15th century clock?

May 10, 2020. 16:59 UTC
15th Century Clock?
United States of America


Acquired from

For sale

My father had an antique clock store, mostly European clocks. He gave this to me and I recall saying it was from the 15th century. This is all I know.


Father - used to get European antiques right out of the shipping container from Europe.

Answered within about 8 hours
May 11, 01:18 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$130 - $150 USD

Insurance Value

$280 USD
What does this mean?

Hi Tony,
Thank you for sending in this wall clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you understand what this clock is.
Cast Dore bronze and beech/linden wood, two weight, ‘Wag on the wall’ clock, unsigned, movement made in the Black Forest of southern Germany, second half of the 19th century. Dial of cast brass made in the first half of the 20th century. Dial and movement together by association.
Case – Size not provided. The is a Dore bronze casted case façade which is screwed to a wooden backboard which extends up and down to back the entire metal faced of the case. The façade is traditionally Teutonic in so many aspects, starting with the pediment of the case which features a child’s facial mask surrounded by ‘C’ scrolls and pinwheel ornamentation with a drapery of tassels and cornucopias of fruit just below. The pediment rests on a horizontal cornice above the main section of the façade which holds the gilt brass dial. The dial is flanked by chamfered case corners with overlapping shaped tiles used as decoration on the corners. Case foliage serves as spandrels decoration in the upper corners around the dial. The corners of the case suddenly expand outwards near the base in the pin-wheel and 'C' scroll form seen in the pediment, while the horizontal base molding features a grotesque male fantasy mask in the center of the base, flanked on either side by two Dore bronze fluted acorn finials. The entire theme is dramatic and definitely in the Teutonic style. The profusion of rococo and baroque themes is in line with the German late Victorian era up through the Art Nouveau era of the 1920-1940 period. The screws that I find on the front of the façade are three dimensional round headed screws which suggest that the dial and façade are 20th century and are quite a bit newer than the movement behind it, but I will consider the façade Victorian. A wooden box sits behind the façade which holds the brass gearing of the German made movement. . .
DIAL - Part of the façade holds this cast brass round dial with enameled Roman hour chapter ring, open dotted minute track to the outside, a dial center with cast decoration including a Germanic version of the French Fleur-de-Lys design. The hands are skeletonized steel quatrefoil hands seen in the late Victorian era in Europe. The dial is unsigned and has no winding apertures. That is because the clock movement is wound by manually pulling up the weights onto the sprocket gearing in the movement.
MOVEMENT - The beech wood or linden wood box that sits behind the dial is typical of German Black Forest clockmaking toward the end of the 19th century. It is a wooden plate movement where the steel arbors of the movement are set into the wooden plates. The movement is made in the manner of the movements used in the Black Forest for novelty clocks as well as cuckoo clocks. Although I cannot see the movement clearly because of the plates there would be an anchor escapement, steel cut pinions. Steel arbors with brass gearing (not wooden gearing) and escape wheel and a flywheel for striking working with a countwheel seen on the back plate to determine the number of times the clock will strike. The levers you can see on the outside of the plates are very much like those found in cuckoo clocks. This particular clock is powered by two iron weights which cause the clock to run for either one day or one week and causes it to strike on a coiled wire gong attached to the backboard which acts as a sounding board. A pendulum rod with attached short brass bob swings at the back of the movement behind the two iron weights as they descend on link chains. This movement dates from the last quarter of the 19th century, is unsigned and definitely made in the Black Forest.
Case – The Dore bronze façade is possibly associated with this movement at a slightly later time. Usually these way on the wall clocks will have a simpler painted or metal dial rather than such a theatrical look. The presence of 20th century screws usually are not found in19th century German Wags. This restoration may have been done during the Art Deco years, perhaps 2-3 decades after the movement was manufactured.
Dial – In very good cast condition and factory made.
Movement – Unsigned, as expected and appears to date from the last quarter of the 19th century.
JOCKELE clocks were made in the Black Forest in early to mid-19th century. Circa 1820 they used a hammered brass dial surround with white porcelain dial in front of the crude wooden plate German movement. By mid-century they were miniaturized versions of wags on the wall with a shield type frame around a porcelain dial. It was driven by a single plain lead filled weight. They were usually 3 inches in height.
SORG clocks or Sorguhren were made by Joseph Sorg and were in use from circa 1820-1865. They were even smaller than the Jockele type. The Sorg clock reached its height of production circa 1950.
I believe that your cast brass dial was made in the first half of the 20th century to replace a brass shield type façade with porcelain dial with a mid to late 19th century German wooden plate movement with brass gearing. Therefore your 15th century clock, unfortunately, is a marriage of parts, dial with the movement. This is very injurious to value.
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/8140680_483-black-forest-wag-on-wall-clock-germany-c-1860 (SOLD FOR $750.)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/4300303_1327-19th-century-german-small-black-forest-wag-on-wal (SOLD FOR $30)
(SOLD FOR $200)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/618393_707-german-embossed-copper-wag-on-wall-clock (HERE IS AN EXAMPLE VERY MUCH LIKE YOURS BUT THE CLOCK IS DATED TO 1960 AND SOLD FOR $60)
(Here is an auction item with your type of dial which is mistakenly called pressed brass and incorrectly dated to 1840. Your dial is made of cast brass, as is the one in the auction. If it were pressed brass it would feel malleable/bendable and your dial is NOT malleable. At any rate it sold, as is, in 2016 for $150.)
Interesting in that your wall clock has a good looking façade and an early German movement, better looking than most wags that I have seen or owned myself. However, if put at auction I do not think it would get beyond the $150 mark. An antique dealer would find both the façade and the movement Germanic and therefore assume they belonged together, but that is not the case here. It has a good look on the wall but falls short as a true antique because of the parts being from two different eras.
Value of this piece would be $130-$150 because the parts are married.
I do not enjoy passing along negative news, but I am only the messenger with the truth. I could always be wrong but no fake news here!
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal.
I send my best,

Tony bartolini May 11, 13:10 UTC

Thank you very much. Not bad news at all. VERY interesting and my mother is German so that bit adds value to me. Regards.

David May 11, 15:42 UTC

Enjoyed doing this Black Forest clock. I also learned while doing the research. Yes, both the facade and the movement are certainly of German origin.
Thank you for using our service.
My best to you and yours,

Ravi chandar Jun 28, 23:34 UTC

Hi Tony gd day to you n im Ravin from Malaysia. Are you interested in selling the clock? Is can you ship it to me?

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