Review: Heinrich Engelmann; Schwarzwalduhren: Sammeln, Restaurieren, Bewahren


Registered User
Dec 4, 2004
Schwarzwald USA
A Beautiful Book, Documenting a Magnificent Collection of Black Forest Clocks

Schwarzwalduhren: Sammeln, Restaurieren, Bewahren. (Black Forest Clocks: Collect, Restore, Preserve) By Heinrich Engelmann. Published by the Author in 2012. 350 pages, 12 x 8.5 inches, hardbound, printed glossy cover, 617 color photographs, glossary of terms, bibliography. The book is available directly from the author ([email protected]) for 65 Euros plus shipping. An optional DVD, which compliments the book, is available for an additional 10 Euros.

This beautiful book on Black Forest clocks was recently released at the 2012 Furtwangen Clock Fair. Although the book is in German, the extensive use of large color photos throughout, with minimal text, makes an understanding of the German language unnecessary to enjoy this book. The sheer volume of rare Black Forest clocks shown is impressive. Impressive becomes astounding, with the knowledge that every clock in the book is in the author’s private collection. Nearly all the clocks shown have never been published previously.

The book is divided into 10 chapters.

The first is titled Holzräderuhren, or clocks with wooden-wheels. This chapter showcases large photographs of ten different examples of wooden-wheel clocks, covering each of the different escapements used during this era. The second chapter of the book is titled Lackschilduhren, which covers the so-called “lacquered shield” clocks. Through pictures the wide variety of shield designs produced becomes apparent. This chapter also shows a variety of the more “standard” movements used with the lackschilduhren, and the more unusual variations including quarter-striking/repeating complications. Chapter three is titled Automatenuhren und Figurenuhren, covering a wide variety of clocks with automata. Chapter four focuses on the cuckoo clock. A wide variety of cuckoo clocks are shown from the early “paper shield” cuckoos to examples made by the clockmaking firms of Johann Baptist Beha and Theodor Ketterer. Chapter five covers the small Black Forest clocks such as the Jockele, Sorg, and miniature clocks. Extensive examples of each type are shown in detail. Chapter six is titled Biedermeieruhren, and covers a wide variety of Black Forest clocks in the so-called Biedermeier styled cases. Chapter seven is titled “Black Forest Clocks for the Upper Class”, and it focuses primarily on the large factory made clocks produced by firms such as Winterhalder & Hofmeier, and the Lenzkirch Clock Factory. Chapter eight is titled Black Forest Musical Clocks. The volume and variety of early musical Black Forest clocks shown in this section is extensive. It is the reviewer’s opinion, that the author’s collection of musical Black Forest clocks must be one of the most comprehensive, if not THE most comprehensive, both public and private. Although the other chapters of the book are well done, and provide value, this chapter alone would make this book an important addition to any horological library. There are 53 different musical clocks showcased in detail, each one is an absolute museum quality piece. Chapter nine focuses of the authors collection of tools used by the Black Forest clockmakers during the 18[SUP]th[/SUP] and 19[SUP]th[/SUP] centuries. The last chapter focuses on the restoration and conservation of Black Forest clocks a subject the author is obviously both passionate about and skilled at. The book ends with a Bibiliography and a three-page glossary of the most common terms used throughout the book.

As mentioned above the book can also be ordered with a DVD for an extra 10 Euros. The DVD is over an hour in length, and gives an unnarrated overview of selected clocks in the author’s collection. The most time is spent on the musical clocks in the author’s collection, where many examples can be seen and heard producing music on flutes, bells, strings, and trumpets. The reviewer recommends ordering the DVD with the book, as it really allows for a full appreciation of the musical and automata clocks in the collection.

In short, Heinrich Englelmann has produced a beautiful book, documenting his magnificent collection of Black Forest clocks. This book will not just be an interest to those interested in horology, but also those with an interest in automata, and mechanical music. I have been told that the book was printed in very low numbers, so those who are interested should place their order sooner then later. This is definitely a book that will sell out and the prices will undoubtedly be more expensive on the antiquarian book trade.

Justin J. Miller


  • Heinrich 2.jpg
    Heinrich 2.jpg
    102.8 KB · Views: 189
  • Heinrich1.jpg
    101.7 KB · Views: 183

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
Sep 23, 2001
Bookreview (As published in the December Issue of Antiquarian Horology, the Journal of the YK based Antiquarian Horological Society , Vol.33, no.6, p.812/813)

An encylopedic collection of Black Forest clockmaking history documented in images.

Schwarzwalduhren: Sammeln, Restaurieren, Bewahren. (Black Forest Clocks: Collecting, Restoring, Preserving), by Heinrich Engelmann. Published by the Author in 2012. No ISBN number. 350 pages, 30 x 21 cm, hardbound. 617 color photographs, glossary, bibliography. The book is available directly from the author ([email protected]) for 65 Euros plus shipping. An optional DVD, which expands on the documentation in the book, is available for an additional 10 Euros.

In adition to the books on highgrade Black Forest clocks by Wihelm Schneider and Justin Miller, recently reviewed here a third major publication on the same subject was released at the Furtwangen Clockfair 2012, the most important continental event for seekers of anitique clocks. The author, Heinrich Engelmann, has collected Black Forest for 30 years, and has decided to share a thorough documentation of his collection with the public. Unlike the other recent books on the subject, this title contains very little narrative. But this private collection is so encyclopedic, that the 279 clocks (583 images) shown in the first eight chapters provide a complete history of black forest clockmaking up to the start of mass manufacturing:
1 . Wooden geared clocks, i.e. very early clocks, 11 clocks, 14 pages,
2. Shield clocks (Lackschilduhren), 32 clocks, 30 pages,
3. Automaton clocks, i.e. clocks including animated scenes or jackmars, 11 clocks, 16pages,
4. Kuckcoo clocks, including a 31 page subchapter on Beha clocks, 59 clocks, 64 pages,
5. Minature clocks, including Sorg, Jockele and Porcelain clocks, 65 clocks, 50 pages
6. Biedermeier style clocks, 47 clocks, 30 pages;
7. Luxury clocks, i.e. Lenzkirch and Winterhalder, 15 clocks, 24 pages
8. Musical clocks, including glockenspiel-, organ-, an trumpeter-clocks, 44 clocks, 76 pages

Each of these chapters starts with a full page title image and a one page introductory text, followed by entries describing specific clocks. The individual entries typically run from „one image/dimensions/one sentence caption“ up to „three pages/a handful of images/a couple of pargraphs of text“.

Chapter 9 (8 pages, 16 images) documents historic Black Forest clockmaker tools, and chapter 10 (20 pages, 18 images) adresses tea dozenissues about restoring and repairing Black Forest clocks. The optional DVD (10 Euros extra) contains a 63 minute video, that adds motion and sound to the printed catalog of Engelmanns collection, which in the opinion of this reviewer is critical to fully appreciating especially the automaton and musical clocks.

Given the structure of this book and the dominance of images over text, this is a German language book which can be fully enjoyed and apreciated even by people with absolutely no knowledge of German. This book is a most usefull and important addition to the published history of the the Black Forest clock. It is apparent that the author knows and understands this history, but has chosen to focus on presenting a fresh and new visual history of Black Forest clockmaking based on his personal collection, rather than just reshuffeling old facts and images from other sources.

Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ, October 2012
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!

NAWCC Forums

Find member

Forum statistics

Latest member
Encyclopedia Pages
Total wiki contributions
Last edit
Waltham's Canadian Railway Movements by Kent
Top Bottom