Can anyone tell me about this cuckoo clock?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by randall977, May 18, 2016.

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  1. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    I bought a cuckoo clock yesterday as I liked the look of it and the movement appears to be good quality. It works fine but I have very little knowledge about this type of clock and would love to know who the maker might be and what age it is...

    Cuckoo-1.jpg Cuckoo-2.jpg Cuckoo-3.jpg
     
  2. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Congrats to that one,indeed a verry good one,and spring driven,an unusual feature for a wall cuckoo.Thick cast plates pin secured point to the time before WW I,and the carving is delicate.Maybe the specialized black forest collectors will know more.
    Best regards
    Burkhard
     
  3. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    Thanks for the reply, I'm intrigued to know more! There appears to be the initials G or C with a dot in the middle on the rivets that hold the terrible sounding gong to the rear door.
     
  4. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Please could you post a photo of the letter on the gong base?

    JTD
     
  5. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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  6. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    'G' is probably for Gong I guess...
     
  7. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Thanks for posting the pictures. I have never seen anything like this before - they almost look like ancient 'smileys'!

    I don't think they are G for gong, and I am not 100% sure it's a G - if you turn them around they are almost the same as the Greek letter Omega. I just don't know.

    I think that the movement itself will provide more clues to the maker. The people who are expert in cuckoos may be able to recognise this movement and let us know.

    JTD
     
  8. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    Thanks for the reply! I hope an expert spots this thread... :p
     
  9. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    Could it be Gordian Hettich Sohn "GHS" (Furtwangen, Germany)? I've been trawling the net and GHS movements seem to have some similarities - also might account for the 'G' on the rear?
     
  10. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    GHS...yes I'm going to keep commenting until the right person spots this thread! Is there anyone I could message who would know?
     
  11. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

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    Rendall,
    A great clock indeed. As stated, a wall clock with a spring driven movement is a rare piece and far exceeded the price of the same clock with its weight driven option. (making this a very rare clock) This is an 8 day clock, made by one of the greatest of all time. Alexander Fleig. Ca 1880. Your bellows and flutes are replacements, and The pendulum looks to be as well. (easy to find)
    I have seen the stamped rivet before on clocks from several different makers. To me suggesting this was likely a maker who supplied the rivets or perhaps the whole gong set up to makers in the BF.
    This rack set up with springs is a rare design, unique to AF I think. Here is a signed example of that same style movement.
    Alexander Fleig is not a very well known maker leaving to history not much more than his work. Few examples are signed, but in recent years myself and a few others have made a point to highlight and share the works from the Fleig firm for exploration.
    We recently acquired this magnificent example (table cuckoo) from an estate in Italy, bringing to light one of the finest carved cuckoo clocks we ever saw, cementing (in my opinion) Alexander Fleig as one of the very best quality makers of all time. Standing over 4 feet tall, and weighing about 75lbs. The frontal slab carved from a single block of walnut. :)

    55.jpg 000BRESCIA IT.jpg
     
  12. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    See, I told you the cuckoo expert would be along, didn't I!! Glad you've got a nice clock.

    JTD
     
  13. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

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  14. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    Thank you Antique Cuckoo Clock, it was well worth the wait! I have been looking at your website - not the type of clock I had really taken notice of before but actually some a real works of art. The bellows appear to have been repaired quite competently so I may leave those. The gong sounds fairly horrible - is this how they are or because the rubber insert in the hammer has gone too hard?

    Many thanks again and to you also JTD
     
  15. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

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    Thanks for the kind words Randall. Yes the Black forest clock seems to get the could shoulder a lot :) (tongue & cheek)

    The point of the site is mainly just that. When most people hear "cuckoo clock" they picture a cheap little clunky mass produced novelty clock with plastic parts, not suffering such accusations of good time keeping or quality.

    The gong should be clear and clean, perhaps the hammer is falling to rest on the gong, killing the resonant ring. or maybe the gong is touching the wood somewhere. If you pull the door and ting it with a tool it should ring clear. A little observation and adjustment should sort it out. the leather tip is a nice feature and makes the strike soft and clean. Some like it some dont.
     
  16. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    Here's a few videos of the clock in action...

    [video]https://youtu.be/NEg_pmsxE-E[/video]

    [video]https://youtu.be/cU23Fygb1nI[/video]
     
  17. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    I thought I would take the clock apart this evening; I wanted to check it over, clean it, oil it etc. I also changed the hard rubber gong hammer insert for a leather one, which improved the sound greatly. The movement is very nicely made and, although I vowed never to have a cuckoo clock (to avoid being a mad house of clocks), I actually really like it! I've been looking at other Fleig clocks and most seem to have the house shaped movements - any reason why this one doesn't? Here are a few photos...

    AF2.jpg AF3.jpg AF1.jpg
     
  18. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Randall977

    A bit late replying to your thread but I have only just come across it. I'm confused as I have an 8 day spring driven black forest table cuckoo clock which I'm told on good authority recently is by Phillip, Haas & Sohne ? but has a near identical movement to yours ? The movement is unsigned sadly but here are some pictures. Can anyone confirm if my movement is by Alexander Fleig or P.H.S ??

    Mike IMG_0011.JPG IMG_0021.jpg IMG_0024.jpg IMG_0062.JPG
     
  19. Albra

    Albra Registered User

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    #19 Albra, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Greetings Hudd,

    movements made of cast parts for BF-clocks were made in Germany from about 1880 until about 1935 by several foundries in Black Forest. These movements were sold to the carving workshops in Black Forest. So neither Alexander Fleig, Gordian Hettich Sohn nor Philipp Haas & Söhne made these movements themselve, but bought these movements.

    The biggest BF foundries for movements made of cast parts were Gebr. Siedle in Triberg (400 workers in 1895!) and Joseph Burger Söhne in Schonach (later known as "Regula"). But there were some more foundries about 1890/1900.

    That's the reason why we can find movements made by different foundries in clocks of Gordian Hettich Sohn, Philipp Haas & Söhne or Alexander Fleig.

    Best regards!

    Albra
     
  20. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

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    Albra is one of the greatest known historians on the subject of the brass works and their proliferation in the Black forest, :) kind thanks to him for weighing in.

    I grant that above, but as seen with PHS Furderer Jaegler, GHS and again with Fleig, and a few others, we note in some cases specific movement styles being made for certain makers to their specifications. sometimes minimal but none-the-less unique. The PHS leaping hare we all have seen, the Furderer Jaegler who signed in name, and added a couple small nuances, GHS also signing in initials, and his movements made with a couple unique traits, and then Alexander Fleig. I attribute this particular style rack and springs set-up to AF based on having seen several like all of which were signed Fleig. to see a clock (exact same movement) not signed Fleig leaves me one confident determination based only on my own research and findings.
     
  21. Albra

    Albra Registered User

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    Greetings Jeff and thank you for your well-meaning words!

    But as we know from various joint investigations (for example A. Fleig), we know many clockmakers of Black Forest by their names, but its hard to know how these clockmakers worked and which division of labor was in Black Forst in 19[SUP]th[/SUP]. century. Jeff, therefore your contributions and work observations are at least as valuable as my studies of historical documents of the Black Forest. Thank you, Jeff!

    And Jeff, I agree with you: there were some Black Forest clockmakers, of whom many clock collectors thought that they have made their own movements made of cast parts. But thanks our joint investigations this has turned out to be wrong.

    I want to explain Jeffs and my observations and which hints we found in sources:

    We know by sources, that there were about 1860 some 20 foundries for cast clockparts in Black Forest. These foundries made cast bells, hands and gear blanks and sold them to Black Forest clockmakers. But these foundries came about 1870 more and more into a crisis, as the number of houseworking clockmakers declined increasingly. That meant the BF-foundries had to consider requests from customers:

    - Small workshops bought their movements at different foundries and these movements are very often not even referred to.

    - If an workshop ordered several movements at the same time, the foundries were ready to stamp the movements with the letters of the customer.

    - Various workshops, such as manufacturers of trumpeter-clocks, have even developed their own movement and also acquired all molds for it. Then they could give these molds also to various foundries to cast their clock parts in order. And with the finished cast blanks they took back their molds. So no one could imitate their movement and they could try to get a low price for their order.

    As Jeff correctly said: There were some Black Forest clockmaking workshops with their own movements, but all movements made of cast parts were made on behalf of any BF foundry.

    Jeff, thank you for pointing this out!

    Best regards!

    Albra
     
  22. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Albra, even now if a clockmaker orders 25 or more movements from Hermle, they will make a stamp with the name of the maker to stamp on the movement, if he desires.
     
  23. Dittrich

    Dittrich Registered User

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    Please take a glance in the book -BEHA UHREN- by Dr. Wilhelm Schneider. On page 347 is a skeletal brass-movement depicted which is identical with your movement. It was manufactured by PHS. A reliable criteria in order to identify a PHS movement is a count wheel with five spokes.
     
  24. Albra

    Albra Registered User

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    #24 Albra, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Greetings Dittrich,

    I know the BEHA-book by Mr Schneider very well and I appreciate his careful investigations, especially in the wooden movements of Beha, as well as movements of various other manufacturers of the Black Forest.

    But please do a search on this Message-Board for Cockoos of Haas & Söhne:

    For Philipp Haas & Söhne is noticeable that a lot of different movements have been mounted in cuckoos from Haas. And the various cast movements by Haas & Söhne in Cuckoos show that Haas has bought the cast movements not of one single foundry, but of different foundries. And also it is known; Haas & Söhne never had a foundry.

    Best regards!

    Albra
     
  25. Albra

    Albra Registered User

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    #25 Albra, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017

    Hello Harold,

    yes, also in the 19th. century the relations of suppliers and customers were very similar as today!

    Here an ad about 1900 of one of the biggest foundries of BF: Josef Burger Söhne offers in this ad complete movements made of cast parts for cuckoos and cuckoo-quail clocks. Enjoy!

    J. Burger.jpg

    Best regards!

    Albra

    J. Burger.jpg
     
  26. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    #26 Steven Thornberry, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
    Albra's picture doesn't enlarge, so I have taken the liberty to add the following picture, which I hope is a bit clearer.

    View attachment 317013
     
  27. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Thank you very much indeed gentlemen, especially Albra for explaining the complexities involved in the 19th century in the manufacture of Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks, and to AntiqueCuckooClock for the attribution. I now understand the difficulties in pinning down a specific "maker" since, as explained by Albra, these clocks were mostly bought in as parts and assembled by the movement "maker" who may or may not also be the case carver.
    So, as I understand it my clock using plates cast by the same foundry that made Alexander Fleig's plates could have been bought in and assembled by P.H.S as the attributable "Maker" or could have been supplied to AF and assembled by him as being the "Maker". ........ WOW!!!! Once again many thanks to all for your valuable contributions.

    Mike
     
  28. Albra

    Albra Registered User

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    Yes, the importance of the Black Forest foundries has long been underestimated and the business relations of BF-clockmakers to the foundries were indeed complex: the clockmakers could about 1900 continued order either cast blanks (gears and plates), but also order toothed wheels or complete movements from cast parts.

    And some well known clock factory like Mauthe, Th. Haller, Th. Werner and PHS bought cuckoo movements for their cuckoo clocks in the 1890s and still about 1900 by a foundry and did not produce cast cuckoo movements themselves. And also wooden frame movements with cast gears were made in Black Forest until 1914 and later.

    Best Regards!

    Albra

    (Please excuse the many mistakes in my posts!)
     
  29. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Albra, I certainly didn't know cuckoo clocks with wooden framed movement were made as late as that ! I always worried about having a clock with wooden frame plates in case the wood used could shrink or swell depending on the humidity / temperature differences such a clock could be subjected to during its life. Clearly the wood would have to be well seasoned. If not, shrinkage / swelling could move meshing gear pinions out of mesh or closer together causing a movement to seize ?

    Mike
     
  30. Albra

    Albra Registered User

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    #30 Albra, Sep 22, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Mike, this is a missunderstanding. I want to point out, that the BF foundries made up to WW cast blanks for gears in wooden framed movements in general, not for wooden framed cuckoos. Wooden framed cuckoos ended earlier, but I don't know when.

    May be Jeff can tell us when wooden framed cuckoos ended?

    Albra
     
  31. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Albra, now I've got it ! Thanks for explaining. Certainly a complex subject altogether but a very interesting one. My cuckoo clock is the first I have ever worked on so I have had little knowledge about their history. It's turned out to be a fascinating subject.

    Mike
     

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