Furtwangler&sohne hall clock circa 1920

Nov 05, 2019. 15:30 UTC
Furtwangler&Sohne Hall Clock circa 1920
United States of America


Acquired from

For sale

16”Wx12”Dx81”H Silvered metal,black Dial Arabic numerals, Art Deco steel baron hands Weight driven 8 day Brass time & strike Stained oak, japanned with black and yellow lacquered paint, mother of pearl.


Purchased by my grandmother

$4,000 - $5,000 (United States Dollar)
Answered within about 6 hours
Nov 05, 21:47 UTC
By David

Hello Jason,
Thank you for sending in this Hall clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Art Deco, Ebonized and Japanned solid oak case with Mother of Pearl highlights, manually wound chain driven two brass ‘bullet’ weights, eight day time and gong striking, Hall clock (modern name for the grandfather clock), made by the Lorenz Furtwangler & Sohne (Sons) Uhrenfabrik, AG. (Stockholder corporation), Furtwangen, Germany, circa 1920-1925.
CASE: 81" x 12" x 16" Solid oak, rectilinear Hall clock case which has been ebonized and decorated with gold and black Japanning in foliate, floral and landscape designs with mother of pearl highlights. The case has a flat hood pediment (there is no separate hood) with vertical sides and the hood section and the trunk section merge and share a common door. In the upper section there is an octagonal gilt wooden bezel, perhaps better described as a square bezel with cut corners and the glass overlying the dial. The dial surround is beautifully painted with a tapestry of foliate forms, while on each side of the dial surround there are four ebonized cameos with gilt exotic plants with fruits and/or flowers. The case edges are gilt-painted. The sides of the hood have rectangular side-lights with brass cross-hatched masks to allow striking to be more easily audible. The larger lower section of the door has a rectangle of beveled glass through which one can see the descent of the two brass canister 'bullet' shaped weights (on link chains) and the arc of the pendulum as it swings inside the case. The glass is divided into sectors by aluminum or lead separators (typical of the Art Deco era) in the form of two "bell" curves or two Bell jars, one right side up and one inverted, so that the glass is in five sections with the largest open portion at the center. The side frames of the trunk section are decorated with Asian individuals in their native garments, highlighted with mother-of-pearl. An ebonized concave molding, edged in gold paint, separates the upper section from the base. The latter has a recessed Japanned panel with a landscape scene of a house, tree and landscaped yard. The panel surround is japanned much like the hood. At the bottom of the base section there is 'ripple' molding above a broad ebonized base which sits flat to the floor. . .
DIAL: Silvered brass dial with black enameling with upright Arabic hours, closed minute ring to the outside, the spandrels decorated with black and gilt pyramidal and geometric patterns. The steel hands are quite extraordinary, classically Art Deco and can best be described as skeletonized ‘tower’ or ‘skyscraper’ hands. The dial is unsigned. . .
MOVEMENT: The one photo of the movement indicates it has heavy solid rectilinear brass plates with tubular brass pillars holding the plates together, anchor escapement, and sprocket gearing to take up the link metal chain holding the two weights which are manually wound by pulling up the chain onto the gearing inside the case. These two weights power this clock for about eight days with striking every thirty minutes on the hour and half hour. Striking is on a coiled Cathedral gong held in placed by the cast iron base which screws to the backboard and contains the company logo of "LFS, AG" contained within a clock gear. The backboard thereby becomes quite a sounding board for striking. The wooden pendulum rod with brass faced round bob swings at the back of the case. . .
CONDITION: Case - Some chipping of the wood at the base which is to be expected and good to see. I do not see any evidence of paint touch up and the case is in an excellent state of preservation. The beveled glazed door is wonderful. The cast base of the gong is a fine example of the signature of this maker, Furtwangler being one of the best clockmaking firms Germany ever produced, if not the very best. . . Dial - So good to see that there has been no touch up to the loss of some silvering on the dial, just the way it should be if one is a purist! Great Art Deco hands. . . Movement - Genuine and original to this case and functional. Overall, in all respects, this clock is as good an example of Art Deco German horology as it gets. A real beauty!
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 WWI 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. An oval with a large 'F' inside it was registered in 1895. A large V with an interwoven A was registered in 1911, and finally the printed word, Furtwangler was registered in 1925.
PRICING: A very difficult task because the truly high prices of 20th century Hall clocks are mostly dependent on their carvings rather than their surface finish. Combine that with a depressed market for 20th century Hall or floor clocks where most bring in the three figure range and sometimes hit $1000. However, here you have a clock made by the master craftsmen of one of the oldest clock factories, actually I think it is the oldest, in all of Germany. {The top firms in Germany in the late 19th century and early years of the 20th are generally considered to be Furtwangler, Gustav Becker, Lenzkirch and Winterhalder & Hofmeier.} Therefore, in my personal opinion, the fair market value of this clock is placed in the $4000-$5000 range for its quality maker, its rarity of design and its superb condition.
Thank you again for sending this in to mearto.com for an appraisal. I hope you find this information informative and interesting.
My best,

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