Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Rare Documented Black Forest Cuckoo Clock with Soldier Automaton

This last week was one of the best we can remember for new acquisitions.

I took a trip to Southern California to meet with a long time collector of Black Forest clocks. This collector had collected BF clocks back in the 1960's to the early 1990's, and at one time had one of the largest collections in the United Sates... but his interests over time changed and about 20 years ago the best clocks were put in storage.

We spent a few days with him going through his clocks , and ended up purchasing 4 very special BF clocks from his collection for our museum. Over the next couple months we will share these new finds with you as we finish the restoration work and add them into our permanent collection.

Since this Black Forest soldier clock needs nothing... we will start with this clock first.

Constructed in the form of a castle, this clock is just stunning. The two tone oak case measures in at 21" high and 12.5 " wide.

As the clock ticks the soldier slowly marches between the two turrets... guarding the fortress. When he reaches the end of his march he does a 180 degree turn around, and then marches back the other way. The soldier automation is one of our favorites, as it is one of the few forms of automata that is connected to the time train of the movement... allowing you to see the action all the time.

In the top of the fortress is a cuckoo door, and the cuckoo calls the half and full hours.

So as a summery this clock has automation connected to both the time train (soldier) and the strike train (cuckoo).

We will be including a "how does it work?" video of this clock on the front page blog of our website So if you have interest is seeing the mechanics check it out.
We also have an early Soldier clock in the shield variety that can be seen in our online museum through our website.

Another important feature of this clock is its provenance:

This exact clock was photographed by this collector and contributed to the book, Black Forest Clocks by Rick Ortenburger in 1991. This clock is features in the section of Automated Black Forest Clocks... and was given a full page display on page 244. We are including some photographs from this book showing this identical clock.

For those of you who have an interest in owning an original soldier clock of your own, you might be in luck... as we have another example of a soldier and cuckoo in our collection that this clock will replace.

We will be offering this clock up for sale immediately through an ebay auction. We will update this post with a link to its sale, and remove this memo when it has been sold.



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