Dating black forest clocks

Such elaborately designed masterpieces of artisanal clock-making often have additional movable elements. Traditional motifs such as mill wheels, movable sawmills and beer garden scenarios are especially popular.


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On the hour, miniature worlds come to life on the clock platform. Weights and pendulums are just for show here, but the design of the case and the decorative elements are also solely done by hand on these clocks as well. Modern touches have also found their way in.


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In recent years there was a small boom of cuckoo clock models that generally continue to include a little house and a cuckoo, as well as the tried-and-tested mechanisms, but are presented in a modern design. Since Black Forest cuckoo clocks are such a popular gift to bring along, for smaller budgets there are also diverse clocks called souvenir clocks.

They are generally quartz clocks, but this segment also includes clocks with spring mechanism. Here you can find little clocks that have no cuckoo, but a cuckoo sound, somewhat larger ones with birds, and clocks with a quarter-hour call, in which the cuckoo calls out once every 15 minutes. The production of cuckoo clocks demands a great deal of experience and manual dexterity.

Cuckoo Clocks - Review of House of Black Forest Clocks, Hornberg, Germany - TripAdvisor

The manufacturers are not fixated on producing cuckoo clocks at a price that is a cheap as possible; instead they are obligated by tradition to apply high quality standards. The production methods include in part centuries of tradition, and have been passed on from generation to generation by the employees of the Black Forest clock producers. A multitude of steps is necessary for a cuckoo clock to arrive at the customer's home in the quality accustomed to.

Specialists in different skilled crafts professions are entrusted with the individual work steps, so that these quality demands can be met. Most producers of Black Forest clocks have their own in-house carpentry and carving shops, and consistently put their faith in their own staff.

First the right wood must be chosen, which is generally local linden wood.

Black Forest clock with Surrerwerk (grand sonnerie)

The cuckoo clock wood is roughly cut to proportion and dried for several years. Only well-dried wood ensures that the wood will not warp after production. Further, the carver has a better job of it with dried wood.

Black Forest clockmakers

The well-dried wood is cut into pieces corresponding to the size of the respective Black Forest clock. Extensive quality controls of the wood already take place at this stage. Pieces of wood with coarse unevenness and irregularities are rejected, so that no cracks occur at a later point. The large assortment of chalet-style clocks and cuckoo clocks with wooden carvings is completed with reconstructions of antique models and a collection of cuckoo clocks with modern designs.

Many of our cuckoo clocks are additionally furnished with a high-quality musical mechanism from the company Reuge. Alternatively, you can also choose a clock with a quartz movement. They have the same high-quality, hand-made wooden cases, but are very simply operated with standard batteries. Here, severe winter snows in a harsh climate prevented most agricultural work.

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The farmers traditionally spent the wintertime with carving and creating household things or toys and other wooden objects. It is hard to say who made the first blackforest clock, but the origins surely date back to the 17th century. The first clocks were rather rustic objects, entirely made of wood, and thus available for most people. During the 18th century every family wanted to have their own clock, or even more than one, and the boom of the clock industry began. The blackforest woodworkers were very skillful and creative and always looking for new ways to improve their meagre incomes.

Very soon the black forest clocks were known for their stability and accuracy. Furthermore, blackforest clockmakers could use large trade routes already used by the local glass industry, to spread their clocks not only in Germany. The Cuckoo-Palace online shop also stocks a comprehensive collection of traditional and contemporary Black Forest timepieces for those seeking to buy an original gift of lasting value — and can arrange shipping and delivery worldwide for each and every cart item. At first each movement was fashioned entirely from wood — but clocks with more endurable and accurate metal movements soon appeared, and remain part of the standard specification down to the present day.

A typical mechanical clock movement is driven by power derived from a heavy weight traditionally shaped like a fir cone. The weight attaches to a chain, which is itself connected to the internal clock mechanism, and transmits movement to the machinery of gears and levers inside.

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The clock's pendulum ensures constant intervals. Most movements require not one fir-cone weight, but two — one to power the clock, and the other to animate the cuckoo, or even three, if they have an additional musical movement playing a tune after the cuckoo call. Two types of mechanical movement are fitted to an authentic clock made in true vintage style.

For the German cuckoo clock, this means the distinctive cuckoo-call mechanism itself is a complex feature which falls into this descriptive category. Also on London from, in Britain painted on a few Northern makers had no real need of hood top and replaced.

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