Monday, July 16, 2012

Restored Black Forest clock with shaving monkey automaton

Here is an early Black Forest clock recently restored by Kevin Wright. Information on piece the is nonexistent -- or at the very least, extremely hard to find. To make the restoration even more of a challenge, the clock's automaton was missing many pieces.

photo of Black Forest clock

When Wright received the clock the monkey was missing his right arm and hand, his left foot, mirror, razor. He was also missing his eyes. The clock didn't have the typical worm governor, so the speed could not be controlled. Wright knew he had only about 9 seconds of motion to work with and decided to have the monkey shave his chin,look in a mirror, and scream/smile. The cam shaft, cams, second wheel and all of his linkages all had to be reverse-engineered and fabricated. Brilliant work!

For more on unusual Black Forest Clocks like this shaving monkey, be sure to check out and order a copy of Justin Miller's new book, Rare and Unusual Black Forest Clocks. The book contains over 700 images showcasing the finest examples of clocks made in the region. It also explains the various mechanisms and guides collectors trying to identify individual clocks.

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Anonymous Justin said...

What a magnificent clock! Thanks for sharing it with us.

July 29, 2012 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Dug North said...

Sure thing, Justin! I got to see this one in person when it was in the process of being restored. Seen anything like this one before?

July 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Justin said...

Hi Dug,

Yes... I have seen a few of them, but they are very rare.

There is one in a private collection in New York, one in a private Dutch collection, and one in a collection in Germany... And this one makes four.

I would love to get my hands on one ;-)

August 1, 2012 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Dug North said...

Hi Justin,

Four! Wow.

Have you seen any of the others in motion?

August 1, 2012 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Justin said...

The only other one I have seen in motion is the one in a private New York collection. When you visited Kevin was this other example there? I was told he had it at his pace to help with the restoration.

The third can be seen photographed in the book, und ewig ticken die wälder... And was on display in the badisches landesmuseum in the 90's...

I was the under bidder on the clock in your video... Maybe someday I'll get another chance. It would have looked magnificent between the rat eater and the king drinker ;-)

August 4, 2012 at 1:25 AM  

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