My first Vienna, a few questions

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Peter Planapo, Dec 4, 2019.

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  1. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

    Mar 23, 2019
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    Hi all,

    I found this last Sunday at my local flea market. The case had been spattered with white emulsion paint and looked like some kind of workshop cupboard, and after some friendly bargaining I got it with a few pieces of Japanese Imari ware included, all for a two-figure price. I do love flea markets! Actually it was a car boot sale, but I think only Brits know what they are, so "flea market".

    All several hundred paint spots were removed with softwood scrapers, fingernails and great care. The crutch was bent (now straightened) and the susp spring broken (replaced). The lower centre half-finial is missing, it's something I'll have to find or make or live without, the top finial is cracked and has been badly repaired by some idiot... how difficult can it be to align two bits of wood? But it's fixable.

    The clock has been running 24 hours now, so I don't think there'll be any unpleasant surprises.

    Anyway no regrets, I'm pleased to be the new owner/caretaker.

    I know little about Viennas (but am trying to learn). On this one, at least, the quality of clockmaking is, to my eyes, up there with the French makers Japy, Marti etc.

    The seconds chapter ring has 80 divisions, and the escapement has 40 teeth, so the second hand does rotate once in a minute, not once in 45 seconds like some.

    First question: I read that the 45-sec minute was a German idiosyncrasy with 80 beats and 30-tooth wheels, so could this be Austrian, not German?

    As for the date, to my uneducated eye it seems to have style elements of late Biedermeier, such as relative simplicity, light fruitwood or walnut, ebonising, and book-matched veneer on the back and pediment. But there are also later elements, e.g. metal mount, ornate hands, zinc-backed pendulum bob.

    Second question: would I be reasonably close guessing the date at 1860-75 (transitional period)?

    The movement is very beautifully made, yet no clockmaker has signed it.

    So third question, any ideas as to maker, or were there simply too many to choose from? And why create such a lovely thing anonymously? I imagine, from what I've read here, that it was mass produced (like Rolls-Royces are mass produced).

    It's my first Vienna but somehow I don't think it's my last.

    Thanks!

    Peter

    20191202_142947 (Large).jpg 20191202_143016 (Large).jpg 20191202_153109 (Large).jpg 20191202_153329 (Large).jpg 20191204_165158a.jpg 20191204_193853a.jpg 20191204_192122a.jpg 20191204_191951a.jpg
     
  2. Tatyana

    Tatyana Registered User

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    #2 Tatyana, Dec 4, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    Hi Peter!
    Nice clock, congratulations with acquisition!

    It is a "Genossensch. Germania" from Freiburg (Germany) circa 1890.
    Here are two examples with 80 divisions.

    120_736.jpg 120_736_.jpg 129_062.jpg 129_062_.jpg

    Here is the movement labeled Germania

    174_062.jpg

    BR, Tatyana
     
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  3. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

    Mar 23, 2019
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    Wow, Tatyana! This is amazing, thank you! You've got the absolutely identical clock to mine, with the only differences I can see being serial number (yours 174xxx, mine 158xxx) and the maker's markings on your backplate. (And yours has the bottom finial, which I can now copy...)

    Now knowing the maker I did some quick reading. There's lots of info in the Board. One thing I found interesting was that Germania were known for elegant and simple case design, which could explain why I thought it was an earlier manufacture. I read that Germania started production in 1871, and produced an average of 9286 clocks per year for the next 10 or so years... thus my serial number points to a production date of 1888, if production numbers stayed the same. Your 1890 agrees perfectly!

    There was apparently a period when, after complaints by Gustav Becker that their trademark was too similar to Becker's, the movements weren't marked at all. But this seems to have been around serial 40xxx or so, long time before mine.

    Tell me, is the gong on yours rather quiet? I've adjusted mine, but can't get much volume out of it.

    Peter
     
  4. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

    Mar 23, 2019
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    Hi Tatyana,

    I was going to take a pattern from the bottom finial of your Germania clock, but your 2 clock photos have gone. Is there any chance you could put them up again, so I can take a copy?

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  5. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Are you sure? I can still see them.

    JTD
     
  6. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

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    Nope, gone, there are still 2 pics of Germania clocks but I meant the other 2 pics of a clock exactly the same as mine, detail for detail. They were to the right of the Germania movement pic, below Tatyana's subheading "Here is the movement labeled Germania".

    Peter
     
  7. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    There has been a lot posted about Germania clocks here over the years. Try the search function with that name, you will get many hits. Here is a maker specific thread that is well worth looking at to get you started; CLICK HERE
     
  8. Tatyana

    Tatyana Registered User

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    Hello Peter!

    I don't know how a gong should sound, I don't own a clock Germania.

    Here is a photo case of similar clock:


    1.jpg 128_325_.jpg 128_325_К.jpg

    BR, Tatyana
     
  9. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Mine is very quiet.
    Ron
     
  10. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

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    Plenty of interesting reading, you're right. Not quite sure why my movement is unmarked (the serial no is a long time after the trademark dispute with Gus Becker) but after Tatyana's pics there's no doubt who made it.

    Thanks Tatyana, those were the missing pics. Now I have a pattern for the missing bottom finial. And thinking about it, it doesn't seem too strange to find two identical clocks, after all this case pattern was probably made in the hundreds if not thousands.

    Thanks for the input Ron, it may be worth starting a thread about the acoustics of Vienna gongs or gongs in general. And BTW what a lovely personal website you've produced, and what a collection! Lots of fun to be had there.

    Peter
     
  11. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    I got at 80 divisions.
     
  12. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    I got at 80 divisions.
     
  13. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    That say lost.
     
  14. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    Yikes, I got lost at 80 divisions. Phew.
     
  15. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    Bloody mobile phone, never again.
     
  16. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    I got at 80 divisions.
     
  17. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    We believe you. :D
     
  18. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    We believe you. :D

    Uhralt
     
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  19. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Weird. The message board does it to me too. And this is from a computer.

    Uhralt
     
  20. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    Is there an echo in here?
     
  21. Tatyana

    Tatyana Registered User

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    Hi!

    I've met 80 divisions on the clocks Gustav Becker and Germania.

    I have several unmarked movements in my database. It is also a factory from Freiburg.
    This clock has very distinctive hands. Can have anyone there is such movement?
    My guess is Kappel.

    7_047_.jpg 7_047.jpg
    12_599_.jpg 12_599.jpg
    15_673_.jpg 15_673.jpg
    22_223_.jpg 22_223.jpg

    BR, Tatyana
     
  22. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    It is of some comfort it is isn't just me. Apologies for the errant posts.
     

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