Cuckoo's age

Dan Paxton

Registered User
Nov 25, 2000
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I know I ask a lot of questions but I am, Still learning. Is there any way to determine the age of a cuckoo clock? I would appreciate any responce. I started with pocket watches some thirty odd years ago but recently have done quite a bit of clock repair and have truly appreciated all the help you all have giving me.
Dan Paxton nawcc#66628
 

Dan Paxton

Registered User
Nov 25, 2000
128
0
0
I know I ask a lot of questions but I am, Still learning. Is there any way to determine the age of a cuckoo clock? I would appreciate any responce. I started with pocket watches some thirty odd years ago but recently have done quite a bit of clock repair and have truly appreciated all the help you all have giving me.
Dan Paxton nawcc#66628
 

craig

NAWCC Member
Jan 31, 2001
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Dan,
I guess the only info I have to offer is based on case style and movement for the simple cuckoo clock:
Around the late 1800's the cases were pine with walnut veneer. The vertical and horzontal trim on the box was colored molding. Decorative carving included multiple grapeleaves around the box and across the top. Inside, you'd find a 30-hour cast brass movement, long whistles with trapezoidal bellows, and fully functional wooden birds. Pendulum bobs were usually round and hung on a wire.
Around WWI, the case transitioned to flat inlaid trim around the box, and simplified carving of curves or minimal use of simple leaves. Insides didn't change much from the late 1800's versions. Most still had the round pendulum bob.
After about 1925-ish, another transition was made to the outside case with more use of leaves around the perimeter of the box in more of an overlay style rather than the previous version of molding to set the case off. Finials on the bottom and sides of the frame attached to the box front disappeared. Walnut veneer started to disappear and cases were stained dark brown. Stamped brass movements started appearing, mostly 30-hour. Still used the fully functional birds. Pendulums had leaves. Smaller dials.
After WWII, the cases continued the extensive use of leaves around the box, and brown stain to color the wood. Stamped movements, wooden birds, shorter whistles. More 8-day movements started showing up.
Around the 60's, almost exclusively plastic birds used on throw-away movements. This trend has continued to this day. Cases for the most part remain unchanged since WWII for the simple-type of cuckoo. Since WWII, lots of mechanica has been added, including more extensive use of the musical type. Previous to WWII you saw some cuckoo/quail variants.
Hope this helps.
Craig
 

Andy Krietzer

Registered User
Feb 21, 2001
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You can't rely on the "West" always being there. Most clocks I see from the 1950s to 1980s are marked simply "made in Germany".

Andy

Member of Chapters 168 and 185.
 
R

Rod

Dan,I agree with Andy,The "West Germany" or Germany does not help with dating the clock,the only thing it does do is tell you where the clock was made,not the time frame......
Rod

NAWCC # 0058915
 

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