Herschede Mantel Clock Dating?

luvmy40

New User
Sep 26, 2022
4
2
3
56
Country
The newest member of my very small collection is a Herschede Bee Hive mantel clock. We found this at an estate sale. It was listed as a Seth Thomas and priced very reasonably. As the only other quality antique clock I own is a Seth Thomas 8 Day wall clock, I bought this one without even looking at it closely. It turned out to be a Herschede rather than a Seth Thomas.

The little research I have done would indicate it was manufactured in 1912. That is if I have actually located the serial #. What I have found is the numbers 144 with an upper case cursive J hand inscribed on the back plate of the German movement. If you zoom in on the picture you can just make it out right above the "Made" in the Made In Germany stamp. Is this, indeed the serial #? Also, what would the 2 below the Made In Germany indicate?

There are also hand written notes that are barely legible on the inside of the back door. They appear to be dates of service with the earliest date being 8/22, which I must assume is August 1922 as the latest date is '33
Herschede 1.jpg
Herschede bottom.jpg
Herschede movement.jpg
Herschede Notes.jpg


Can anyone let me know if I am on the right track with the serial #?

Thank you in advance for any insights.
 
Last edited:

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
4,989
750
113
WI
Country
Region
There isn't much documentation about the pre-1920 Herschede mantel clocks. It may have been imported as a complete clock or used an imported movement in one of Herschede's own cases. The movement looks to be good quality but the lack of stamping makes it difficult to determine who actually made the movement. Winterhalder is often brought up but anyone would think the movement would be stamped with the more familiar 'W&H SCH.' insignia.

I would suggest showing this to Christine Griffen and see what she has to say.
 

luvmy40

New User
Sep 26, 2022
4
2
3
56
Country
OK, my wife just pointed out to my, evidently blind eyes the number 542 stamped into the wood bottom panel. Is this more likely the serial # or would it be a model #? If it is the serial #, it indicates it was manufactured in 1914.
 

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
4,989
750
113
WI
Country
Region
Wood stampings would indicate the case model number instead of the movement serial. Herschede had several numbering classes for different clock models throughout the years.
 

Andy Dervan

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Member
Oct 23, 2002
2,990
175
63
Country
Region
Cases would not have serial number. Any number stamped on case might imply model number.

If you disassembled the movement for cleaning it might reveal some internal stampings that might identify the maker. If movement was made by a known maker it would have stamped its name on it.

I suggest you contact Christine Griffen at Griffen Clocks & Parts. She researched and wrote a book about Herschede she might have some old catalogs that might illustrate mantel clocks.

Andy Dervan
 

Christine Griffen

Registered User
Jul 28, 2016
10
15
3
The Herschede Movement Serial Number books recorded mantel clocks as well as tubular bell, desk, and wall clocks. The books started recording the movements in 1911 and finished around 1924-1927 depending on the model type. The 5XX and 6XX case model series were shipped from 1912 to 1918. These were shipped in two different configurations 8 day pendulum or 8 day extra 11-jewel lever. The 8 day pendulum shipped in serial numbers 1001-1316 (years: 1912-1913), 1501-2050 (years: 1913-1916), and 2407-2606 (years: 1915-1917). The 8 day jewel versions were shipped in serial numbers 1317-1500 (years: 1913-1914), 2051-2301 (years: 1914-1916), and 2607-2906 (years: 1915-1918). The movement records do not state which movements were Herschede or German made. After 1911, we know that some of the 2-train tubular bell movements were German and also in 1951 that Walter Herschede went to Germany and made arrangements with Gerbruder Junghaus of Schramberg, West Germany, to have them supply not only clock movements but complete clocks, which were imported under the name Herschede. It may be possible that the "J" is Junghaus. Sometimes the German makers names are stamped on the movement plates. Most of the pre-1911 tubular bell movement plates simply have "Germany" and for the 1912 and beyond smaller clocks "Made in Germany".
- Christine Griffen
GriffensClocks.com
The Herschede Hall Clock Co.
 

luvmy40

New User
Sep 26, 2022
4
2
3
56
Country
Thank you all for the replies and information. I will see if I can find somewhere to have this serviced and see if that adds any information to the mix. From what you all have said, it looks like this is a 1912 production.

Any idea or ball park guesses on value? I didn't buy it as an investment, but it would be nice to know if I might have something special.
 

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
4,989
750
113
WI
Country
Region
Value is entirely subjective. Older Herschede mantels usually garner anywhere between 100-300 dollars on auction, looking through recent auction listings. Rarer or more elusive models such as the dual chime Model 10 may sell for more but they do not command the high prices exhibited among the more familiar tubular bell hall clocks. Despite their lower average value, the Herschede mantels are great additions to any good collection and finding one for a bargain is a real treat.
 

luvmy40

New User
Sep 26, 2022
4
2
3
56
Country
Thank you!

I absolutely love the simple lines of this clock and the mellow, quiet chime is perfect for the library where it will reside. My wife and I are in the process of rennovating a "workers'" home built in 1890 with period correct woodwork. Functional, and durable with simple , non ostentatious ornimental details. This clock is a perfect match for the built in book shelves I just finished. The fact that it is actually period correct, from a respected maker, and was a bargain is icing on the cake.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
177,522
Messages
1,555,837
Members
53,602
Latest member
GregsterB
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,054
Last edit
Illinois Watch Company by Kent