Real solid wood, great condition, custom piece. Purchased from Marshall Field &. Co. Henry E. Frett C. M. B. H. I.
My grandfather bought this piece, been in the family for a long while.
Thank you for sending in this mantel clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Art Deco era, Stained oak, three train, spring driven, eight day time, strike and Westminster quarterly chiming, mantel clock, made by the Urgos Clock Company, S/N 485856, made in Schwenningen, Germany, circa 1936.
"My grandfather bought this piece, been in the family for a long while."
Case: Approximately 15” in height, this is a light stained oak clock case made in the English bracket clock style. A notched metal carrying handle sits above the
Double caddy top solid pediment and placed above a concave overhung cornice. Below is the square case façade and glazed dial door with chamfered corners. The sides of the case have ovoid gazed side-lights and the base has an ogival stepped moulding leading down to straight bracket feet. The back of the case has a square oak door providing access to the movement compartment. The inside of the door with a plaque that reads, ‘Henry E. Frett, C.M.B.H.I. (Craft Member of the British Horological Institute), Marshall Field & Company” (Marshall Field was the Department store in Chicago from where the clock was purchased).
Dial: Brass alloy squared off dial plate with silvered Roman hour chapter ring, Fleur-De-Lys half hour markers, closed minute track to the outside with Arabic markers placed every five minute around the periphery of the chapter ring. The dial center is Dore bronze and textured, with three winding apertures for the springs and a lever @3 to adjust the chimes and to silence the chiming function. The dial center is marked for the retailer and the base of the dial is marked, “Made in Germany”. There are steel machine stamped rococo Chippendale style hands while Dore bronze Chieftain spandrels are seen in the four corners of the dial.
Movement: This is a solid stippled brass rectangular plate movement with rounded corners, tubular pillars at the four corners hold the plates together and are held securely together with screws and nuts at the rear plate. Instead of a pendulum suspension at the upper center of the rear plate one sees a well-made balance wheel with helical spring. This eliminates the need for a pendulum and makes this clock totally portable without losing or gaining time. The lower section of the rear plate clearly states, “Urgos, Made in Germany, two jewels, Unadjusted with the number 6/37 A (possibly the date, June 1937) and the serial number 485856. The movement is powered by three springs for a duration of eight days, striking the hours and chiming the quarter hours on a set of eight variable length metal rods with eight movement hammers, playing Westminster chimes quarterly and full strike on the hour with full set of chimes. (This arrangement of hammers and metal chiming rods was originally developed by Junghans in Germany and copied by several other German clock makers during the years between the two World Wars.)
Case – Like new.
Dial – Excellent.
Movement – Excellent, genuine, original and functional.
Urgos Clock Co.:
The Urgos Company is noted today as a major supplier of clock movements for hall, wall and mantel clocks. It was founded in 1920 by Christian Haller, Johannes Jauch, Robert Papst, and Heinrich Rumminger. It was first registered as Ruminger and Co. In 1923 the associates changed the name to Urgos. They made hall, wall and shelf clocks using solid brass plate movements and striking chimes with multiple tunes. They made Hall clocks with multiple tubes, and of fine quality. In 1925 they had 50 employees and by 1836 there were 140. The entire company was pressed into military production during WWll. In 1945 all the machinery was dismantled. Shortly thereafter they developed a huge export market, primarily to the USA, providing precision quality movements for clock cases made in other countries, such as Ridgeway Clock Co. in the U.S. In 1994 they were making fine quality movements. A deal to sell to Howard Miller clocks had fallen through. However in 1999 the plant was sold to Hermle and Sohn and the operation was moved to Virginia. They had been in business for three quarters of a century. Urgos manufactured clock movements for hall and wall clocks in both Schwenningen and Villingen in the Black Forest region of southeast Germany. The business was founded in 1920 by Christian Haller, Johannes Jauch, Robert Pabst and Heinrich Rumminger. They had 50 employees in 1925 and 140 by 1936. The factory was a changed during WWll into military production before being fully dismantled in the post war period. They reorganized in the 1960's to create clock movements for export, largely to the USA. They supplied Ridgeway American clocks as well as Howard Miller.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/53003409_german-bracket-clock (Made by Hermle with same type of movement, sold in 2017 for $50)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/8301382_153-german-bracket-clock (unsigned German clock sold in 2010 for $50)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/23063569_a-german-bracket-clock-no-key (unsigned and sold in 2014 for $90)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/63785488_german-walnut-bracket-clock-19th-c (Unsigned, different style German movement, sold in 2018 for $100)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/80174273_german-welby-bracket-clock (German Welby clock failed to reach minimum of $80 in 2020)
This is a handsome German bracket clock from the years just before WWII. Urgos came back shortly after the war and flooded the American market with small novelty type clocks, some run by battery, some 400 day clocks and I believe they even made a one thousand day torsion pendulum clock. However, they made fine mechanical clocks in the 1920s and 1930s for export to both England and the Americas. They are not terribly different in price from other German makers and several clock making firms made models that one might call interchangeable. However, this is a special clock not only because of its fine condition but because it belonged to your grandfather and is a family heirloom, soon to become and antique heirloom. The German clockmakers, starting as early as the first decade of the 20th century were experts at coping English and American wall, shelf and floor standing clocks. By 1910 they were able to produce a fine timepiece at a lower price point than either the English or the American clock factories. WWI ended that and starting in 1919 they tried to regain their market share of the world clock market. They never quite made it back to where they were. WWII saw the destruction of just about all the clock factories in Germany, but many of the firms came back to dominate the clock market in the second half of the 20th century, and Urgos was one of them. At that time they were marked as being made in West Germany, not Germany.
I hope you continue to enjoy this fine little piece of horological history purchased by your grandad. In today marketplace, it has a fair market value of only $80-$100, but is worth far more than that to you because of its family history. Retail price is about 2-2.5 time the fair market value.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal.