Is this Johan Hofmeier of Winterhalder & Hofmeier ?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by S1ider, Jan 5, 2017.

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  1. S1ider

    S1ider Registered User
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    Is this drop dial clock would you say by Johan Hofmeier who formed the company of Winterhalder & Hofmeier with Matthaus. The dial is wooden. The name on the back of the movement is Johan Hofmeier in Schwaerzenbach. Obviously the name on the dial would be a retailer. Would their early clocks be named like this or was Johan making clocks on his own before forming the company with Matthaus.

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  2. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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  3. S1ider

    S1ider Registered User
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    Yes. Very comparable Loomes lists a G & D Kaiser for Birmingham 1857-69. They are George & Dominick Kaiser born in the 1920's in Germany. It intrigues me as to why it just has the Johan Hofmeier name on it. Correct me if im wrong Winterhalder and Hofmeier joined up in 1850. I suppose its possible this just predates that or it could be a very early Winterhalder & Hofmeier. Surely Johan Hofmeier must of had good knowledge of clocks to join with Winterhalder.
     
  4. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    #4 Chris Radano, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    I don't believe your clock predates 1850. Either your clock is a different Johan Hofmeier (where Duck would have been able to help), or for some reason or other the clock was independent of Winterhalder. W+H was a conglomeration of smaller companies, and as someone who has had interest in W+H clocks for a few years, I see many different styles of cases and movements of their clocks, esp. in the 19th c. To my knowledge, besides these earlier drop dials, W+H made only mantle clocks. Another subjective thing I noticed, these wood movement clocks were made into the 1890s, and appear to date earlier - to the mid 19th c.Though really they seem to have been made from the late 1860s on. I would guess your clock dates to the late 1860s based on the dates given.
     
  5. Andy Dervan

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    Hello,

    I am dubious that the dial signature is original it looks much better condition than the dial. I suspect that it might have been added later.

    Winterhalder & Hofmeier is a confusing even the late Doug Stevenson found it to be a puzzle. It was probably more a trading front company that many individuals probably mostly family clockmakers fed movements and complete clocks to it for wholesaling.

    Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan
     
  6. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    In the 1820´s Johannes Hofmeier and his brother Martin set out on foot to England. The family history has it that they did this round trip thirteen times. Each time they travelled over took
    about six to eight weeks. They took with them small spring driven wall clocks. When they took chain driven clocks they took no waights, the buyer had to find his own. They sold these clocks for
    20 to 25 schillings. These first clocks were hand signed, and later when they took there clocks to Neustadt or Friburg where there were people like Kieser who would transport them to the UK, for a charge.Hand written clocks could be altered, so they had a stamp made like the clock above.Information on this family is long and complicated, that is a fact, but with a little help it can be found. There is in fact a family history,
    in German. Believe or not there are also W&H catalouges I have two with prices. In Schwarzenbach there is now a cafe in Hofmeiers old house, which is full of the companies clocks, they even have six rooms to rent. Well worth a visit.
    If I can help just ask, but one question at a time.One last point on the clocks they made-they made all types of clocks from spring driven to fusee and chain. Example if you bought a nice bracket clock from one of their outlets, say 1890´s
    they would offer you fifteen diffeent movements for that clock.
    Some photographs of Hofmeier No. 24 sold in UK c1825-30.Plus two of the family history.
    Regards,

    Allan.

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  7. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I just noticed the date on this thread.

    Allan.
     
  8. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Chris-noticed this thread and put in a few remarks-then noticed the date of the thread.
     
  9. S1ider

    S1ider Registered User
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    Excellent info Allan thankyou. Didnt expect this thread to be updated. I still have the clock and haven't had chance to do anything with it yet as i have so many. So what sort of date do you think we are looking at if this was One of the clocks that was stamped ?
     
  10. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    In case anyone is interested, here is a link to the previous thread above (A signed W+H drop dial) The first link I had posted no longer appears active.

    Older Winterhalder & Hofmeier drop dial
     
  11. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi S1ider,
    Your clock would be in the 1840-50 range. Remember they started the W&H Co. in 1850 so your clock had to be before then.

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  12. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    Congrats, a very interisting clock!

    And yes, I think your clock was made by Johann Hofmeier, later Winterhalder & Hofmeier. But I would date your clock after the merger.

    However, in my estimation, it is conceivable that Johann Hofmeier after the merger with Mathäus Winterhalder also manufactured and delivered clocks on his own account , as there were for a certain time still supply agreements, especially to foreign countries.


    Chronologiker
     
  13. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I think thats a very bold statement "chronoliker" early lables before they moved to Neustadt say Friedenweiler & Schwarzenbach. Perhaps you can tell us more?

    Regards,

    Allan
     
  14. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    Allan, I've been thinking about the dating of this spring driven clock. We know by sources, that spring driven BF-clocks started in BF in the 1850s, not earlier.

    And from the history of W & H we know a few dates:

    - 1850 merger of the workshops Winterhalder in Friedenweiler and Hofmeier in Schwärzenbach. But both workshops were operated separately in the future.

    - In 1869 only the administration moved to Neutstadt, but the production was still in Friedenweiler and Schwärzenbach. Even in 1888 the W & H sales catalog still names both workshops in Friedenweiler and Schwärzenbach..

    Since I assume that the clock we discuss here was made in the 1850s and bears exclusively the name of Johann Hofmeier, I can imagine that Johann Hofmeier after the merger has still supplied some dealers abroad on his own name and account to fulfill some still existing supply contracts.

    Well, that's my personal assumption, but it would explain the time of origin and also the signature of Johann Hofmeier.

    Chronologiker
     
  15. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Just from collecting early W+H clocks for the last 15 years, my observation is they seem to look older than their estimated age. Just my opinion. I will see photos of an old wood movement W+H clocks, and they will have a date written on it written in German late 1870s or 1880 something. Or, their will be a pencil written date that will say something like, "purchased 1884". But looking at the clocks themselves stylistically, they seem to appear older. If the dates are written in pencil in German, then the clock is exported, I would assume German writing follows closely to the clock's recent manufactured completion. Just my opinion but I estimate the dates of wood movement spring wound clocks made by W+H to be not quite as old as some of the dates proposed in this thread.
     
  16. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    #16 chronologiker, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    I agree with the hints from Chris Radano.

    It is very difficult to date Black Forest clocks because the different movements and types of housing were used for a very long time and also at the same time. For example, BF movements with brass gears and steel shafts date back to around 1850, but around 1880 wood-spindled BF movements were also still produced.
    Clocks with spring drive arrived in the Black Forest only around 1850, but in the BF clockmaker index 1860 only very few clockmakers are mentioned, which already produce movements with spring drive.

    The clock # 24 shown in this thread is by no means from 1825, but much later. The number 24 is not a serial number but in my oppinion it is either a model number or an order number.

    Again to Johann Hofmeier:

    We should not imagine the merger of the workshops W & H by today's standards. Because the workshops Hofmeier and Winterhalter remained separate even after the merger. The two agreed the production program, but continued to work separately: Johann Hofmeier worked and lived until his death in his house and workshop in Schwärzenbach and Matthäus Winterhalder in Friedenweiler.

    Chronologiker
     
  17. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Sorry Chronologiker- They were using spring driven clocks in the 1820´s-given late 1820´s.

    IMG_4271.JPG
    To translate what it says above for those who do not speak German.

    The "English-Clock" In the Traube by Waldau c1830 , The seller or dealer
    on the dial "G. Spiegelhalder & Co. Whitechapel Road. Metal plates going 8 days.
    Movement with Fusee and spring barrel. The clock came back in 1852 has a present
    for the first Traubenwirt, Johann Pfaff from England.

    Johannes Hofmeier b.1802 d. 1878.

    I will , when I have a little time show more of these early spring driven clocks.

    Regards

    Allan.
     
  18. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    #18 chronologiker, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    Allan this is not a BF movement with wooden plates and spring-driven. And we don´t know whether the dating c. 1830 is correct.

    And I have doubts about the story: Why should this clock to be send to England first to then return it back to Germany? This makes no sense! But it gives rather the assumption that this sort of movement in the Black Forest has not yet been made!

    And further: We have a reliable German source that the first BF movement with a spring was made in 1845. This was the beginning. But it took several years until BF clockmakers could buy the cast parts for spring-driven movements like S1ider´s clock.


    Chronologiker
     
  19. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    Allan, this is a very interesting clock with a massive movement. Maybe we can check approximately the year of origin.

    I ask our member JTD:

    JTD can you check on when Spiegelhalder is called in Whitechapel Road?

    Chronologiker
     
  20. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I will say, my clock is the oldest signed W+H clock that I've seen. I think it dates to the 1870s.

    So I wonder, what clocks did W+H make prior to 1870? I've never seen any signed examples. The firm existed in 1850. So for roughly 20 years, did W+H make more traditional Black Forest clocks (weight driven wood plate wall clocks) that were unsigned? I imagine some of the "postman's clocks" (round dial) were made by W+H, many of those clocks would correspond to 1850.
     
  21. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    #21 chronologiker, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    Thank you Chris for your hints! I think there are helpfull information in the company history:

    - Matthäus Winterhalder died in 1863. His workshop in Friedenweiler was handed over to his son Karl Winterhalder (1836-1918). Karl only made movements, supported by his brother Thomas, who ran in Friedenweiler another workshop for movement parts in his house.

    The workshop in Schwärzenbach was headed by Johann Hofmeier until his death in 1876. Afterwards this workshop was handed over to Anton Winterhalder (1838-1912). In Schwärzenbach no movements, but clock cases were made; In 1878 a new joinery was built.

    So we know the division of labor between Johann Hofmeier and Matthäus Winterhalder: In Friedenweiler, the movements were developed and manufactured in Schwärzenbach clock cases.

    A differentiation of the movements and thus also the types of clocks (English bracket clocks etc) should have emanated from the Winterhalder sons in the 1860s. Before, according my impression simpler clocks like postman's clocks for the engl. market have been made. And maybe Johann Hofmeier still made clocks under his own name.

    Chronologiker
     
  22. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    In response to Chronologiker's request, I have spent some time trying to answer the question. As so often happens, it was not as straight forward as it seemed. So here are some results: First of all, although there were people called Spiegelhalder (with a 'd') I cannot find any record of them being clockmakers in London.

    The first record I can find of Geo. Spiegelhalter (with a 't') is in 1841. His name appears in a trade directory for that year as Geo. Spiegelhalter, clock maker, 6 Mount Place, Whitechapel Road. According to the records, George Spiegelhalter was born in Neukirch/Baden about 1806. In 1841 he was working together with his brother Beda, aged 20, also from Baden and Henry Wehrle, aged 20.

    In 1861 Geo. Spiegelhalter is still at the same address in Whitechapel, working with his brother Beda (aged 39) and another brother, Fidel (aged 48) and Edward, aged 18.

    1861 is the last time in which George Spiegelhalter appears in the detailed records. Perhaps he died (although I can't find any record of his death), perhaps he went back to Germany. However, the name Geo. Spiegelhalter, clock makers, 6, Mount Place, Whitechapel Road, continues to appear in trade directories until around 1900. It seems that even after George's departure, the business continued with his name.

    In 1871 the business seems to have been headed by Fidel, George's brother. Fidel and his wife were joined by two of Fidel's nephews, Otto and George Spiegelhalter. George was 17 and died in 1876,, aged 22. There was also a niece Lina, together with Ludwig Fehrenbach (aged 21) and Hermann Wintermantel, aged 19. (From time to time a variety of well-known clock names worked in the Spiegelhalter shop, including Wehrle, Fehrenbach, Bäuerle etc. All these were young men in their late teens or early 20s and presumably came over for work experience).

    1881 shows the business still in Mount Place, Whitechapel Road, but head by Emil Spiegelhalter and various family members. Ten years later in 1891 the entry is the same.

    In 1901 the company moved to 81, Mile End Road (still very near Whitechapel Road) and was headed by Otto Spiegelhalter and several family members.

    To sum up, the first mention I can find of Geo. Spiegelhalter in Whitechapel Road was 1841 and the name (if not the person himself) was there until about 1900. I cannot say definitely that Geo.Spiegelhalter was not in London before ±1840, but I have not found anything earlier.

    Why the clock in the picture is signed Spiegelhalder I cannot say. I have tried to magnify the photo as much as I can, and it does look a little unclear, so it might be possible that the signature was re-touched at some point and the 't' mistakenly turned into a 'd', but that is only a supposition on my part. All the records concerning George, both trade directories and others, have used the Spiegtelhalter spelling.

    I hope this may be of help to you in your researches.

    JTD
     
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  23. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    Wonderfull JTD!! Your research is a great help !! Thank you very much!

    However, with all due caution in judging JTD´s results, the dating of this clock with "c.1830" can not be confirmed. This clock must have been manufactured later.

    Chronologiker
     
  24. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    #24 chronologiker, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    Allan, I am very grateful to you for presenting us this clock with the massive movement. (BTW: In which book is this clock shown?)

    It is in my opinion the oldest known clock of the Black Forest with a replica of an English movement (fusee drive) and brass plates. Thanks to the details of its history I would date this clock around the year 1850.
    This shows that the Winterhalder family in Friedenweiler has worked exceptionally innovative for Black Forest conditions!

    It is amazing what we have already received in this thread through Allan´s, Chris Radano's an JTD´s contributions and observations on new knowledge about the development of Winterhalder & Hofmeier. I did not expect that.

    To speak with Doug´s words: Very good "horostuff". Thank you Gentlemen!

    Chronologiker
     
  25. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    #25 Chris Radano, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you everyone. Probably the most informative thread here on Winterhalder + Hofmeier, BF clocks for England, and more. When it comes to old clocks, it's always history we can find recorded in various literature, but also we must look at examples of the actual surviving clocks themselves. With useful technology available only recently (the internet), now we are able to see examples of clocks from all over the World. We are now learning more than ever before about clockmaking history that previously was elusive, such as clockmakers Winterhalder + Hofmeier.

    As for the fusee piece in Allen's book, I would suspect an English movement. With a 12 inch dial, the movement is likely mounted on feet at the back of the dial, like so many English dial clocks at this time. The case is not traditional English design, possibly then the case was BF made.
     
  26. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    UPDATE:

    I have now discovered that the George Spiegelhalter trading at 6, Mount Place, Whitechapel Road, in 1841 was in fact George Spiegelhalter No.2. His father, also George, started the shop in the same building in 1828. So Geo. Spiegelhalter was definitely trading in London from the late 1820s onwards.

    JTD
     
  27. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I see you have been busy while I have spent my time reading. The book is called "In Die Neue Zeit" in " English- "In the new time" its a locally produced book by the "Arbeitskries Neustädter Uhren" or clocks made in Neuatädt. ISBN 3-00-004628-3
    So the story on the clock that went to England and came back."The local guesthouse in Waldau there hangs a clock, so the story starts-this is the clock I wrote about above. The clock was made in Waldau, and in c1830 it was sent to G. Spiegelhalder in London. The firm then was Spiegelhalder & Kirner in the London area of Whitechaple. Living there also was a Johann Phaff-the great great grandfather of the present owner of the guesthouse.When Paff left England, it was to get married in Waldau and run the Guesthouse- 1n 1852 the Guesthouse was burned to the ground, and his friends, after the re-build made him a present of the clock. Bringing it back from England. Not quite the end-in 1942 American bombers attacked Waldau, and again the Guesthouse was burned to the ground, and believe it not a neighbour named Josef Spiegelhalder ran into the burning building and saved the clock-and its still there.
    IMG_4288.JPG IMG_4289.JPG IMG_4290.JPG
    If you can get hold of a German speaker over there, here is the full story. Plus J. Hofmeier died 1798.

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  28. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    G. Spiegelhalter was certainly in Whitechapel at that time, but I don't think the London firm was ever Spiegelhalder & Kirner. As far as I am aware the only Spiegelhalder & Kirner company was in Freiburg

    JTD
     
  29. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi JTD- I can only tell what is says.

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  30. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Yes, I do understand, but I feel in this case the book may have it wrong. (Spiegelhalder vs Spiegelhalter is very confusing, to say nothing of there being so many called George!). I will look some more and if I find a Spiegelhalder & Kirner in London I will of course say.

    JTD
     
  31. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    In Loomes-there is Speigelhalter G. & Co.The Mount, Whitechapel Road London early 19C-Page 731.Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World Complete 21st. Century Edition.

    Allan.
     
  32. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Yes, that is George Spiegelhalter, 61 Mount Place, Whitechapel Road, that we have mentioned in posts #22 and #26.

    JTD
     
  33. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    @ Allan: Thank you, i read this book many years ago. But I reduced my library and I don´t have it any longer. Unfortunately the movement is not shown.

    Well, a dating by the name G. Spiegelhalder is not possible. And we don´t know, whether the movement is original English or a very early BF-replika. We should have the movement in our hands and prove.

    Does anybody happens to go to Waldau in the next months?? ("horo-hollidays" so to speak.)

    Chronologiker
     
  34. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    If the address is London, and the movement has massive brass plates, and the movement is fusee, and the date is 1830, I would assume it is an "English" movement. Possibly a London kit assembled by German clockmakers. Any number of English-German combinations is possible. Not all clocks were made in large numbers. There are unique, custom made clocks, like this clock. Some of the later clocks, even today we have difficulty whether to say the movement is English or German.

    This is why the BF clocks and clockmakers in England are fascinating. We know more than we did in the past, but this chapter in the history of clocks spans 2 countries, 2 languages, and therefore is not always logical and straightforward. But I love that there is mystery. Today we can see what's important is that the clockmakers strived to make clocks that were fine quality, another reason to appreciate these clocks.
     
  35. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Well said Chris- I have been laid down with a bad dose of the flue, and am just getting my legs to work again-so I have not done any more work on W&H.

    One thought crossed my mind though, on the back of W&H clockes they are sometimes Stampted W&H SCH,1 or 2 or 3 or 4 and I have alos even seen 5.

    Do you think these numbers represent the work shops? The one below is in my hobby room at the moment.

    Regards,

    Allan.

    IMG_4293.JPG IMG_4294.JPG
     
  36. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    Allan, I do not know, but I have a thought: could these numbers mean similar, but in reality different versions of the W & H movements?

    Regards!

    Chronologiker
     
  37. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hello Chronologiker-I thought of that too-but in the catalogues they offer fifteen different movements to their larger clocks, plus I do know some of the family
    worked alone, when I am feeling a bit better I will look up the information.

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  38. chronologiker

    chronologiker Registered User

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    Ah, I understand: You want to check whether there is a relation between the numbers 1-5 on the movements with the 5 Winterhalder operations. I will also think about it.

    Chronologiker
     
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