when buying a cuckoo clock, what do you look for

senorh

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I am interested in buying a nice quality cuckoo clock. I particularly like the darker glossy finish on the body instead of the flat brown I see on most cases. I prefer live animals instead of dead ones. I really don't care if it has music or is an 8 day? Is there anything I should be looking for

thanks

David
 

Richard T.

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It depends on whether you are looking for a new clock or an antique clock and how much you want to spend.
 

shutterbug

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For a unique antique, consider a table top model.
 

senorh

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I have never seen a table top cuckoo clock, I will have to keep my eyes open
 

soaringjoy

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As in any clock, it's the movement that makes the difference.
You might want to look for lyre shaped plates -these movements are generally
better made than later types.
 

Willie X

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I particularly like the darker glossy finish on the body instead of the flat brown I see on most cases. I prefer live animals instead of dead ones. Is there anything I should be looking for
I never look for them, they seem to come out of the woodwork looking for me. :excited:

You are looking for a modern (less than 15 years old) politically correct cuckoo clock. Pawn shops, thrift shops, yard sales are the best places to look. These clocks can be bought for a few bucks. They may, or may not, need to be repaired but be wary that repairs on cuckoo clocks can easily exceed there value. Cuckoo clocks are generally made very cheaply and are more complex than a common striking clock. A bad music box alone can be a show stopper.

Good luck, Willie X
 

senorh

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I guess I am looking for post war cuckoo clocks, with a dark glossy finish, I just received one as a gift and tinkered with it until i got it working. Most of the ones I have seen are flat brown, Did they make glossy in the 40-60's period?
 

Willie X

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Not many.

If you like "glossy" a $3 spray can of clear polyurethane will give you glossy ...

Willie X
 

Scottie-TX

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Basically I would avoid cuckoos made in Asia. Otherwise any one made in Germany will please. Popular names readily visible on movement are, Regula, Hubert Herr, and Schatz. Those seem to be the most common.
 

senorh

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I know the clocks are cheap but wouldn't spray painting it decrease the value to nothing? I would only purchase a German one,
 

Scottie-TX

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Clearcoating a cuckoo would probably not reduce it's value substantially if it were not a real old one. Alas the plain, flat brown ones wouldn't look much better even with a gloss and the colorful ones you like ususally do have a gloss.
 

Willie X

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Probably more than 99 out of 100 cuckoo clocks are from Germany.

If you find one you like and it is not shinny. Make it so. Its value will increase in your eye. Who cares what someone else thinks. Cuckoo owners have to be that way. If they cared what other people thought they wouldn't have a cuckoo clock in the first place. :)

Where are you Ern G.

Willie X
 

Richard T.

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LOl that is true, No one in my house understands why I want another one.
I heard the same thing not long ago!! I'm about out of "wall"...guess I'll have to order some more.:whistle:
 

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Willie X

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There is no cure, Treatment is easy though ... buy more Cuckoos, no explanations necessary.

There may be a 12 step program but I am not aware of one. :Party:

Willie X
 

shutterbug

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Rust-oleum makes a flat brown spray that very closely matches the ugly brown of many modern cuckoos. It does wonders for restoring damaged cases without a big monetary investment :)
 

Ontime

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PC090296.jpg

I've found that many of the 1890-1920 Germany clock have a nice dark patina. This one was oiled and waxed, and has a nice dark semi gloss tone.
 

senorh

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yes that is exaclty what i was talking about, So perhaps I should be searching earlier.
 

Richard T.

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wow Richard great collection, do you have close ups.
As requested.

Clock No. 3 Obviously not a cuckoo, carved black forest with French square plate movement
Clock No. 5 8 Day
Clock No. 6 Josef Schmidt in Villingen, Pat No. 219355 March 1909, Approved Feb 1910. Quarter striking
Clock No. 7 Cuckoo and Quail
Clock No. 10 Modern 8 day
 

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senorh

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Thank you Richard, The older ones are nice imo How old is the clock in the first picture, the others look too ornate to be in my beginning collector price range.

David
 

Richard T.

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The clock in the first picture is a Japanese Mi Ken. I am the second owner of this clock. It was brought to the US from Germany just after WWII.
(1940's). A lady that I had known since I was a child gave it to me when she was in her 90's. Her husband was in the Army and brought it to her.
 

Walt Wallgren

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Nice collection, Richard. I really enjoy hearing the histories that go with individual pieces in a collection. Makes 'em all the more special!
 

senorh

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thanks for sharing the story, Mi ken huh, I expected a different looking clock for a post war Japanese clock
 

Rob P.

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There is no cure, Treatment is easy though ... buy more Cuckoos, no explanations necessary.

There may be a 12 step program but I am not aware of one. :Party:

Willie X
It's a 3-step program. I call it the "LOOK" program:

Step #1 - LOOK to see if Cuckoo clock comes with another clock as part of the deal.

Step #2 - If yes, LOOK to find nearest trash can for early deposit.

Strep #3 - If no, LOOK for the exit.

I remember visiting a home of a friend of my parents when I was growing up. Cuckoo's everywhere. Drove me nuts but the guy was soooo proud of them. Dunno why.
 

Richard T.

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It's a 3-step program. I call it the "LOOK" program:

Step #1 - LOOK to see if Cuckoo clock comes with another clock as part of the deal.

Step #2 - If yes, LOOK to find nearest trash can for early deposit.

Strep #3 - If no, LOOK for the exit.

I remember visiting a home of a friend of my parents when I was growing up. Cuckoo's everywhere. Drove me nuts but the guy was soooo proud of them. Dunno why.
You apparently don't like cuckoos........They are not my favorite when it comes to repair but I do have a place in my collection for them. One is unique (Josef Schmidt, Villingen) and a couple have special meaning to me. They also fit the available space well.

If I absolutely had to choose between them and those in the photo below, I would take those shown below.

Having been associated with clocks for more than 40 years, I find that I have a place for a variety of different types and that some are looked upon more fondly than others.:)
 

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Rob P.

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I wouldn't say I don't like them. They are sometimes nice looking and come in handy when you want to know what time it is. I can't say I'm so enamored by them that I'd BUY one.

Although that carved black forest (non cuckoo) clock of yours would maybe look nice in my mom's living room...
 

senorh

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I wouldn't say I don't like them. They are sometimes nice looking and come in handy when you want to know what time it is. I can't say I'm so enamored by them that I'd BUY one.

Although that carved black forest (non cuckoo) clock of yours would maybe look nice in my mom's living room...
lol More for us then, I actually like the sound of the cuckoo. ALthough having more than 3 going off at the same time would get annoying
 

Richard T.

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I don't keep all of those running because the chains/weights on some of them would come down in the middle of the door. I do run a few on special occasions.

I have this one that I do run quite often. It is a modern day, 30 hour, musical cuckoo with animation.

I am posting the black forest carved clock in the clocks forum(new thread above) since it hasn't really been posted before.
 

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BLACK FOREST CLOCKS

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It's a 3-step program. I call it the "LOOK" program:

Step #1 - LOOK to see if Cuckoo clock comes with another clock as part of the deal.

Step #2 - If yes, LOOK to find nearest trash can for early deposit.

Strep #3 - If no, LOOK for the exit.

I remember visiting a home of a friend of my parents when I was growing up. Cuckoo's everywhere. Drove me nuts but the guy was soooo proud of them. Dunno why.
Clearly you know very little about cuckoo clocks. There were in fact some magnificent examples made...
 

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Willie X

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BFC,

Now that's a 'Horse of a Different Color' !

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for one of those though. :)

Happy New year, Willie
 

harold bain

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lol More for us then, I actually like the sound of the cuckoo. ALthough having more than 3 going off at the same time would get annoying
David, once in a while I can get my cuckoos synced close enough that three will be in sync. It's a real cacophony of bird calls that I find pleasant. It's like being in an aviary :whistle:. If you really want to have a collection, you should learn basic clock repair so you can buy non-working clocks and make them work.
 

shutterbug

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There were in fact some magnificent examples made...
That one is gorgeous! I was looking for the bird door. Had to magnify it to see that it's round! Very nice! :thumb:

I have never seen a table top cuckoo clock, I will have to keep my eyes open
That's one beauty right there, senorh! That one probably couldn't be had though :)
 

Rob P.

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Clearly you know very little about cuckoo clocks. There were in fact some magnificent examples made...
I guess you're going to have to trust me when I say this...

I don't WANT to know much about cuckoo clocks. They are strange contraptions which have been used for everything from abstract time keeping to fooling gullible people in ancient Grecian/Roman temples.

Oh wait. Did I just SAY THAT? It's too much.... NO! It can't be..... It is. It's true. I already know too much about cuckoo clocks..... AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
 

Scottie-TX

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I believe you said your level of interest was in the $200. range. You should be able to buy a very nice old cuckoo for that. If you bought one needing repair you could either have it for less or have a better one after resto. If you don't wanna start, fixing one then try to make sure it is complete, running, and original as possible.
 

shutterbug

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Add a $100, and you could have a new one :)
 

ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

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It's a 3-step program. I call it the "LOOK" program:

Step #1 - LOOK to see if Cuckoo clock comes with another clock as part of the deal.

Step #2 - If yes, LOOK to find nearest trash can for early deposit.

Strep #3 - If no, LOOK for the exit.

I remember visiting a home of a friend of my parents when I was growing up. Cuckoo's everywhere. Drove me nuts but the guy was soooo proud of them. Dunno why.
Could not agree more BFC, there are some examples in the Black forest genre that would put swiftly to shame most others. Ill share an example:

02.jpg 03.jpg 01.jpg 04.jpg

This clock was made in 1865 by Johann Baptiste Beha, and at just under 4' tall its a magnificent display of craftsmanship. It featured the top of the line, 8-day double fusee movement and cuckoo complication striking the half and the full hours. Commissioned to model the Pottsdam military cathedral in Berlin, one of extreme elegance.

I think ill roll with the "LOOK" program, follow him about, and LOOK in the trash after he leaves... :) :) :) With the money made from only a SINGLE find like this, one could also afford a brand new van to follow him in too, as i filled it with this old cuckoo junk. :)
 
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