Lenzkirch clock

Apr 19, 2021. 03:29 UTC
Lenzkirch Clock
Steve
United States of America

Category
Clocks

Acquired from
Gallery/Dealer

For sale
Maybe
Description

Believed to be gold filled with walnut finish and stands 27 inches high, 8 inches deep and about 11 inches wide. Weighs about 10lbs or so.

Provenance

Clock was purchased in Germany in the 60's from a antique dealer that thought it came from one of King Ludwig's Castles. Clock is complete with a key(probably not original key) and pendulum. Inside of top piece has name/date I think but hard to read.

Answered within about 15 hours
Apr 19, 18:49 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$4,000 - $4,500 USD

Insurance Value

$8,500 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Steve,
Thank you for sending in this bracket clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall do that for you today.
TITLE:
Stained and carved walnut primary and Linden/Beech secondary wood with gilded brass ornamentation, two train, spring driven, eight day time and striking, 'Baroque' table clock in the French manner, Serial number 689959, made by the Lenzkirch Stockholder Corporation Clock Factory, Lenzkirch, Germany, circa 1880-1885.
PROVENANCE:
“Clock was purchased in Germany in the 60's from an antique dealer that thought it came from one of King Ludwig's Castles. Clock is complete with a key (probably not original key) and pendulum. Inside of top piece has name/date I think but hard to read.”
DESCRIPTION:
Case/condition: 27” x 8” x 11” walnut bracket clock made in the French rococo style in Germany. The ornate table clock is surmounted by a large cast gilt brass finial in the form of a crown or royal helmet with a floral gilt brass flower or stylized fountain resting on a pedestal above the crown. Each side of the crown is pierced and decorated with a seven-leaf shell flanked by pinwheels and a plethora of curled acanthus leaves. The crown is hollowed out on the inside and has script writing cast into the finish which appears to me to be in French, and followed by a three-digit number, 158, a designation of the foundry number, most likely made in France, rather than a date. From the first four letters, ‘depo’, I believe it is related to the type of finish provided to the gilded brass casting, possibly taken from the French verb, dépolir, to roughen or dull the surface of a metal. The described crest rests on a multi-tiered pediment which consists of a flat overhung cornice at the top, dentil moulding, gilt brass row of ringlets/medallions, a narrow concave moulding above a broad wooden convex moulding ornamented at the front corners with curled gilt brass acanthus leaves. All rest on the lower tier of a flat rectangular wooden tablet. The main case below has a break arch pediment and is embellished with a solid walnut scalloped fretwork with five gilt brass rosettes centering a cast brass capped urn finial. A horizontal frieze just below is decorated with turned and ringed partial cylinders of wood. {The stepped break-arch cornice is called a ‘break-arch’ because of the two elongated right-angled shoulders of this section, the shoulders interrupting the arch.} Set into that arch is a large ormolu ornament consisting of a female mask with plumed headdress with golden pinwheels and large ‘C’ scrolls spreading laterally from the figure with a gilt rosette at both sides. This gilt brass decoration continues to join the roughed brass dial surround and continues down below the dial where it looks like stylized curled ram’s horns in the center with gold foliage to either side. The sides of the case, which continue most of the decoration on the façade, have oversize gilt brass geometric handles with cast ovoid gilt drops encompassing foliage, squares, circles, pinwheels and posts. Below the main case there is a high double-tiered base, the uppermost with five turned and ringed balusters above a moulding with a carved group of rounded leaves over the curvilinear base. In that section each wooden scallop encloses a gilt brass rosette. The base façade corners have gilt brass winged cherubs with golden animal paw feet at the front and wooden stepped bracket feet at the back of the case. A wooden panel at the back has a circular aperture covered in cloth to allow the gong sound to be emitted into the room more easily and with a brass cylinder-shaped snap-lock at the base. The back of the main case is dovetailed into the sides. Very well constructed and in very fine condition.
Dial/condition: A beveled and glazed beaded brass bezel opens to this silvered guilloche metal dial surrounded by a gilt brass egg and dart ornamented dial surround. There are black enameled Arabic hours in circular cartouche form, foliate half hour markings, closed minute track to the outside, foliate pattern of silver filigree in the dial center with a pair of steel French 'Simple Roman' hands but in the Teutonic style. In excellent condition.
Movement/condition: Square solid brass plates connected by tubular pillars and pinned at the rear plate. Not shown, but likely an anchor recoil escapement, flywheel, rack striking powered by two steel springs of eight-day duration and striking the hour and half hour on a coiled metal gong with the gong post secured in the wooden base. The pendulum bridge is linear and rectangular (not rounded as seen in many other German movements) with a single short spring from which the pendulum rod and round brass covered bob are suspended using two metal claws at the top of the rod. The backplate of the movement carries the logo of the clock company first filed in 1875, 'Lenzkirch' with a 'leafy branch' and below, 'A.G.U.' (Aktien Gesellschaft Uhrenfabrik) of Lenzkirch. The serial number 689959 (which was chronological for this company)
dates between 1880-1885. In clean, functional condition and genuine and original throughout.
HISTORY:
Lenzkirch - The Stockholder Corp for clock manufacturing in Lenzkirch was the oldest clock factory in the Black Forest region of Germany. Eduard Hauser (1825-1900) and Ignaz Schopperle (1810-1882) made machined and finished parts for clock movements which were then sent out to the various clockmakers in the Black Forest region. They shipped parts and whole movements ready for installation. The two men began work in 1849 in a small workshop. They registered their company in 1851 and were joined by 6 other clockmakers as shareholders in the company. Starting with 14 employees, by 1860 they had 100, by 1875 there were 650. In 1900 there were 500 employees and then followed a gradual drop off until in 1928 there were 285. They produced 4600 movements in 1851, 18,000 in 1875 and 17,280 in 1895, the last year those records were kept. Serial numbers are available from 1851 through 1928. The owners apparently were quite secretive about their means of production. Any visitors to the plant found the machines covered by sheets, and doing all they could to hide their techniques. They generally purchased their cases outside their factory, either in Germany or abroad. They produced high quality movements and eventually were able to distribute them all over Europe and to the USA. The company survived for about eighty years. The company survived economic depressions and the Franco Prussian War, while maintaining the quality of their product. In 1928 they could not compete against the more modern and wealthy German clock companies using their older equipment. In 1928 the Junghans brothers proposed a merger with the Lenzkirch Clock Company. The merger took place and Lenzkirch actually operated as a satellite office for Gebruder Junghans until 1932. In 1933 it was sold to a beauty shop equipment manufacturer.
COMPARABLES:
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/99267355_ornate-lenzkirch-bracket-clock-and-shelf-1890-1895 (sold in 2021 for $4250)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/93162840_lenzkirch-carved-oak-balcony-clock (Sold in 2020 for $1800)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/96376058_lenzkirch-wood-and-bronze-clock-with-wall-console (sold for $3000 in 2021)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/95614468_lenzkirch-table-clock-c-1876-77 (Failed to reach 2000 Euros in 2021)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/89821608_lenzkirch-mermaid-wall-clock (A wall clock but in the same rococo category sod for $3500 in 2020)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/lenzkirch-germany-oak-and-cast-brass-8-days-time-and-strike-bracket-jlyrePhSJ (SOLD FOR $2500 IN 2015)
PRICING:
If one likes the Baroque era clocks this is the mantel clock for them. It comes with an interesting provenance but with nothing in physical proof of who it belonged to or where it resided. But this is a superb example of the type of work the Lenzkirch company could produce, in better condition than most of the comparable shown, and they are at the top of the heap of fine German clockmaking companies along with Furtwangler and Winterhalder & Hofmeier. No one outdid them when it came to ornamentation of their clocks. In today’s market I think this fine example would sell for $4000-$4500 with retail value somewhat higher.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for this appraisal.
My best,
David

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