Not sure what I have here

BCR

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IMG_2946.JPG IMG_2947.JPG IMG_2948.JPG IMG_2949.JPG IMG_2950.JPG I just stumbled upon this clock last spring. Just now getting the time and space in my workshop to begin working on it. It is a cuckoo quail clock. 3 train works with brass gears and wood plates. 3, 1260 gram weights. One of the weights is marked 1260 ET. I have no idea what the ET stands for. The case is in remarkable condition with no cracks. 20" from roof top to bottom of finials. IMG_2943.JPG IMG_2944.JPG IMG_2925.JPG IMG_2926.JPG IMG_2927.JPG IMG_2928.JPG IMG_2929.JPG The dial is also very nice and the numerals are pinned to the wooden dial. The pendulum may be a newer replacement, but the type of wood, color, and carving of the leaf match the case details exactly. It is missing one bird but I have an old suitable replacement, and the other bird is broken...the top of the head and beak came loose, but the person who sold this to me had all of the loose parts saved neatly in a baggie. The bellows do function, but I plan on re-covering them because the existing material looks pretty old. As far as the movement, It was filthy, and I used mild compressed air at first to get the dust and cobwebs removed. Then I used alcohol and q-tips and toothpicks to do my best at cleaning the pivot holes. I oiled the clock with #10 Nano-oil, and it seems to operate with just hand pressure. Now, normally, I am very thorough and most always do a disassembly and thorough cleaning of all movement parts, but, for the life of me, I cannot see a clever way to take this 3 train movement apart. Anyone with any experience with such a clock have any input on this? I appreciate your suggestions. Also, any idea of maker or age, and approximate value when back together and fully operational? Thank you. IMG_2945.JPG
 
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Dave T

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Nice clock. All I can do is admire it, but there are those here who are knowledgeable who can help.
I think this is a Beha.
 

gleber

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To disassemble, there are pins at the top of each vertical section. You can see them in the photo of the back. The pins have loops and can been seen at the top of each vertical section below the top plate. Pull each pin down to remove them. Once the pins are removed you can tilt the top of the vertical section towards the back and then lift it out from the bottom plate. These can be tricky to get out with all the levers, but once you start, you should be able to figure out what to pull in what order and what levers need to be moved, etc.

I'm sure others might have some additional tips.

Beautiful clock! Good luck with it.

Tom
 

BCR

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Thank you for pointing out the obvious. Yes, the pins are there,of course I saw them upon studying the movement over these past 7 or 8 months...but the double plated clock trains are also
OBVIOUSLY ?Dovetailed? into the lower horizontal piece of wood. Which means, that the top horizontal piece of wood would need to be lifted in order to make room for tilting the 3 trains....or am I totally missing something here:???:? I see no way, other than the force of a mallet, to open up the space between the top horizontal plate and bottom horizontal plate...sorry if my Black Forest terminology is not accurate....to separate the "plates" enough to make room to "tilt" the 3 trains enough to remove them. I mean, My god, why would anyone design something so difficult to service:???:?!!! OK...All of you BFC enthusiasts...don't get upset with me...I am here begging for help. I am a clock lover. I always do an extremely thorough repair restoration on all of my clocks. AND, if I am unable to do so, I'd rather offer the item for sale at my cost to someone who can do the work....that being said, I love this old clock. I think it must need a piece for the roof top, and would be happy to discuss having the PROPER piece made. Sorry, but I am frustrated and it just seems to me that it will require force and possible damage in order to get this old clock apart. I'd rather just do my best and leave it unharmed. Were these actually meant to be worked on?? Bottom line...I WAS NOT actively looking for an old BFC clock...I stopped to look at an old sports car, and the old fellow and I chatted for a while, and the clock thing came up, and he said "wait a minute" and then carted out a box with this old basket case clock with weights and everything and offered it to me for $30!!! OF COURSE, I said yes. I explained that it MUST be worth much more, but he was just happy to pass it on to someone who "MAY" be able to do justice to it...Will I be able:???: Only with some help.
 
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tracerjack

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I admit up front I have had very little to do with cuckoo clocks, but was thinking perhaps it wasn't designed that way, and someone has put glue where there shouldn't be any. As for the dovetails, I see tenons in the photos of the horizonal boards, but not dovetails - unless I'm not looking in the right place. (Sometimes I need those red circles or arrows to know what people are talking about. Took me awhile to find the pins Tom was pointing out. Certainly weren't obvious to me.) Perhaps, the tenons are simply friction fit, if someone hasn't glued them, but will need a lot of gentle coaxing to come free. Or, I could be completely wrong, but it's a thought.
 
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gleber

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I have worked on several Black Forest clocks (but not a 3 train, yet). In each case, I pulled the pins and tilted the top of the vertical piece towards the back. The piece came out with a little (but not too much) coaxing. I agree with you that it looks like it will bind without being opened up or sloped sides in the bottom hole (or something), but I have not found that to be the case (no pun intended).

Maybe someone else knows a trick, but in lieu of that, I suggest you simply try with gentle enough force not to damage anything. If it doesn't budge, then come back here and ask for additional input.

As for why it was designed that way, I don't know - maybe they didn't plan on disassembly. I don't know whether they put the top in first or the verticals, but if the latter, why would they need the channels in the underside of the top and the pins?

If you can't get it and want to pass it on, I'd gladly give you $31 for it. :D Wow, I can't believe that price. Lucky you! And it's good to know the person selling it doesn't feel cheated.

Tom
 

BCR

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Thank you for the suggestions. Yes tracerjack is correct, the verticals are not dovetailed, seems like they just fit very tightly into the rectangular cut-outs in the bottom horizontal plate. They do not appear to be glued in. It's probably a very elegant and simple design and will likely easily come apart. Of course it is impossible to say, but this old movement does not appear to ever have been opened up. No pry marks anywhere. No scratch marks on the 3 vertical back plates where the little wire "eyes" were ever removed. I think the old clock has been carefully stored away for years in a good environment which explains the wonderful condition of the wood case. It looks like it was run until it quit working one day, and then someone carefully boxed it up and placed it in a safe place and then I'm the very lucky guy who just happened upon it. Very fortunate indeed. More work coming in to the shop again, so this will be a back burner "as time permits" project. One other thing and I probably really need to be talking to Black Forest Clock Experts about this, but I wonder if it is missing a decorative top piece for the front of the roof line. I have reached out to Black Forest Clock Collectors because that website seems to have lots of resource books etc on these old beauties. Waiting to see what they come up with. Thanks to all for your input and help.
 

tracerjack

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From the beautiful craftsmanship of the case, I would expect the fit of the tenons to be very precise. But, I would have thought that the wood would have shrunk slightly by now and loosened them, so it must have been stored very carefully as you suggest. I also think you are right that the top piece is missing. Looking on the internet, I saw some Behas with a top piece and some without, but those without seem lacking. And I can't see carving all that beautiful side work and then leaving the top plain. Doesn't make sense. With as many box clocks as I have missing the crown, that seems to be the piece that wanders off the most.
 

gleber

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Are there any indications how a top piece might have been mounted - holes or pins, discolored sections of wood, etc.? If not, do the top pieces look original?

Tom
 
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Vernon

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I agree with Tom. I have never work on one of these but it reminds me of a morbier and a jewelers pinwheel that I did work on. Pull the pin and tip the plate gently and slow. Some arbors will release from the front plate and some from the back.
 

tom427cid

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I would certainly be interested if you decide not to pursue the repairs. Or perhaps we could work out some sort of trade that involved a cuckoo of similar design.
Additionally there seems to be some missing carved elements as well as a topper. Early cuckoo restore 004.JPG Would look similar to this.
Cheers.
tom
 

BCR

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Are there any indications how a top piece might have been mounted - holes or pins, discolored sections of wood, etc.? If not, do the top pieces look original?

Tom, that is an excellent question, and one that I did give a lot of thought and attention to over the course of studying this old clock. I wondered exactly the same things. There are no holes or markings indicating that a top piece was ever attached to the roof pieces. So I also wondered, "Are these roof pieces newer replacements?" Well, the wood, color, finish, Everything matches the other case parts. But the biggest clue of all, is that on the INSIDE, the age, coloring, fitment, just everything...appears to be original. IF someone has replaced any of the original case parts, they have done a masterful job, to say the least. How, though, can we ever be certain when dealing with any very old clock or other antique? Personally, I'd love to see a beautifully carved topper on this clock, but I will leave it as is unless I get pictures or information showing this clock (in a book, drawing, etc) with a topper on it. Now, I realize that this is what it is. A beautiful old Black Forest clock with the double birds. There is no music or automaton, so to a very serious BFC collector, this is likely just a so-so clock. At any rate, I want to preserve it and of course put it back in working order and also make a proper replacement quail. That will be a fun challenge in and of itself.
After further studying the clock assembly, I can now see, thanks to everyone's input, that the front plate is one piece, and the 3 back vertical plates will simply tilt back once the little metal eyelets are removed. I need to set it up and run it and study it before ever attempting to disassemble the movement. It is clean enough to test-run. I'll get to that soon and go from there.
 
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