Thursday, February 12, 2009

Emilian Wehrle Singing Bird Clock

This next Clock in the collection is a C. 1874 Singing Bird Clock (Singvogeluhr) made by Emilian Wehrle of Furtwangen.
The fully feathered bird is 6.5 inches from beak to tail. It is fully automated in his beak, head, and tail. Perched on the top of the clock on a carved vase of fruit and leaves it is clearly visible and looks alive.

The carvings on this clock are all done in Walnut, and the style of the case is very unique.

This clock utilizes a robust brass plate movement, with large double pumping bellow system mounted above the clock works (very similar to his Trumpeter and Flute Clocks.)

The clock movement generates it own air pressure... and by opening and closing a valve... air in moved through a large flute with a plunger.

A cam wheel on the back operates the valve and the plunger to reproduce the sound of the song bird... while controlling the bird and the Automation. The Beak runs in perfect sequence with the large song bird looks and sounds alive!

This clock is featured in Emilian Wehrles 1874 Catalog as No. 1 (see illustration). It has a cost of 180 Marks in 1874. Just to put this into perspective a very nice Beha cuckoo could be had for 25 marks.

Very few of these Singing Bird Clocks were made, even fewer survived. Making them almost impossible to locate today.

I am not aware of a museum worldwide that has a example of a Em. Wehrle Singing Bird Clock, although there are a few in private collections.

This unique clock was also published in the 2008 edition of Schwarzwalduhren, by Berthold Schaaf (The authoritative text on Black Forest Clocks, and available through and all German Booksellers)

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