The common cuckoo clock is just one form of animate clock that was produced in the Black Forest region of Germany. They are cute, charming, and relatively simple. Author and collector, Justin Miller, has had a fascination with the more obscure forms of Black Forest clocks for years. He a new book on the subject. The magazine Collector's Weekly recently interviewed Miller on the subject in an article titled "Not Your Grandma’s Cuckoo: Decapitating, Rat-Eating Clocks of the Black Forest".
From the article's introduction:
As the first truly comprehensive English-language guide to early Black Forest horology, Miller’s new book, "Rare and Unusual Black Forest Clocks," features particularly interesting examples of clocks with automata, or moving mechanical features. These range from timepieces used as mini-jukeboxes to play different tunes to clocks with animated figures who dance, eat, or even murder each other.
The interview covers where cuckoo clocks originated and its association with the Black Forest region. Miller also answers questions about singing bird clocks and other musical clock variations. He touches on how these clocks work and explains a bit about the original market for these clocks, some famous makers, and favorites from his collection of 80 Black Forest clocks.
You can see more of Justin’s personal collection on his Show & Tell page as well as his website, blackforestclocks.org.
You should also order a copy of Miller's new book, Rare and Unusual Black Forest Clocks, which will be available in mid July of 2012.