Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Early Cuckoo Clock by Johann Baptist Beha

This next clock in our collection is a wonderful example of Beha's early work. This cuckoo clock was made by Johann Baptist Beha in Eisenbach in the late 1850's, and it bears his signature on the inside of the backboard. It is surviving proof that there were in fact high quality cuckoo clocks being produced in the Black Forest.

The case on this cuckoo clock is just magnificent. The case maker utilized extensive inlays of both brass and zinc, creating a wonderful floral motif that is just stunning against the ebonized case. The case on this clock was made by the famous Peter Wehrle, who apprenticed in Vienna, working on fine Vinenna regulators. By looking at the etched inlays on the case, and the wonderful proportions in the cases design it is clear it was made by a true maser. Peter Wehrle's experience in Vienna enabled him to be extreamly influential to Beha's success as a high quality maker.
The dial on the this clock is made of Alabaster, and is accented with blue gilt set cartouches. This dial is scarcely found on cuckoo clocks due to the high cost to manufacture. The front door to the case is complete with its original lock mechanism. A key is required to access the dial behind the glass. Bellow the dial is a glass window, trimmed in a gilt frame. While the clock is running the brass pendulum can be seen against a cobalt blue background.
The movement is a typical Beha wood plate movement of the era, using a double fusee... allowing the clock to run a full 8 days on a winding. The movement also has a mechanism where the owner can disable the Gong with the flick of a switch. This quiets the call on the hour, making the night hours more peaceful. The clock retains its original bellow pipes, and tops.

The clock is being shown as it came to us is near complete, but unrestored condition. Its only falut is a missing cuckoo door, but a near identical example resides in the Cuckooland museum in the UK... which will allow us to restore this missing door perfectly.
This last photo shows our new Beha next to another early Beha table clock in the collection. Please read an early post for more details on this other fine Beha table clock is double eye automation.

I am always interested in adding early Beha cuckoos to my collection. If you have a clock you think I would be interested in please contact me directly at

1 comment:

Spaceman Spiff said...

Wow, very nice, Justin!