Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Black Forest King Gambrinus Drinking Automaton C.1870

This next piece in our collection is another Black Forest complex automaton. This clock was made C. 1870, and has a 8 day movement, with both time and animation trains.

The case on this piece is beautiful with walnut veneer and extensive brass inlay. The dial bears the retailers name “Mitchell” located in Tombrige, England just outside of London.

On the top of the clock is a large carved figure of King Gambrinus (The legendary King and patron saint of beer)! He is fully painted and retains his original finish.

The king is fully automated with movement to his eyes, mouth, arm holding chalice, the wrist of the arm holding the large beer, the shoulder of the arm holding the large beer.

Every 10 minutes, or on demand, he goes through the following automation sequence:

The Left shoulder is raised moving the large beer over the Chalice. The wrist tips to pour a drink.
The arm holding the beer is lowered to a resting position… there is a pause.
The right arm holding the Chalice is raised to the mouth.
The eyes drop and mouth opens to accept the beverage.
The chalice is lowered as the mouth closes and eyes return to look forward.

This is repeated twice (two drinks) per sequence.

The king drinker is one of the most complex of Black Forest Automations and one of the hardest to locate.

We were lucky enough to find this example in the UK, based on a referral through our website… (We will pay finders fees for referrals for any clock we add to our collection)!

A deal was struck to bring him home.

It was owned by a Clock collector in the UK for over 50 years, until it made its way to our collection.

Upon its arrival it was sent in to a Art conservator who very carefully cleaned years of grime caused by coal fires… revealing its original finish!

We are not only fortunate to have a BF King Drinker, but what we believe one of the most original untouched examples.

This last photo shows King Gambrinus,among his complex figural automaton subjects in Black Forest USA!



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