Singing Bird Cage Clock

markiemark

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Nov 21, 2017
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I have this clock and have tried to research it without much luck. I know it could be new or old as there are many vintage-style new productions of them.

I'm trying to find out if this is a genuine old one.

It does work but I haven't heard the birds "sing" yet so I'm not sure it does that or needs fixing. I am yet to open it up - a bit worried I will not be able to put it back together!

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JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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Depends what you mean by 'old'. Those three screws on the bottom look pretty modern to me. And the 'patina' sprayed on the case looks very like the finish you get on Chinese repros. And the birds are rather strange looking and lack the elegance of the antique ones.

But I'll be happy (for you) to be proved wrong.

JTD
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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Yes, it does look like a modern one.

My interest in antiques grew watching Arthur Negus on the BBC tv programme going for a song, which had an antique one of these running through the intro and credits of the programme. I loved it.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I have this clock and have tried to research it without much luck. I know it could be new or old as there are many vintage-style new productions of them.

I'm trying to find out if this is a genuine old one.

It does work but I haven't heard the birds "sing" yet so I'm not sure it does that or needs fixing. I am yet to open it up - a bit worried I will not be able to put it back together!

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This type of novelty, both with and without the feature of telling time, have been made for centuries. Here's an 18th century example:
birdcage-clock-666x1024.jpg

There are relatively modern ones, e.g., by German companies like this one by Karl Griesbaum from the 1950's that are of decent quality:

s-l1600.jpg

So in this instance, define the "repop".

What strikes me immediately is the poor quality of the one you posted, especially the birds. So for me, it's not so much a function of the age or who made it, but the quality.

I've seen stuff like that available on-line and in gift shops.

RM
 

richiec

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A fellow club member has an old one and it is amazing the detail and lifelike look the bird has and the movement of the bird is phenominal.
 

JTD

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A fellow club member has an old one and it is amazing the detail and lifelike look the bird has and the movement of the bird is phenominal.
Yes, the old ones can have a very lovely tone when the birds sing and the birds look very fine too. But they command high prices. Even some of the more modern German ones, such as R Markowitz showed, are quite nice.

Sorry, markiemark, you have a Chinese repro.

JTD
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Yes, the old ones can have a very lovely tone when the birds sing and the birds look very fine too. But they command high prices. Even some of the more modern German ones, such as R Markowitz showed, are quite nice.

Sorry, markiemark, you have a Chinese repro.

JTD
Behold:


Compare the quality of this one to the OP's.

RM
 

JTD

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Beautiful - it is really delightful. But I was a bit confused because it looks like the one you posted as the Griesbaum model from 1950s but the video clip said it was an Antique French Bontems Automaton.

Either way, thanks for sharing, it really cheered me up.

JTD
 

novicetimekeeper

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Trying to find the one on going for a song I found this episode with a very young humph Humphrey Littleton. (No mention of I'm sorry I haven't a clue which came much later.)

 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Nov 26, 2009
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Beautiful - it is really delightful. But I was a bit confused because it looks like the one you posted as the Griesbaum model from 1950s but the video clip said it was an Antique French Bontems Automaton.

Either way, thanks for sharing, it really cheered me up.

JTD
Maybe. Just looked for a video & didn’t pay much attention otherwise.

RM
 

dpn

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Jul 12, 2020
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Rather than create a new thread, I'm posting in an older thread because there's a lot of great information in it.

I found this bird cage clock at my elderly mother's house. She has no memory of when or where she acquired it, and I'd appreciate any additional information.

To me, this specimen does look genuinely old -- the flat-head screws and brass bottom look vintage to me. The bird itself is decent, but it obviously doesn't match the level of detail, articulation, or beauty of French and German singing bird boxes I've seen before. As far as I can tell, the bird just rocks back and forth to indicate seconds. I haven't heard any singing, and I'm reluctant to open this thing up to see what else it's capable of. There are no makers marks on the bottom plate.

My guts says that this is a genuinely old bargain knock off of true singing bird automata masterpieces. I would greatly appreciate any additional information about this clock -- when it was made, what it was capable of, etc.

Thanks in advance,

Dan

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D.th.munroe

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Feb 15, 2018
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Hi Dan
I'm working on one similar to that. Although It's in pieces right now.
The one I'm working on was made in occupied Japan so 1945-51? and looks newer and less decorated than yours.
Unfortunately no music just a little 30 hr pin pallet and the bird is fixed on the end of the pallet arbor so he moves back and forth.
Dan

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