Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Rare Black Forest Musical Harp Clock Hackbrettuhr

Many years ago we found this early musical Harp clock in Switzerland. The clock was unrestored, but complete and retained its integrity. We made the purchase, and have waited patiently for the past few years as the clock has undergone restoration. This past weekend the cosmetic restoration was completed... and we can now display the clock here in our online museum.

This harp clock was made during the last quarter of the 18th Century (C. 1790) On the hour or on demand the clock will play one of 6 preselected tunes by hitting hammers on the stringed instrument that attaches to the base of the clock. Like the flute and bell clocks a large pinned wood music wheel controls the music.

The shield on this example is nothing short of magnificent... carved by the famous Mattias Faller. The dial is carved from wood, and has extensive gold and silver leaf. The silver leaf has a transparent green and red paint applied over it giving it a metallic "jeweled" finish.

The original bottom wood "screen" that covers the harp and strings is in wonderful condition. Although there are no pipes present in this clock the maker decided to incorporate faux pipes into the design. The gaps between the pipes allow the music played on the strings to escape into the room.

We are very excited to now be able to display this clock in our collection...

We are always looking to add more early Black Forest musical clocks to our collection. If you have a piece that you feel would fit out collection please contact us through out website at BLACKFORESTCLOCKS.ORG

Sunday, June 5, 2011


This magnificent cuckoo clock was just returned to us from restoration this weekend, it has now been added into our permanent collection, and it is with great joy we can now display it here on our site.

The carving on this cuckoo clock is just magnificent. While many cuckoo clocks have carvings applied to the front of a pre-built wood housing this example is completely different in design.

The entire case of this clock is carved out of a single block of walnut. The back of this large block of wood is dished out to allow the wood plate 50 hour cuckoo movement to be installed.

The only piece that is carved from this main block of wood is the dial and "rope" bezel which is a second single piece unit.

Look at the detail on this clock. The animals are all in full relief with several points actually carved out from the main housing. The detail of the hunters rife and strap for the power horn are created in full relief from the same single block as the case. The carved who executed this clock was nothing short of a master.

The maker of this clock was Johann George Beha, a distant relative of the famous Johann Baptist, a very obscure and high quality maker who was mentored by Johann Baptist Beha. Additional details about this maker and the clocks he produced will be covered in detail in our book Rare and Unusual Black Forest Clocks.