Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Clock

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Bill Edwards, Nov 16, 2015.

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  1. Bill Edwards

    Bill Edwards Registered User

    Nov 16, 2015
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    I have attached photos of a grandfather's clock, reputedly German, that was purchased by my great-grandfather as an antique in about 1920. The clock ran until my father moved to Florida from VA in 2014. He was not able to find a repair specialist prior to his untimely death a few months ago.

    Please help me to identify the manufacturer and any other salient details regarding the clock that may influence its valuation. How old is it, most likely (I've heard a wide range of dates from "experts")? Is this a 30 hour, 8 day, one/three/six/12 month rewind time clock? It has five tubes, which seems to be significant. How do I determine how many clock motions it has, and is that significant?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. wow

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Photos of the movement would help greatly.
     
  3. Bill Edwards

    Bill Edwards Registered User

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    I know essentially nothing about grandfather's clocks or clocks generally. I believe what you are requesting is that I open the clock face and take photos of the interior mechanisms. I have no idea how to do that without risking damage to the clock.
     
  4. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Hi, Bill, welcome to the message board. The trademark you show is for Hawina, and the company was owned by Hans Winterhalder. Trademark registered in 1919, which would indicate your great grandfather bought the clock new. It is an eight day clock with three trains, chime, strike and time. Don't know what you mean by clock motions?

    attachment.jpg
     
  5. Bill Edwards

    Bill Edwards Registered User

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    I took these photos by sticking my phone inside the clock from the bottom and blindly firing off shots. They show portions of the interior mechanisms. Helpful?

    I googled how to view the clock movement in a grandfather's clock, and found links to how-to videos showing the way to access the clock movements of a grandfather's clock. The videos show clocks that are entirely unlike my clock, and are useless. For example, one demonstrates how to open an English grandfather's clock, which apparently has a detachable hood. My clock is not built that way. So how can I get a clear view of the clock movement, if that is still necessary?

    Is there a better forum than this I should be asking these highly specialized questions? mech 1.jpg mech 2.jpg
     
  6. Bill Edwards

    Bill Edwards Registered User

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    #6 Bill Edwards, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2017
    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Harold, thanks! I had hoped the mark would be helpful. However, I believe your conclusion that the clock CANNOT date from earlier than 1919 is incorrect.

    In this respect, I found the following:

    "Winterhalder & Hofmeier were considered the finest clockmakers in the Victorian era. They were based in several towns in Germany's Black Forest region. The company was established in 1810 by Thomas Winterhalder in Friedenweiler, southern Germany, and was continued by his three sons Matthäus, Karl and Linus. They lived in an old house that Thomas bought from a monastery.​
    The family enterprise had actually begun a generation earlier as Thomas Winterhalder's father, Nicholaus Winterhalder (1710-1743), was also an established Black Forest clockmaker, based in the nearby city, Schwarzenbach. He made quality clocks with wooden gears and stone weights.

    Matthäus Winterhalder (1799-1863) took over the work rooms in 1830, and in 1850, when relative and clockmaker, Anton Hofmeier, joined the company, Winterhalder & Hofmeier was born. Towards the latter half of the eighteenth century, Winterhalder & Hofmeier produced various types of clocks that were of very high quality in their factories in Friedenweiler, Neustadt and Schwarzenbach. Note that the spelling of "Hofmeier" varies, also being listed as "Hoffmeier".​
    At the height of their success, satellite factories began to spring up, and by the mid and late 19th century they were producing clocks of premier quality. The entire family was involved in this industry. Hans Winterhalder founded a company called HAWINA Clock Company with 800 employees devoted purely to the exportation of Winterhalder clocks to England, Russia and America during the first decade of the 20th century. Their mark was "HWN". Hawina was eventually sold to the giant German clock firm of Junghans in 1925."

    http://www.clockguy.com/SiteRelated/SiteReferencePages/W&HHistory.html

    If the above is correct, it is clear the mark was used by Hawina before the trademark was registered. And it may be the mark that was registered was a mark already long in use by Winterhalder & Hoffmeier, the predecessor of Hawina, which was founded in 1810 (or is it 1850? The article contradicts itself). I'm not sure the degree to which intellectual property rights would have been protected by law or widely known circa 1810-/1850- in Germany. Based on what research I have done, I would be shocked if W&H didn't affix a mark to their clocks from the date of founding.

    So the next item of business is ascertaining what mark, if any, H&W placed on their clocks. But thank you for your very helpful guidance.

    EDIT: Since Hawina was acquired by Junghans, and Junghans continues in business, my next step should be a talk with someone at Junghans.​
     
  7. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    #7 harold bain, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Have a look at the back of the case for any numbers. Also get a small mirror and a good flashlight and see what might be stamped on the back of the movement.
    See this thread for more info on the HWN trademark:
    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?128385-Colonial-Mfg-1401-Grandfather-Clock

    also this thread:
    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?87902-Winterhalder-Miller-Colonial-Mfg-grandfather-clock

    Do a message board search for "Hawina" for lots more information.
     
  8. Bill Edwards

    Bill Edwards Registered User

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Hi Harold,

    Again, I am EXTREMELY grateful for your help. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will endeavor to do as you asked. When you refer to the "movement", what exactly do you mean? Please link a photo of what I'm looking for.

    I looked at the thread you recommended, but there are some problems with the conclusions drawn by the posters in it.

    First, there is inconsistency regarding the date of registration of the mark. Was it 1919 as stated here, or 1925 as stated there? And registration where? Germany? The United States? Both?

    Second, it does not follow that since the mark was not registered until 19xx, it must not have been used prior to that time. I may know nothing about clocks, but I am an attorney proficient in IPR law practice. Registration of a trademark in the United States is not necessary for the mark to nonetheless be protected under trademark law. And anyway, it simply doesn't follow that the mark could not have been used prior to its registration. Is it your position that German clock makers historically never affixed their personal mark on their clocks unless they had first registered a trademark in their home jurisdiction? The tradition is very, very old and predates the practice of trademark registry.

    Third, the article I linked above states that Hawina started using the mark on clocks imported into the US in the ***first decade*** of the twentieth century. That decade precedes the date of TM registration you mentioned. Is the article wrong?

    Fourth, the HWN mark seems clearly connected to Winterhalder & Hofmeier, the original company from which HAWINA descended. Note the "H" and "W" n the names of the founders.

    Fifth, my great-grandfather was not a liar and should have been able to distinguish a newly-made clock from an antique. He did not pass away until my 12th birthday, he lived with my family, and his mind was sharp as a razor until his death. My family traces its roots back through our family Bible to the late 17th Century when the first Edwards emigrated from England. Each generation until mine is set forth in that Bible. And many valuable antiques have been passed down from generation to generation, including a circa 1750 Dutch Cupboard in almost perfect condition, and an even older Highboy. My paternal great grandfather and grandfather, and father, were, unlike me, all knowledgeable about antiques. The point is that it is not impossible that my great grandfather was misled, but unlikely.
     
  9. Bill Edwards

    Bill Edwards Registered User

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    #9 Bill Edwards, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Dear Harold,

    You are an angel. Looking at the back of the clock answers the question. It's not a product of Hawina, but seemingly the older company. I think my suppositions have been proved correct. mark.jpg
     
  10. harold bain

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    According to information I have, Hans Winterhalder was born in 1894, and he founded the German firm Hausuhrenfabrik Winterhalder KG in 1919, then in 1925 he founded H. Winterhalder AG Neustadt (Hawina). In 1927 he came to Zeeland, Michigan and formed a co-partnership with Herman Miller assembling clock movements from parts made in Germany.
    This is from Spittlers' and Bailey's Clockmakers and Watchmakers of America. So I would still say the clock was new when purchased.
     
  11. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    #11 Tinker Dwight, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Hi
    Your clock was not made by Winterhalder & Hofmeier. It was made by Hans Winterhalder
    and not before 1919, as Harold says. HWN and Hawina are the same company,
    just two different trade marks used during different time frames.
    Hans was related to the Winterhalders of W&H ( forget, a son or such ).
    Both companies existed for some time.
    Even so, it wasn't until around 1895 someplace that the first tube chime
    clocks were made ( and not by W&H until later ).
    Hausuhrenfabrik is a typical German concatenation of his name, the town it was in and fabrik for
    manufacture in English.
    He started his own company in 1919 as Harold has stated. He made clocks
    that were sold under his company name, such as the one you have but mostly made
    movement for the American case maker Colonial Mfg Co in Zeeland Michigan.
    These He sold through Miller Clock Company of Germany.
    The fact that it is one of the cases made by his company would indicate that it was
    in the earlier time before 1922 or so when he used his manufacturing to supply
    Colonial.
    He went out of business in the early 1930s for a number of reasons, many related
    to the Nazi that persecuted Jewish people.
    I know you wish to dispute the date but trust us, the company wasn't producing
    clocks or movements before 1919. The trade mark WHN was not used before that
    date.
    We are not calling your relatives a liar, it is more likely that the story has
    lost some in the telling from generation to generation.
    Since tube chime clocks had not been invented until about 15 years
    before 1920, it was not then an antique.
    You can live with it or do as you wish. But if you pass it on to your children
    as such, knowing what we have told you, you will be treating them poorly.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  12. eskmill

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Just to augment Tinker's final paragraph......"the company wasn't producing clocks or movements before 1919. The trade mark WHN was not used before that
    date."

    Prior to WWI, the family Winterhalder and Hofmaier, produced excellent clock movements and finished clocks. Most movements were made in the manner and care appreciated by the English; W&H even had a retail outlet in London for some time. The movements were trademarked simply W&H Sch (Schwarzenbach) although later on the movements were produced in several nearby locations and it is likely that some clock parts were sub-contracted in that area.

    The HwN and Hawina products were made after WWI.


     
  13. John Hubby

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Bill, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board and thanks for posting your inquiry and the photos of your clock. You have an interesting clock that appears to be not quite as old as has been passed on to you, however it isn't at all uncommon to find that situation when three or more generations have passed since it was first acquired by the family. I have spent much of my time for the past 20 years doing historical and dating research of a number of makers and find this to be one of the several challenges one has to manage when examining a particular clock.

    I support what Harold and Tinker have provided regarding the maker of your clock and when it was made, and that both the dial and the movement bearing the HWN trademark clearly show they were made by Hans Winterhalder (HWN) and not Winterhalder & Hoffmeier (W&H). In particular you should refer to the quoted commentary by Doug Stevenson that is in Harold's first link. Doug was one of the most pre-eminent researchers of German clockmaking history; unfortunately he passed away in 2012 else he would be posting in this thread to reiterate what he posted in those earlier threads.

    The most reliable published source for German clock and watchmaking information and history, and in particular for Hans Winterhalder is Hans-Heirich Schmid's "Lexikon der Deutsche Uhrenindustrie 1850-1980, Volume 2 pg. 446. The Lexicon is the "bible" of German clockmaker information and history, first published in 2005 and updated in 2012. The Lexikon states that Hans Winterhalder separated from his family connections and founded Hausuhrenfabrik Winterhalder K-G Neustadt i. Schwarzwald (HWN) on June 1, 1919. He applied for registration of the HWN trademark on August 18 and it was granted September 26 that year. This is sourced from corporate records, town records, contemporary trade publications, published trademark notices, and other sources. His first clocks were manufactured that year, and he continued business under that name until December 7, 1925 when he applied for registration of the "Hawina" name Aktiengesellschaft H. Winterhalder A G Neustadt (Hawina). That was registered August 30, 1926 but was likely used from the time of application in December 1925.

    Thus, clocks made by Hans Winterhalder from 2nd half 1919 through nearly all of 1925 bear the trademark HWN, and from 1926 until 1929 when the company was liquidated they were made using the trademark "Hawina". In one of the linked threads that Harold posted, there is a reference to catalog photos of clocks made by the Colonial Clock Co, that used movements supplied by Hans Winterhalder. It may be possible that other dated catalogs exist that illustrate your actual clock; some users reading this could possibly help find such references.

    As mentioned above, although Hans Winterhalder was related to the Winterhalder family that were partners in the firm Winterhalder & Hoffmeier (his father was Johannes Winterhalder), there was no commercial connection whatever between the two companies. Some might say that the first HWN movements could have been made by W&H and just re-badged as sometimes does happen, however the movement designs are substantially different and there is no evidence of any cooperation between the two companies.

    I realize the above may be difficult to reconcile with the information you received from your family. However, there is ample evidence that your clock could not have been made before mid-1919 nor later than December 1925 and is uniquely by Hans Winterhalder. It is a beautiful clock and I'm sure will remain in your family for a few more generations at least.
     
  14. Tinker Dwight

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    It was also stated that the clocks HWN made were not of good quality.
    I thought I'd add to that. This was in comparison to W&H clock that each
    wheel was hand fitted to each clock. Hans used more modern technics, that
    meant that the parts were all made to fit and parts were interchangeable.
    Hans also tried to make a two weight chime clock ( along with Herschede in
    the US ) that was not very good ( neither clocks were ). This hurt his reputation.
    Still, the number of HWN clocks that are still running today compared to
    many other clocks of this period could be an indication that the clocks
    he made were well made. It would be incorrect to say that his clock were
    of poorer quality.
    You stated that Junghans owned the company in 1925. In fact, they because
    the major stock holder. Hans still ran the company until it was taken over,
    by the stockholders, around 1929-1930 someplace.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  15. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Bill, if we go with the standard definition of an antique being at least 100 years old, your clock won't hit that milestone for another 5 years or so. We often find on the message board that family history of clocks is not the same as reality dictates. Memories become foggy over the years, and before the internet there were very few good ways to research items like this.
    Of course not everything on the internet is correct or accurate, but our information has come from many horological historians who are well respected in their fields.
     
  16. MikeBY

    MikeBY Registered User

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    Re: Please help identify the manufacturer, etc. of this German (?) Grandfather's Cloc

    Hi Bill,
    First off, I'd like to say that that's a very nice looking clock. The forums here will not place valuations on clocks. In some cases, we might indicate what we paid for a clock when found in an estate sale or other circumstances, but that is very different than doing a valuation. Whether it's hit official "antique" status or not yet isn't likely to affect it's value very much. It appears that it was very well cared for and the case looks like it's in really fine shape. I'm sure that having the clock mechanism evaluated to determine what will be needed to bring it back into running condition will be a necessary next step since you indicate you are interested in valuation. In my limited experience, whether the clock will run or not can dramatically impact it's value, in part due to the fact that a non-working clock has a much more limited market and affects it's sale-ability. If the clock simply runs unevenly and stops, be sure that it's plumb. If it's leaning, it will tick/tock unevenly, it can be enough to prevent the clock running. In any case, it sounds like the clock hasn't been serviced in a long time, so even if you plan on keeping and running the clock, I'd suggest it be looked at by a qualified repairman.

    The members that have responded to your request have spent many years and have extensive expertise identifying clocks. They also have access to an extensive library of historical documentation from other experts. Their interest in providing information is for the love of historical research and promoting interest in horology and is without compensation. Together, the brain trust of the membership here is unlikely to be matched anywhere else by anyone else. I can tell you too, that if they don't know, or are not sure, they surely qualify their response and probably elicit additional assistance to get an answer for you.

    I am new to this field as a hobby, and looking to it as a second career as I gain skill. The knowledge here on the message boards is an invaluable asset.

    I hope that you will accept that sometimes there are surprises, and that regardless the information you get here, it does not diminish the family heirloom value in any way. Enjoy the clock and knowledge about it.

    Michael
     

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