 

new2clocks

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2005
3,065
436
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
45 seconds.... still have never found the answer as to why 'they' thought that was a good thing.
If I recall correctly, there is a technical explanation for the 45 second issue somewhere in the forums, but the search function is not working at this moment.

Regards.
 

Sooth

NAWCC Member
Feb 19, 2005
3,931
59
48
37
Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
www.angelfire.com
Country
Region
To add to what I mentioned above: The figure on your rosewood is rather on the plain side. The grain on the base piece is probably the nicest. Rosewood tends to look a tiny bit like oak, but with black streaks. It's a naturally oily tropical hardwood, so it's especially prone to flaking and ungluing. The sides of your clock and some of the faux ebony bits (painted black) are a secondary European hardwood. Not sure if it's a type of maple or "plane" wood, or similar, but it's stained to match on the less showy sections. I see this same wood with a very plain figure on other German vienna clocks.

One down side to your clock is that the original wall stabilizers are missing. These are usually two large brass turn screws mounted in those rectangular brackets on the base of the clock. Replacing them is hard because the threading is usually non-standard.

Your clock has a peg on the top, which makes me wonder if it had a carved top crest similar to this:
https://a.1stdibscdn.com/biedermeie...621585360394750/18463962_master.jpg?width=768
A lot of these had something similar on top.

Aside from these small issues it's exactly as expected. A very high quality clock. The movements on these are an absolute joy to work on. Beautiful finish, well made, finely detailed, etc. They can often run reliably on much less weight than originally supplied. If you remember Scottie, he experimented with that a lot. Some 8 day clocks can run on barely 1lb depending on condition/lubrication, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LenzkirchFan

zedric

NAWCC Member
Aug 8, 2012
1,453
241
63
Country
Region
Biedermeier is a type of design usually associated with furniture, I believe. Although usually associated with German clocks, any clock of that style, regardless of origin, would be considered Biedermeier.

The clock looks Austrian to me.

Regards.
Beidermeir relates to a period of time, and is also used to refer to the types of furniture etc that were common in central Europe during that period. Much like "Louis XIV" refers to the period of Louis 14th of France, and also to the styles of furniture common in France at that time.

The Biedermeir period is generally considered to be 1815 to 1848, so your dating of this clock as 1840-1850 puts it into this period.
 
  • Like
Reactions: new2clocks

new2clocks

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2005
3,065
436
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
Beidermeir relates to a period of time, and is also used to refer to the types of furniture etc that were common in central Europe during that period. Much like "Louis XIV" refers to the period of Louis 14th of France, and also to the styles of furniture common in France at that time.

The Biedermeir period is generally considered to be 1815 to 1848, so your dating of this clock as 1840-1850 puts it into this period.
Thanks, Zedric.

A much better explanation than my explanation.

Regards.
 

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,164
80
48
Brooklyn
Country
Region
If I recall correctly, there is a technical explanation for the 45 second issue somewhere in the forums, but the search function is not working at this moment.

Regards.
I would love to finally see a good explanation for this. I was surprised to find it in high quality early Vienna clocks as well as the later, mass-produced ones. It seems it would have been easy enough to increase the tooth count in the escape wheel so that it would revolve once per minute, despite a shorter than seconds pendulum. Many clocks with short pendulums have true seconds dials.
 

new2clocks

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2005
3,065
436
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
I would love to finally see a good explanation for this. I was surprised to find it in high quality early Vienna clocks as well as the later, mass-produced ones. It seems it would have been easy enough to increase the tooth count in the escape wheel so that it would revolve once per minute, despite a shorter than seconds pendulum. Many clocks with short pendulums have true seconds dials.
Jeremy,

Unfortunately, the search function is not yet working.

Help - Search problems | NAWCC Forums

Regards.
 

LenzkirchFan

Registered User
Aug 31, 2002
347
23
18
Missouri
Country
Region
I love it Bruce! Very nice clock. I agree with Sooth on the rosewood and secondary woods.
Wouldn't you love to know this history of a clock like this? Where it has been since it left the maker.
Steve
 

new2clocks

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2005
3,065
436
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
I would love to finally see a good explanation for this. I was surprised to find it in high quality early Vienna clocks as well as the later, mass-produced ones. It seems it would have been easy enough to increase the tooth count in the escape wheel so that it would revolve once per minute, despite a shorter than seconds pendulum. Many clocks with short pendulums have true seconds dials.
I found an article in the October, 2008 Bulletin by the late Doug Stevenson that addresses the question(s) that Bruce (and many others) have brought forward. The name of the article is "Seconds Thoughts on German Viennas".

I won't spoil the ending for Bruce :) , but will say that the same questions were asked by a clockmaker in the German clock trade journal - Deutsche Uhrmacher-Zeitung ("DUZ") - in the year 1877.o_O

Regards.
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
I found an article in the October, 2008 Bulletin by the late Doug Stevenson that addresses the question(s) that Bruce (and many others) have brought forward. The name of the article is "Seconds Thoughts on German Viennas". I won't spoil the ending for Bruce :) , but will say that the same questions were asked by a clockmaker in the German clock trade journal - Deutsche Uhrmacher-Zeitung ("DUZ") - in the year 1877.o_O
great detective work... so it seems that the 45 second rotation second hands had escape wheels with 30 teeth, which means probably earlier... and that 40-tooth escape wheels at least allow a full rotation of the second hand over 1 minute.... like a ST #2... that people thought a second hand was (possibly) a cool thing worth having, without considering the irony of using the word 'regulator' with a second hand that went around in 45 seconds.

and the answer is: because. :)
 

new2clocks

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2005
3,065
436
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
great detective work... so it seems that the 45 second rotation second hands had escape wheels with 30 teeth, which means probably earlier... and that 40-tooth escape wheels at least allow a full rotation of the second hand over 1 minute.... like a ST #2... that people thought a second hand was (possibly) a cool thing worth having, without considering the irony of using the word 'regulator' with a second hand that went around in 45 seconds.

and the answer is: because. :cool:
It is an interesting article.

Doug was an evidenced based researcher and would provide documentation, as he did in the article. If he were forced to use deductive reasoning or educated assumptions (i.e., without evidence), he would clearly state so, and this article is an example of his skills.

Doug found evidence in an 1883 Lenzkirch catalog that Lenzkirch were offering wall regulators with either a sweep seconds hand or subsidiary dials, where the seconds hands took 60 seconds to complete its revolution. (Loose translation from the catalog - "correct" seconds hand.) Lenzkirch also offered wall clocks without the seconds hand. However, if you wanted a clock with seconds hands (my assumption - you do not want to pay the price for the "correct" hands), which Lenzkirch referred to as "little seconds", you can special order these clocks with the little seconds and pay the same price as the wall clock without seconds hands. Of course, these "little seconds" will take only 45 seconds for a complete revolution. And, even more interesting, as Doug stated, these "little seconds" clocks would entail an arbor extension, a seconds hand, a different dial, and the special ordering.

Doug threw out some possibilities off the top of his head as to why Lenzkirch may have done this. His one possibility is an interesting one - perhaps Lenzkirch didn’t charge extra for a clock with “little seconds” because they needed to compete with lesser firms. So, (my interpretation) rather than being a production cost issue, the offering of the "45 seconds / little seconds clock" was a market share issue.

To paraphrase what Bruce said, the market demanded a seconds hand with out paying for a "true" regulator.

All speculation, but an educated guess.

Regards.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin W.

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
5,674
1,072
113
Country
It is an interesting article.

Doug was an evidenced based researcher and would provide documentation, as he did in the article. If he were forced to use deductive reasoning or educated assumptions (i.e., without evidence), he would clearly state so, and this article is an example of his skills.

Doug found evidence in an 1883 Lenzkirch catalog that Lenzkirch were offering wall regulators with either a sweep seconds hand or subsidiary dials, where the seconds hands took 60 seconds to complete its revolution. (Loose translation from the catalog - "correct" seconds hand.) Lenzkirch also offered wall clocks without the seconds hand. However, if you wanted a clock with seconds hands (my assumption - you do not want to pay the price for the "correct" hands), which Lenzkirch referred to as "little seconds", you can special order these clocks with the little seconds and pay the same price as the wall clock without seconds hands. Of course, these "little seconds" will take only 45 seconds for a complete revolution. And, even more interesting, as Doug stated, these "little seconds" clocks would entail an arbor extension, a seconds hand, a different dial, and the special ordering.

Doug threw out some possibilities off the top of his head as to why Lenzkirch may have done this. His one possibility is an interesting one - perhaps Lenzkirch didn’t charge extra for a clock with “little seconds” because they needed to compete with lesser firms. So, (my interpretation) rather than being a production cost issue, the offering of the "45 seconds / little seconds clock" was a market share issue.

To paraphrase what Bruce said, the market demanded a seconds hand with out paying for a "true" regulator.

All speculation, but an educated guess.

Regards.
American makers also created clocks with "seconds bits" which were not correct ones. So to me, not that strange nor mysterious. Probably a gimmick? Also provided some animation to the dial and thus interest. On the practical side, for those clocks where the pendulum wasn't visible, indicated that the clock was still running without needing to hear it tick.

For example, SB Terry made some miniature weight driven ogees with such.

See this:

8 day SBT Torsion Pendulum Clock | NAWCC Forums

Posted here is an usual 8 day SBT torsion wall clock with a "seconds bit" that takes 20 seconds to make a full revolution. It is marked as such.

S.B. Terry 8 day gallery 1.JPG

Better not use it to check anyone's pulse!

Interesting about Lenzkirch as stated above.

I guess the Germans did the same thing. Not too long ago, I posted a Gustave Becker "Vienna" regulator:

German - Mein Gustav Becker! | NAWCC Forums

Gustave Becker Vienna 1.JPG Gustav Becker Vienna 2.JPG

It has a "seconds" bit marked for 60 seconds. However, it takes about 45 seconds to make a complete revolution! So, not a correct seconds bit and probably more for show?

The metric minute is an interesting concept. As an example, after their Revolution, the French did some funky stuff with metric time keeping. See this:

The French Revolution: The Time When Time Started Over (weirdhistorian.com)

Didn't last long.

However, I think these incorrect seconds bits are more akin to fake winding arbors on a 30 hour tall case clock?

RM
 

LenzkirchFan

Registered User
Aug 31, 2002
347
23
18
Missouri
Country
Region
It is an interesting article.

Doug was an evidenced based researcher and would provide documentation, as he did in the article. If he were forced to use deductive reasoning or educated assumptions (i.e., without evidence), he would clearly state so, and this article is an example of his skills.

Doug found evidence in an 1883 Lenzkirch catalog that Lenzkirch were offering wall regulators with either a sweep seconds hand or subsidiary dials, where the seconds hands took 60 seconds to complete its revolution. (Loose translation from the catalog - "correct" seconds hand.) Lenzkirch also offered wall clocks without the seconds hand. However, if you wanted a clock with seconds hands (my assumption - you do not want to pay the price for the "correct" hands), which Lenzkirch referred to as "little seconds", you can special order these clocks with the little seconds and pay the same price as the wall clock without seconds hands. Of course, these "little seconds" will take only 45 seconds for a complete revolution. And, even more interesting, as Doug stated, these "little seconds" clocks would entail an arbor extension, a seconds hand, a different dial, and the special ordering.

Doug threw out some possibilities off the top of his head as to why Lenzkirch may have done this. His one possibility is an interesting one - perhaps Lenzkirch didn’t charge extra for a clock with “little seconds” because they needed to compete with lesser firms. So, (my interpretation) rather than being a production cost issue, the offering of the "45 seconds / little seconds clock" was a market share issue.

To paraphrase what Bruce said, the market demanded a seconds hand with out paying for a "true" regulator.

All speculation, but an educated guess.

Regards.
As far as Lenzkirch goes, there must have been plenty of demand for weight driven clocks with the "little seconds". I see many, maybe as many as 1/2 logged in my database, with the second hand. They certainly are useless but they "looked good"!
Steve
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
the article talks about 45 second second hands w no chapter ring or markings as well as the later (as i read it) 45 second ones with bogus ‘60 seconds!’ markings...

as i look through all of the catalogs (tran, etc.) and read doug’s article, it’s kind of mind-boggling how many clocks (models and types) there were... implying a ginormous market with clock companies riding the wave. it also seems like a bit of natural selection took place, w most of the really ugly (‘less attractive‘?) ones not surviving over time.
 

Alex K

Registered User
Jun 20, 2020
58
3
8
41
Country
On most Russian clocks of mid 19 century small second also make revolution in 45 seconds.
My thinking's on that says that this is not just animation. Maybe some important process for that times takes 45 seconds and they want to be synchronized to it. Maybe used to setup clock speed after something... what can takes 45 seconds normally?..
Also came to mind academic hour. This is time slot for school lesson at least in my country. And I believe this came from European tradition. So it will be 60 full turns for one lesson, that can justify the naming "academic hour".
Talking on metric and imperial - on 45 seconds turn there close to 1000 turns per 12 hour period (for exact 1000 turns it must be 43.2 seconds).
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,192
1,127
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
Your clock has a peg on the top, which makes me wonder if it had a carved top crest similar to this:
https://a.1stdibscdn.com/biedermeie...621585360394750/18463962_master.jpg?width=768
A lot of these had something similar on top.
and, indeed, the topper has been found:

biedermeier_t.jpg

funny story... i was talking with gleber and he graciously offered to carve one for me if i mocked up drawings and dimensions in photoshop. i sent him the files and then thought, i should tell my clock mentor... who then remembered that when he got the clock (and four or five banjo clocks) there was a topper in the pile. i picked it up today to see if it fit, and it matched peg, marks on the top, etc.
 

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
92
30
18
34
Country
Region
That is a beautiful clock, I really love the bezel. Simple with just the right amount of fluff, the topper looks great. I need to start hunting for one of them!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
163,771
Messages
1,423,313
Members
85,106
Latest member
Marcgo
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,861
Last edit
Bread Upon the Waters by Tom McIntyre