A 19th century berliner wall clock.

Jun 08, 2019. 21:16 UTC
A 19th century Berliner wall clock.
United States of America


Acquired from

For sale

Approximately 38" tall, 13 1/2 wide not counting side "wings", 5 1/2" wide Wood case not sure of wood, my guess is mahagony.All items of the clock are original. Regular maintenance on the clock has been done the last being in 2014


previous ownership was a woman who lived in a nearby town and she acquired in in Frankfurt, Germany in 1964. No history beyond that.

$800 - $1,000 (United States Dollar)
Answered within about 17 hours
Jun 09, 14:44 UTC
By David

Hello David,
Thank you for sending in your German made wall clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Walnut primary wood and beech secondary (backboard), double spring driven, 14-day time and striking '’open well" (‘free swinger') wall clock, retailed by Nussbaum (label), made by L. Furtwangler Sohne AG, Furtwangen, Germany, circa 1895-1900.
CASE - 38" x 5.5" x 13.5" stained walnut wall clock having carved open fretwork with ‘C’ scrolls and pinwheel shapes surmounted by three wooden urn and spire finials sitting on flat plinths. Below the fret is a stepped horizontal pediment with vertical steps added at both sides, the entire pediment overhanging the main case. Adjacent to the pediment sits a horizontal frieze with volutes and pyramidal blocks. Below this upper frieze is a square wooden dial door with central glazed bezel having applied triangular panel spandrels in the four corners and all flanked by fluted pilasters with spherules and pyramidal blocks providing ornamentation to the top and bottom of the pilasters. The entire façade just described is part of the dial door and opens with it. Below this door is the lower frieze which has blind pierced fretwork arranged from side to side and corbels serving as bookends. There is another overhung horizontal molding below with decorative carved and fenestrated ringlets bordered with gilt rosettes. Below is the pedestal or base of the clock case and what is known as the open well where the pendulum swings freely outside of the casing with the backboard in the background. The upper case appears to be supported by ringed and turned vasiform pillars which sit underneath the front of the case while balanced on large open ‘C’ scroll type corbels, the latter extending backwards to the backboard. The backboard flares outwards in the lower case and has multiform curvilinear shapes and pinwheels. The lowest part of the base sits beneath the pillar supports and has a solid trefoil shape with carved pinwheels. The sides of the hood have rectilinear wood side-lights for accessing the movement while the backboard has a large ‘C’ scroll at the pediment level and a carved Fleur-de-Lys at the mid case level, both part of the backboard. There is a retailer’s paper label inside the case indicating ‘Nussbaum’ as the retailer and the label is marked, Fine wall Clock, 14 day striker, logo of LFS inside a gear (registered in Germany 22 January 1895 by L Furtwangler Sohne) and the case no. 102/111. Overall, a case with a plethora of rococo detail resulting in a well-balanced and well-proportioned clock.

DIAL - A brass bezel surrounds this silvered dial with Arabic hours in round cartouche form, closed minutes to the outside, silvered foliate filigree pattern in the dial center and the spandrels, two winding apertures and steel skeletonized Chippendale style hands. The dial is unsigned.

MOVEMENT–Not Shown, but would be a brass plate movement with anchor escapement, tubular pillars, steel cut pinions, steel arbors with pendulum suspension hanging from the upper end of the back plate. The movement is powered by two steel springs of fourteen-day duration and striking (? on a coiled gong) on the hour and half hour. The pendulum hangs at the rear of the movement and the ornate bob with brass Sun face and rays at the center. The bob has a silvered ornate outer section and it swings just in front of the backboard in the open well and in front of a white porcelain measure rule- used for balancing the clock. The mark of the maker might well be on the movement, as it is on the paper label.

CONDIION – Case: In excellent condition with nice old patina on the wood. Dial: Very good with some bending of the brass bezel between the 10 and 11 positions. Movement: assumed to be fully functional.

Lorenz Furtwangler was born in 1807 and founded his clock factory in 1836. His four sons were clockmakers as well. Theo, Hector, Oskar and Adolph all joined the firm in 1868. The name was then changed to Uhrenfabrik L. Furtwangler & Sohne. They became world famous for their precision hand-craftsmanship. They produced both the cases and the movements in the Black forest Region of southeastern Germany. The name changed to a stockholder company in 1900 and A.G. was added to the name. Competition after WWl eventually ruined the company and they failed in 1929... They had several trademarks registered which help to date their clocks. The earliest of these marks was registered in Sept. 1881, a circular gear with teeth and LFS inside with only the top leaf of the 'F' touching the 'S'. In Jan 1891 they used a similar mark where both leaves of the F touch the S. Logo of LFS inside a gear (registered in Germany 22 January 1895. A large V with an interwoven A was registered in 1911, and finally the printed word, Furtwangler was registered in 1925.

I believe that this Furtwangler firm created the first ‘open well’ standing and wall clocks in the Black Forest region of Germany. Their skill in clock and case making was unsurpassed, but matched only by Gustav Becker, Lenzkirch and Winterhalder & Hofmeier. Comparing auction prices in the past few years leads me to believe that the range of fair market value for your example would be between $800 and $1000. Retail pricing would at least be double that.
I hope this has been of some help to you.
My best,

David weed Jun 10, 00:43 UTC

Thank you for an extremely detailed report I was delighted to be able to get the information and history on the clock and the clockmaker I really appreciate you getting the appraisal done so quickly at this point I am not interested in selling the clock as I think it is a beautiful instrument and I want To just be able to enjoy it for a while new gun thank you for all your hard work on the appraisal Dave Weed

David Jun 10, 02:28 UTC

Thank you for your kind comments. It is always a pleasure to examine the genuine article and I learn from each and every such appraisal.
My thanks to you!

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