Friday, September 2, 2011

A Rare Beha Cuckoo Clock with Monk Automation "Beha Kapuziner-Uhr"

This next clock in our collection is a wonderful clock made by Johann Baptist Beha in the 1870's. The clock has a beautiful gothic walnut case which is designed in the form of a cathedral. The detail work on the case is just amazing, this is truly a price that must be seen in person to appreciate its true splendor.

The clock utilizes a three train wood plate movement. The clock calls the hour with a cuckoo that appears through the round double doors in the upper pediment, the third train of the movement is for the Angelus and automation complication.

At 6:00 am , 12:00 Noon, and 6:00 pm the lower double doors of the cathedral open and a bell ringer lifts his arms pulling a rope in an automated display as two gongs are stuck in rapid succession. On most of Beha monk clocks the figure in the cathedral was a traditional monk dressed in the brown robe. This example has a figure of a bell ringer, probably made for a customer who was protestant. We have seen one other example of a Monk clock with the identical figure.

This particular example is very unusual. It is not found in any of Beha's catalogs... and there is not model number assigned to the clock in the Beha records... as it was clearly produced in very low numbers. We do have in our archives the original drawings two page drawings for this identical clock ... from these drawings the case for this clock would have been produced. Both drawings are signed by Lorenz Beha and dated 1874.

While many other makers other than Beha produced clocks with Monk automation and Angelus strike... the examples made by the Beha firm are without question in a league of their own. We are always looking to document other examples of monk clocks. If you have a Black Forest clock with a Monk complication please contact us through our website at

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