Headless Cuckoo

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by gleber, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    I just got this cuckoo clock with a fox on top. I really like this style. Is it common? Most of the fox I have seen are on the bottom.

    Can anyone provide information about the manufacturer and age? It has a logo with an S inside of a gear.

    Oh, and the headless part? The cuckoo seems to have lost its head at some point. I plan to carve a new one. Does anyone have any good photos showing front, top and side views?

    Thanks,
    Tom

    primary.jpg 20180116_201242.jpg 20180116_201614.jpg 20180116_201725.jpg 20180116_201126.jpg
     
  2. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    lovely cuckoo,Tom,congratulations.AFAI can see the cuckoo´s head is only partly lost -if at all -but it is split and lacks the beak.Please post more pics of the cuckoo from all sides,probably restorable with saving as much original substance as possible.You needc a chunk of old,soft wood like linden wood.The good quality movement is IMO form the 30ies,the trade mark isn´t listed here
    Altersbestimmung - Mikrolisk - The horological trade mark index
    The case is extraordinaly per its motive and beautifully carved!
    Congrats!
    Burkhard
     
  3. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Hi Burkhard!

    Yes, it is split, but a small piece of the top of the head and break are missing. I'll post another photo or two soon. I have some soft wood available from my carving hobby. I did a quick Google search for pictures thinking that would be easy to find some, but I didn't find any good ones.

    I am thrilled with the carving - thanks for reinforcing my pleasure in it.

    Tom
     
  4. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Here are some more photos of my poor headless cuckoo bird.

    Tom
    20180117_113554.jpg 20180117_113627.jpg 20180117_113726.jpg
     
  5. Jay C.

    Jay C. Registered User
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  6. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks Jay C!

    Here is one I carved to replace the cheapo looking plastic one on a Heco clock I have. This doesn't have the animated beak or wings, but I might try to animate the beak.

    Your mounting block looks very similar to mine. I was wondering about my headless screw too, but I see yours is the same and presume they are both original now. That's good to know, otherwise I was going to change it out to a slotted head.

    Tom

    20180117_125600.jpg
     
  7. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Your birdy is quiet nice compared to the rough original one! You have to decide between originality and beauty! When I´m back home I could persuade my cuckoo to stay out as long as it takes to make a photo,will take a few days,though.
    Burkhard
     
  8. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks. The photo I attached in the most recent post is from a different clock. I still plan to fix the head of the subject clock of this thread and try to keep it as original as possible.

    Thanks for the offer to photograph yours. Looking forward to seeing it.

    Tom
     
  9. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Nice clock, I really like it. I've held off getting a cuckoo until I am comfortable working on the time, strike and chimes. I think I'm ready now and am passively looking for one but most of what I'm seeing around here is plastic cuckoos, I want a nice carved one like this. I'll find one eventually but for now I'm going to enjoy watching you get this one in good shape. You've got to save that old bird.
     
  10. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    here´re the pics of my one and only cuckoo: made-or at least retailed- by Ph.Haas with the hare-shaped anchor plate on the sturdy pinned brass movement around 1900+-10.Got it as a present from a befriended BF collector,did the case restauration myselv.The birdy will not come out any further,so I´m afraid the pics aren´t of much help.As I see it the carvers didn´t care for a verry naturalistic depiction of a real cuckoo in this type of clock;so justr a bird-like head is needed painted with the matching colors.But there are wonderfull cuckoo´s with a natural size bird sitting outside on the case,some of them covered with original feathers!That´s a different class though...
    Burkhard

    DSCN3546.JPG DSCN3547.JPG DSCN3549.JPG DSCN3535.JPG DSCN3539.JPG
     
  11. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks for the pictures Burkhard.

    Nice clock. Do you have any photos of the movement?

    Yes, I agree the design intent for most cuckoos was/is not to be 100% realistic. It's interesting - I have carved some realistic birds and I think I do well, but I struggle to do this type of stylized carving, even though it is much simpler. I just can't get a clean look. I think I overthink / overwork it.

    I've got the new head carved and attached, but I have a little clean up of the beak and then painting. I hope to finish it this weekend and will post photos.

    Tom
     
  12. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Yes, the new plastic ones are rather unattractive and cheap looking. These older carved ones are artwork by comparison.

    Tom
     
  13. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    My little friend has regained his head!

    20180119_213915.jpg 20180119_213950.jpg
     
  14. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    EXCELLENT repair work, Gleber! I would never suspect that the head was repaired. You have great talent!

    George N.
     
  15. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks George. But he is still just a little cuckoo!! :emoji_wink::clap:

    Tom
     
  16. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Tom,
    Little, but cute!
    George N.
     
  17. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    Well done, Gleber!!

    I agree with the dating of your cuckoo about 1930. I have never seen this logo "S with a gear" and I don´t know who used this logo. It is not a registered one.

    But your movement was made by J. Burger Söhne in Schonach, läter known as "Regula".

    Chronologiker
     
  18. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    That´s it! Congrats!
    Burkhard
     
  19. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks for the info Cronologiker. Is it common for a reseller to stamp a movement? I know cases and dials were re-branded, but I wouldn't think movements would be re-branded by a stamp?

    Tom
     
  20. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks Burkhard!

    I just serviced the movement and am working on reconditioning the case now. Last item on the list is to replace a torn bellows.

    Tom
     
  21. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    This is not the logo of a reseller, but the carving workshop that carved the case of your cuckoo. Burger Söhne made the movement and stamped it with the logo of this carving workshop.

    Chronologiker
     
  22. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Update - A little off the top...

    I thought my little friend's head looked a little too cartoony or more like a pigeon than a cuckoo, so I took a little off the top. I think it looks a lot better.

    Tom

    Original
    20180119_213915.jpg

    Revised
    20180123_180916.jpg
     
  23. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Interesting... Thanks for the additional info.

    Tom
     
  24. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Looks great now!

    Uhralt
     
  25. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks Uhralt. It is interesting how small details can make a big difference.

    Tom
     
  26. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    God job, Tom!:)
    I've repainted four birds lately and it's amazing the way they recover 'life' that way.
    Not relevant, but the lighter part of the upper beak uses to be white instead of yellow, at least on the birds I've seen...
    Regards,

    Aitor
     
  27. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks Aitor.

    For now, I'm going to claim artistic license on the color. Many of the photos of real life cuckoos I've researched on the web show yellow, and the real birds have a smooth transition from the black at the tip to lighter color by the face and not the sharp line between colors.

    But, I will do some more research of clock birds since I want to keep the clock as near original as possible.

    Do you have any photos of the ones you've painted? I'd like to see them even if not for research, but just to admire them.

    Tom
     
  28. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Sure, Tom.
    Those (already 20th century, I believe) birds with solid brass base can be rather crudely carved and painted. We all tend always to 'improve' them :D
    I feel myself reluctant to re-paint birds unless they are rather toast (which in my case happens more than I'd desire:p)
    303582.jpg 302905.jpg Bird1.jpg IMG_6670.jpg

    Aitor
     
  29. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks Aitor,

    Very nice! Even by themselves without their clocks these are lovely examples of folk art. And each one seems to have its own personality. I can just image the small simple stylized one with its beak open the widest cuckooing (but more like squawking), "I'm the loudest, I'm the loudest" and the brown one rolling her eyes thinking, "There he goes again..."

    Is it too much to ask to see the "homes" for these little critters?

    Tom
     
  30. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Hi Tom,
    In fact, the little one plays the 'sideshow' for its bigger sibling at an echo cuckoo clock from inside a small casemate at the castle's side:;)
    301209.jpg 301211.jpg
    The second single bird goes inside a shelf clock in phase of being restored yet::cool:
    312248.jpg
    The 'brown' bird ( in fact, lots of 'patina' ie.dirt on it:rolleyes:) goes inside a Biedermeier shelf cuckoo clock, this one fully restored now:
    315599.jpg

    Aitor
     
  31. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks for posting these photos. I think I have seem some of them from other posts, but I'm glad to see them again here. All three are unique and I really like them all. It looks like you are doing an awesome job with the restoration of the one with all the scroll work. I wish I could carve with such symmetry.

    I started to clean my clock and it's turning into a bigger project than I planned and have removed the carvings from the case to do it justice by cleaning in all the cracks. Isn't that always the way it goes with small projects becoming bigger? But, I wanted to do it right and that's the price we pay. So, it will be a little longer than I expected before I can post the completed results.

    Tom

    P.S. Does the side bird move? I can see he doesn't have room to retract, but does he pivot?
     
  32. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Tom,
    Many thanks for your kind words! In fact, I too would like to carve with such symmetry! but I only pay for the carver's work....
    It's fantastic that you have the time and ability for restoring your nice case properly. Old clocks always need lots of work, unless they work and you choose to leave them as they are. I really enjoy working wiht my hands, but often I cannot find the time for it ...
    Yes, the side bird moves (or, better said, it will hopefully move again, after case and movement are restored). There is a wire coming from one bellow inside, through the hole in the wooden front you can see on the first pic. It lifts the bird's tail and it pivots. Of course, the bird doesn't pop out.

    Aitor
     

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