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Gothic cuckoo

ballistarius

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I must restrain this last trend of mine of buying Black Forest (restorable;)) junk or my wallet will become empty:rolleyes:

A vandalized (which kind of people would think of painting the inner side of the case and part of the movement white :eek:?) late 19th century cuckoo in Gothic style.
Most obvious losses (besides some probable nasty surprise when I unpack it) are weights, bird door, pediment and pendulum.
Any evidence for the missing wooden parts?
Many thanks in advance:cool:

Aitor
 

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ballistarius

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Many thanks, Tom :cool:
And this one comes with two birds indeed (not a quail, of course :p), even though I'm afraid that the iron rod for phaving any of them perched is missing:(
Any hints about if the bigger one is just a make-it-yourself one?:confused:

Aitor
 

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tom427cid

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Hi Aitor
The upper bird is definately an attempt to make a replacement-but it looks to big and the tail does not look correct.
The lower bird is probably ca. 1900. The cast perch with a set screw is generally what was found on clocks with cast plates and hex nut fasteners.
The bird that you want to find will have wire legs and they will be in a piece of wood that looks like a branch.Also the bird will have better deffinition and the paint will more realistic
Hope this helps.
tom
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks again, Tom.

Mmmh, I understand wht you mean. I've got another such detached bird with cast metal base with a screw.
So, I'll have to look for a new bird too...:( I recall having seen those earlier birds with wooden perch. Do you have a detail pic of any of them? How is the log-perch attached to the metal rod?

Aitor
 

tom427cid

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Hi Aitor
Yes that is the style of bird you need.
I took som pix of an 1841(signed) cuckoo and quail. The birds are similar. However the bird on the quail side has blue and white,moveable beak,but no wings-no evidence of them either. Blue and white generally indicates the cuckoo. Brownish red and white generally is the quail. This bird came from the cuckoo side.A bit odd.
Without doing some research,I would think that if there is evidence of a crown it probably be somewhat archetectual(sp)and gothic.
Hope this helps.
tom
Early Cuckoo Bird 001.jpg

Early Cuckoo Bird 002.JPG

Early Cuckoo Bird 003.jpg

Early Cuckoo Bird 004.jpg
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks for he tip, Sooth, I'll contact him:cool:
Splendid pics, Tom, many thanks!:)
Perhaps in the past some unscrupulous repairer put a cuckoo on the quail's nest...;)

Aitor
 

johnstaral

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Hello,

I have attached some photos of the type of cuckoo bird that would be proper in your clock.

Best regards,

John
email: jsstaral@gmail.com

P.S. I'm looking for a LARGE (too large for your clock) original Beha cuckoo to restore one of my clocks. If anyone has one available to sell I'll pay above market value for a good example.
 

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ballistarius

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Many thanks, John,
No need to mention that I need a bird too. If someone owns an adequate one and agrees to sell it, I am open to discuss the matter (Just drop me a PM):cool:

Aitor
 

tom427cid

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Hi John
As I looked at your cuckoo and quail it appears very similar to mine. Would it be possible for you to post or pm me a pic of the crest-as mine is missing.
TIA
tom
 

ballistarius

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The cuckoo has arrived and, unfortunately, all the parts the seller told were missing... well, they were really missing:rolleyes:
(One chain, weights, pendulum, gong, bellows, bird holder, bird, bird gate, pediment)
At least, the attachment for the gong is still nailed to the back plate:cool:
The backplate is crudely repaired, but ALL the carvings are nicely preserved, just number 'III' has been crudely replaced in bone:D
BTW, the bedaubing wasn't white paint, it was... silver purpurine :eek:
I'll try to post some pics in the following days.
The movement is signed with 'L. SCH.' stamped at the lower plate's front, and it was his number '7'. Any hint about who he was?
Many thanks in advance,

Aitor
 

zepernick

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Aitor --

The attached (below) illustration isn't an exact match to your "Gothic" but will give some idea of the missing crown piece.

Zep
 

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ballistarius

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Are the numerals original?

Hello,
I have returned to clocks after some months of neglect and I've had a closer look at this cuckoo's numerals and started thinking about them.
When I bought the cuckoo, I just thought: 'well, bone numerals, not very pretty and someone's has clumsily replaced the missing III'
In fact, the only actual bone numeral was just the recently replaced III. The rest of numerals are celluloid. (I unstuck the V and dropped a little bit of acetone to its back, the surface dissolved)
I have never seen numerals like these on a cuckoo clock and less glued instead of pinned, but my knowledge of the matter is not very deep.
I found a couple of small holes on the dial under the V, but none clear unther the III.
It would be rather easy for me to carve a celluloid III and settle the matter, but I would like to know before if the numerals on the dial could be original or later replacements. Here are people that have seen lots of XIXth century cuckoos and could give me advice on that. Please, help!:confused:

Aitor
 

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soaringjoy

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Re: Are the numerals original?

Aitor, the only thing you can really take for granted concerning
ye olde BF and cuckoo clocks, is that you can't take anything
for granted. ;)
I can't say, when the makers started out with celluloid numerals,
but they did exactly what they felt like doing. There was some effort
being made at standardization after 1850, not always very satisfying,
though.
I suppose, the bone III would be the replacement; it was a material
readily available to a handyman at home to carve instead of buying
a new numeral. Personally,I'd leave it; a little piece of clock history, isn't it....
There is nothing on "L. Sch." in my books, I'm afraid.
The possibilities are numerous, because it might not be L. Sch. as in
for example, "Louis Schwarz". It might well be the initial of a family name,
followed by the initials of the village, as in "Louis, Schonach, Schönenbach,
Schwärzenbach, etc."
I'm quite sure, Zepernick would have tried to look it up, when he posted
two years ago.
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks, Jürgen,;)

Maybe it s that the III is too crudely carved and thick or maybe it is that we architects tend to restore things as closely as possible to their original appearance:rolleyes:, but I've already decide the poor things' fate:thumbs_down: I've already ordered a white celluloid sheet (originally intended for cutting guitar picks out of it) and I hope that it will be easy enough to work...

Old cuckoos have always their bone numerals pinned to the dial or do you find also 'glued' numerals?

When I took the movement out of the case and I saw the 'L. SCH.' nicely stamped on its front I supposed that it would be easy to identify the maker, but, up till now, it's been a total 'no no':?|

Regards,

Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Thanks, that sounds relieving...;)

More opinions/ideas on the numerals?:cool:

Aitor
 

soaringjoy

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Let me put it this way:
When I look at all the pictures in the books, some are pinned, some aren't.
Again, this is one of the problems with the old trade; you can't always really rely
on any particular detail. You have to see the clock as a "whole" and make a decision
to plausibility.

Let's move this thread to wood movements forum - perhaps someone will drop in
there.
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks again, Jürgen:D !

I don't intend to be nicky-picky, believe me (please) but, wouldn't it had been more adequate 'clocks in general'?:confused:

I any case, what's done is done and any information or opinion will be warmly wlecome:coolsign:

Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Oh yes, it is true, sorry!:%
I was too narrow-minded about wooden movements being only wooden wheeled ones...:whistle:

Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Hey, cuckoo clock guys :)! Is there no clue on if the numerals are original or not? Has anybody ever seen such 'squarish' Roman numerals on a cuckoo clock?:cuckoo:

Thanks,
;)
Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Re: Are the numerals original?

Many thanks, Harold and my apologies for shouting...:$
Normally I don't do it, but... I just wanted to rest more reassured of the bare fact: Seemingly, nobody has seen numerals like those ones.
It is possible (not probable) that they are original and the oddity by some eccentric BF clockmaker.
It is possible and most probable that they are crude(ish) later replacements by some previous owner or repairer. In any case, the material being celluloid it wouldn't have been a recent 'job'.

In any case, I suppose that I should leave them alone and carve a new III...:confused:

Aitor
 

harold bain

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Re: Are the numerals original?

Aitor, I was serious about putting your question to the Yahoo group. There are a lot of serious collectors and repairmen on that group, who may have a better answer to your question.
 

ballistarius

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I had taken that for granted, Harold :cool:

It is only that I am 51 and I hate to behave like those teenagers who want to be answered by large and right now when they visit a forum...:mad: or maybe it is Friday night and I need direly nine hours sleeping or so...
:rolleyes:
I have visited the Yahoo site and the only 'drawback' is that, if I want to post or see, I must create a yahoo e-mail account... I think that I'll better sleep on it...

Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Well, I have finally joined the Yahoo blackforest group. I have introduced myself and shall let a couple of days pass before I start making odd questions...:rolleyes:

Now I realize that I had forgotten to post a pic of the front of the movement (Maybe some lucky day I'll have time eneough to dismantle it and strip all that horrible purpurine away...:mad:) and a detail of the signature.

Aitor
 

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soaringjoy

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I can see the most stubborn clockie getting impatient after about 2 years... ;)

So, let's see, what we have.

Your clock case is a Bahnhäusle style, which evolved from an architectural design by
Friedrich Eisenlohr ca. 1851 and was adopted to clocks in the years after.

As I said, there was nothing to be called standardization to BF and cuckoo clocks
before 1870, 1880, if ever. Both the "squared" and the "pointed tip" Roman numerals
were used, often next to each other during the same time period.
Clock #12 by maker A could have one type, clock #13 could have the other type.
These things were supplied by spezialized shops and companies, as were other standard
components.
Zep's picture in post #15 shows the "squared" type of numerals.
And, as can be seen there, the case is almost the same as yours.
I have dug out some more, one by Beha, one by PHS, to show how difficult it might be,
to get an exact match.
Please note the additional small angle of the roof construction on the PHS.
Then again, remember, at that time, everybody copied ruthlessly
from everybody and the smaller BF clockmakers enviously kept there secrets.

The three spoke countwheel of your movement, for example was (also?) used by
Mathä Tritschler, as was the type of fixing for it.

So far, so good, but who is L. Sch.?

Berthold Schaaf's "Schwarzwalduhren" lists these and you can pick one out, because I can't. :?|

Schaub, Lorenz
Scherzinger, Leander / Leo / Lorenz / Lukas
Schonhart, Leopold
Schönstein, Leo
Schuler, Lambert / Lorenz
Schwer, Leo /Lorenz
Schyle, Lorenz

What you can do is to contact the Deutsche Uhrenmuseum Furtwangen.

http://www.deutsches-uhrenmuseum.de/

If they don't know, I suppose nobody does.

Beha.jpg PHS.jpg
 

ballistarius

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Jürgen,
:D Many thanks for your excellent research work!:D
Really, after two years, I have given up hopes to know how was that L. Sch. or when or where in the BF was the clock (movement and case) made:?|
I try to concentrate now on more 'mundane' questions on if the celluloid numerals are original or if I should replace them by modern bone ones and how the missing elements could look like.
For the last matter, the Haas clock you have posted is the most similar case to mine I have ever seen:cool: and I'd wish I could have a better resolution pic to have a better look at the bird's door, pendulum and top. Incidentally, the top on the PHS looks lower in profile than what one could expect for this type of case, which is the top of the Beha at its side. (Wait a moment, or is it broken...:=
Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks, Jürgen, that's a good scan!!:coolsign:

Really, this one is the closest realtive to mine I have ever seen. When I go for restoring mine, I shall copy that beautiful door:excited:
Now I see that the pediment is a broken 'usual' one. The pendulum bob looks like brass. I would have expected wood, but it is not the first brass-sheated leaden bob I see in a Bahnhäusle.

Aitor
 

soaringjoy

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There are some news.
I have contacted a few of the real cuckoo clock experts here in Germany
and this is what they have to say about your clock:

There will always be BF or cuckoo clocks, that are not possible to be identified
with certainty and assumptions would be the closest one could get, although leading
nowhere.

It can be considered, that L.SCH. are the initials of first name and family name, yes.
It is not a family name and a town name, for instance.

The hidden spot on the bottom plate of the movement, where the initials stand, do
indicate, that these are not from the clockmaker, but rather from the platemaker.
At any time, there were about 40 - 50 specialized Gestellmacher, plates or frame makers,
concentrated in the Furtwangen and St. Märgen areas supplying the clockmakers with the
movement plates.
These plate makers were mostly anomynous and did not, of course, have the same social position
as did, a "skilled" clockmaker "personality". They were low level workers. Their standing was even
lower than the Schildermaler, the shield painters.
(which was even done by... women, sometimes, brr, talking 1850s era)
The clockmaker was the trained craftsman, member of the guild, so he got the honors.
There is practically no existing historical data on all the small people, that made parts for
the clocks - nobody cared, because they just didn't count, "unimportant".

What clock collectors often have in mind, is that the old BF clock makers made the whole
clock all by themselves, with a pocket knife or something. These thoughts however are
definately wrong.
There was an early trend to the house industries - meaning "outsourcing".
The clockmakers bought in the plates, shields, wheels, bellows and cuckoos.
This, of course, in the sense of speaking of one-man-businesses, not in the sense of a small
clock factory, where they did make some of the parts themselves.

Your clock has carved bone hands and celluloid numerals, which wouldn't be at all "normal",
so either the hands or the numerals are later replacements - perhaps you even have the
genuine "3" on your clock...

So, what we've actually got is, uhmmh, a little more than nothing, I'm afraid, except perhaps
for the understanding of the circumstances.
Cuckoo. :cuckoo:
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks Jürgen, that's been really impressing!!:clap:
"So, what we've actually got is, uhmmh, a little more than nothing, I'm afraid"
I wouldn't be so negative... I've learned a lot of important things from your survey work!:cool:
Very interesting to know that the signature belongs to the plate/cage maker. That's surely why we cannot find him among the clockmakers' lists.

You have answered my question about the numerals. The bone hands are old and nice and they belong to the same type than the minute hand on the PHS clock you've posted here. Therefore, the numerals are not original (forget about the bone 'III', because it is way too thick, new and clumsily made -central bar carved on a different piece- to be original:thumbs_down:)
With that idea in mind, I'll take more or all of the numerals from the dial to see if more tell-tale holes like those under the 'V' appear. That would be definitive for buying a new set of bone numerals...

Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Re: Are the numerals original?

Gents,
I have just unstuck all the numerals from the dial (they were just 'glued' by pressing them on the fresh varnish or shellac -nor the original finish at all-) and I have found the tell-tale tiny holes behind many of them (picture is surely blurred by the coat of varnish masking some holes)
The conclusion is that the original numerals were rivetted to the dial (BTW, were the rivets bits of brass wire?) and they were probably bone. Therefore, I have ordered a set of bone numerals:cool:

Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Hello,
Updating this old thread. (Maybe some of you weren't already born when I started it:p)
Not much movement about this clock until fairly recently. Roy Tomlinson made new bone numerals exactly like the celluloid ones, nearly two years ago. When we talked about boring them for attaching them to the dial, he told me that boring such small numerals involved a clear risk of splitting them. I followed his advice and the numerals will be glued to the dial, in spite of the (certainly unclear pattern of) holes in the wood. Now I tend to think that the celluloid numerals were the original ones, but 'III' was lacking anyway and possiblities of getting a matching celluloid replacement were nearly null. The outcome is that I'll keep (of course) the celluloid numerals in a plastic bag and I'm happy with having ordered the bone ones:cool:

The case was lacking its topper and the bird's door. I've just received the beautiful replacements I ordered from Ray Bybee and I want to share them with you here. Now this cuckoo will return to its hook on the wall until 'Resurrection Day' comes for it: There are other priorities... (like the PHS Gothic shelf cuckoo :whistle:)
Gothic-front1.jpg Gable.jpg Apex.jpg Door.jpg

Aitor
 

Sooth

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Mr. Bybee did an exquisite job on the replacement pieces. They have just enough small inconsistencies, joined with clean carving, and I think once they're finished, it will match perfectly. The finishing is left entirely to you, but my 5 cents: I'd suggest a very dark stain, followed by a wash of thinned acrylic paint in a brown-black, wiping off the flat surfaces. Followed perhaps with just a thin coat of flat (spray) lacquer.
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks for your input, Sooth:D
It's a first quality job, but not 'too perfect'. Exactly what is needed to match the old work :cool:
As to the finish, I'd wish I had half the abilities and knowledge you have... but I haven't:cuckoo: I'll leave that task to a professional restorer :rolleyes:

Aitor
 

ballistarius

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Many thanks Jeff!:D
The topper and door aren't attached to the case yet, just 'leaning on' for the pics. I've been tented to finish this one, but as it is in 'stabilized' condition, it will have to stay hanging from the wall for a few years more...:rolleyes:

Aitor
 

Peter W

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How can I contact Ray Bybee? Can one find him on NAWCC? Is he still carving? Any suggestions much appreciated.
 

ballistarius

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Hi Peter,
I've sent you a PM ('started a conversation')
Regards,:)

Aitor
 

Peter W

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Hi Aitor,
Yes thanks for this. Much appreciated. I’ve written to him and also PM to you with thanks but am not very familiar with PMing? Will let you know the result, if he replies.
 

norman_heckenberg

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Hi Aitor,
It's great to meet a fellow sufferer.
I have been labouring along a similar track to yours with a cuckoo and quail that is similar except that it is spring driven. Beha made a few of these and sold this one in1876 to a carver in the next town (Voehrenbach) who made the case. It too was vandalised with varnish that melted the celluloid numerals. There were no nail holes so I'm sure they were original (circa1881). I was able to 'antique' some modern plastic numerals and they look OK.
My quail is very like your bird. According to Wolfgang Schneider, who wrote the book, Beha quails never had moveable wings. My cuckoo looks just like the picture that Tom posted. I will not post a photo as half its head was missing and my restoration will not tell you anything that Tom's picture does not.
According to Schneider, until 1855, Beha cuckoos did not have moveable wings either.
I nearly have my clock running, but I had to replace the brass coil springs that act on the gong hammers and now I don't know how to adjust them because I don't know why they are there. Isn't gravity enough to make the hammers drop? How did you get on with that?
Norman
 

ballistarius

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Hi Norman,
I hope that my clock repairer will (at last!) take this one before summer. In the meantime after the last update, I've found old suitable bellows, bird and bird holder. I have discarded the original backboard because it was totally 'massacred' by a previous 'repair' job. Backboards are key elements which hold all the clock's weight, therefore, I purchased a vintage backboard (gong included) and cut it fit to my clock.
Wow, Beha spring-driven cuckoo-quail. It's yours a fusee one? I'd love to see pics of the movement:)
About the hammer springs, I have adjusted some of them,. Even if you feel that gravity would suffice, they are needed for a proper 'crisp' striking. If your brass wire coiled springs are there and their loose ends attached to the frame post (or brass plate, depending of the kind of movement) and to the hammer arbor, that should suffice to keep them 'springy' enough. If not, you can tighten them until you feel that it takes a little effort to lift the hammer.

Aitor
 

norman_heckenberg

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Thanks Aitor, you have done well to source those replacements. This clock does not have fusees, which probably make it easier for me. Although more or less complete, it was in terrible condition, even the pipes were full of wasp nests like concrete and the bellows were eaten by insects.
DSCN2081.JPG
The case had been varnished and the cuckoo had lost half its head as well as getting a facefull of varnish.
DSCN2086.JPG DSCN2084a.jpg
The case is ready for the movement once it is ready. I am going to go the whole way and make some new wheels and pinions for the missing stopwork. Another year in the project will not really matter.
P1080344.jpg
Norman

P1080339.JPG
 

ballistarius

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A really beautiful cuckoo, Norman!:coolsign:
Is the case by Josef Schwarz? The broken bird's head can be completed. Do you think of repainting the birds? It's a difficult decission. I've left the birds of my two Behas and that of my Ketterer as they were, but i've had to repaint hose belonging to my 'Fleig' and my GHS...o_O. I've posted them on their threads.
On the other side, I am bogged with a PHS case, probably by Geb. Heer. I'm looking for a suitable modle for the 'fence':cuckoo:
Case1.jpg
Aitor
 

norman_heckenberg

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Aitor,
Luckily I contacted Wilhelm Schneider to buy his book on early cuckoos (I will never own one but...) and he told me he was about to publish one on Beha. He had access to the original factory records. My clock has a signature that only a 100 year old Black Forester can read - 'Schreyoeg' thinks WS, but I can read the date of 1881. Beha sold an uncased movement like mine to Karl Winterhalder and Son from Voehrenbach in 1875. He was a well known carver. He died in 1880 so maybe Schreyoeg bought it and sold it on. How it got to a country town in Australia we will never know. A few years ago (I have been working on this clock for over ten years) I was in Germany and visited Eisenbach (where the Beha factory is now a restaurant) and Voehrenbach which is the next town. It was great fun to connect to the place.
Yes, I was able to remake the head of the cuckoo and I had to paint that. I left the quail pretty much alone, although I did touch up the beak and eyes. I spent a long time looking for models for some missing grape leaves in the skirt at the bottom but eventually gave up and designed my own. If you can't tell which ones in the photo, I win. If you can, don't tell me! Incidentally, you could consider carving the missing parts yourself. I went to a course, and got some second hand carving tools and really enjoyed it.
Norman
 

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