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Kundo/Mayer clock with pink base

torsiondoc

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This interesting clock has just come across my bench. From this forum I realise that it is a Kundo clock originally marketed by Mayer. It must be a later clock because there is no identification logo but I was wondering why these clocks started with a Mayer mark, then a Kundo mark and then none at all? The pink base is also unusual. Any information on date from the serial mark would be welcome.

Kundo Mayer front.jpg Kundo Mayer rear plate.jpg Kundo Mayer serial number.jpg
 

Ingulphus

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The pink alabaster base is unusual to me; I usually see those on Kundos made for George Borgfeldt's 'Coronation' line, albeit with a slightly different design. All of the Mayer Kundos I've seen have a brass base. Either way, they are beautiful clocks, and were made in the early 1930's, when Kundo introduced the pendulum guide cup. Others here may be able to provide the actual year, based on the serial number.

Best regards,

Mark Powers
 

KurtinSA

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Where does Mayer come into this? There is something stamped into the back plate, but that doesn't show up in the repair guide that I could find.

I found an older post of Mark's which pictures of another clock with the pink base. John Hubby provides a date for a clock that is close to yours.

An interesting "transitional" Kundo

I have a Kundo with a serial number a little bit higher than yours...I've dated it to around 1936.

Kurt
 

etmb61

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I have a couple of these in my records with white stone (alabaster? marble?) bases.

Eric
 

John Hubby

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Torsiondoc, your clock has a bit of history. My first data entry for this same clock was in 1996 when I was studying the Terwilliger archives that at the time belonged to Bill Ellison, the then-owner of The Horolovar Company. The data source was a letter and photos sent to Charles Terwilliger in 1987 by a Mr. Randall. I have copies of these somewhere in my archives, will try to find them over the next few weeks. Terwilliger was founder of Horolovar and original author of The Horolovar 400-Day Clock Repair Guide. At the time, not only did the clock have a pink alabaster base but the columns and pendulum balls were laquered in a matching pink color, likely original. Unfortunately that finish has been polished away.

This clock was made near the end of 1936 based on the serial number.

The Mayer story is that Mayer, a large German jeweler and wholesaler, evidently contracted with Kundo in 1931 to make this design for them including having their name exclusively on the back plate. The design was trademarked as seen by the stamp "Ges. Gesch." (full spelling "Gesetzlich Geschutzt" which means legally protected). It turns out the trademark outlasted the deal, these clocks were made with the Mayer name only from late 1931 to late 1933. After that, Kundo evidently acquired the trademark and continued producing clocks with this design up to the end of 1939, some with no name or trademark and some with the typical "KO" or the Kieninger & Obergfell mark. All of these designs in my data have the "Ges. Gesch" stamp.

As an observation, I believe that Plate l467 has an error in that there is no serial number present. To date, I have yet to find any Mayer logo clock without a serial number, and all those made with no logo or Kundo logos prior to 1939 have a serial number.
 

torsiondoc

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Thanks for the replies. It is interesting that the clock has featured in correspondence sent to Charles Terwilliger back in 1987. I wonder if the clock was in England at that time? The clock in its current state is very presentable and all I have needed to do to get it running is put it in beat. It has been well looked after and looks to have been serviced in the recent past. It's a shame that the pink lacquer on the columns and pendulum 'balls' has been polished away but maybe the owner preferred it that way. I have always called these bases onyx rather than alabaster but no doubt a mineralogical expert can explain the difference to me and which one this base is likely to be. I would welcome any further details on the clock's history John, when you have time. Best wishes, Dave.
 

KurtinSA

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Is there evidence that the color has been polished away? One would think there might be remnants of the color or of polishing. Although unlikely, the pendulum could have been replaced. Just curious.

Kurt
 

torsiondoc

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I have gone over the pillars and pendulum very carefully and I can see no evidence of previous lacquer or colour. The finish on the pillars and pendulum weights are matt and they match very well. They do not look polished to me. John's description of the pillars and pendulum weights having matching pink lacquering when photos were sent in 1987 is very interesting and I wonder what has happened to the clock in the interim.
 

John Hubby

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It is quite possible that at some time in the past the lacquer had deteriorated to the point that the owner or a repair person put the parts in an ultrasonic cleaner with ammoniated cleaning solution, which would remove all evidence of previous finishes and even leave a matte finish if left in the ultrasonic long enough. I've done this on purpose a few times.
 

MUN CHOR-WENG

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The clock that I own has a 2-tier white alabaster base. I believe originally the dial, movement support columns and the pendulum cubes were painted gold. However over time the gold paint on the dial and support columns had been wiped off probably during cleaning. Traces of the gold paint can still be seen at the base of the support columns as well as on the dial and they match the colour of the gold paint still present on the cubes of the pendulum.
The back plate is not listed, it has serial number 62868 and no name or other markings. There is no pendulum cup at the base and the pendulum is of the earlier design with an inverted ball finial at the bottom.

Mun C W

IMG_3827.jpg
 
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John Hubby

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Mun, thanks for posting. I believe the back plate could be Plate 1615, however in the Repair Guide illustration the pallet inspection holes were omitted, another error that needs to be noted. I have yet to see any confirmed Kundo back plate without the pallet inspection holes. Could you post a photo of the back plate? That would help add to my documentation of Kundo plates.

Interestingly enough, back in 2004 I documented another almost identlcal clock to this one that belonged to you, serial number 62363. The backplate on that clock was Plate 1355 Kieninger & Obergfell Germany logo without the Ges. Gesch. stamp. Here are a couple of the photos you provided at the time:

62363 Front.jpg 62363 Mvmt Back.jpg It appears the two clocks have identical pendulums and bases, so that would rule out that either base was a custom replacement but actually original equipment. For info there were a number of Kundos made well after the introduction of the pendulum base cup in early 1933, that omitted the base cup and used this pendulum which is No. 47 in the repair guide but with the twist rod center extension replaced with the round ball found on pendulum No. 35.

Beautiful clocks all!!
 
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MUN CHOR-WENG

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John,

Your question brings me back to the time when I first acquired the clock around 2004. The dial was very dirty as can be seen from the picture below. Thinking that giving it a new coat of white paint would improve its appearance. With that done, the very white dial did not quite blend with the rest of the clock and I did not like it and I left it aside. I must have sent you pictures of the clock with the newly painted dial around that time.

Later I acquired a round face Kundo with a white alabaster base.The sun burst dial was just as dirty and I tried a different approach to improve the appearance of the dial by cleaning it with thinner after I had removed the chapter ring.

To my surprise the dial looked beautiful after cleaning and that led me to clean off the white paint on the dial of the Meyer/Kundo. I was most pleased with the result as can be seen in the picture below. The dial blends quite well with the rest of the clock.

I must apologise for two errors in my posting above. The serial number should be 62363 and not 62868. The clock has a listed back plate back plate. It was Plate 1355 Kieninger & Obergfell Germany logo without the Ges. Gesch. stamp as shown in the pictures I had sent to you in 2004.
During posting instead of looking at the actual back plate I was looking at my file picture of the back plate that did not capture the Kieninger & Obergfell Germany logo due to light reflection.

All in all it was a great learning experience in cleaning up the Kundo sun burst dial. While I may not have restored the original gold paint, the result was quite satisfying nevertheless.

Mun C W

IMG_3613.JPG 20160706_145818.jpg IMG_3787.JPG IMG_5557.JPG IMG_3267.JPG
 

John Hubby

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Mun, thanks very much for the update. So actually the clock first posted was in fact the same clock as we discussed 16 years ago!!! I've updated my database accordingly. It's always good to get new info on an old friend. You did a great job refinishing the dial the second time around.

Could you post a photo of the back plate of the round dial clock? Or provide the serial number do I can see if it's already in my database.
 

MUN CHOR-WENG

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John, As requested I post below pictures of the back plate of the round dial Kundo. The serial number 60361. The presence of the pendulum cup on the base would suggest the clock was made on or after 1933 as per your research data. However the serial number of the clock is 2002 units earlier than the Meyer / Kundo with the white alabaster base shown above that has no pendulum base cup.
Not sure if the maker at that time was marrying unused movement that were made earlier, with base and pendulum that were made later, much like the way Jager LeCoultre sometimes used the 30A Atmos II movement for the Atmos III calibre 519.

Mun C W

2020_02_03_Kundo.jpg IMG_3784.JPG
 
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John Hubby

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Mun, thanks very much for posting! I noticed in looking at the photos the serial number is actually 60361 and not 60631 as you had written, so I took the liberty of making a correction.

With regard to the pendulum base cup, the lowest serial number I have in my data for a clock with this feature is 54183 made about end April-early May 1933. Your clock was made about end Sept-early Oct. 1934 based on the serial number.

As far as the lack of a pendulum base cup for the later serial number clock we discussed above, it appears that for whatever reason Kundo continued to make some clocks without the base cup from 1933 to 1937. I have several documented of various case designs and as far as I could tell from photos, I don't think these were marriages as all of them had the correct pendulum with the clock.