Johann Baptist Beha is without question one of the most famous cuckoo clockmakers to have ever lived. The innovations that he brought to the cuckoo clock without question shaped the cuckoo clock into the clock that is recognized today.
Although his innovations are many, possibly the most significant innovation he brought was being the first in the Black Forest to integrate the cuckoo movement into an enclosed case. Before this time the cuckoo was only being produced with a lacquered shield.
Although this small and simple Beidermeier cuckoo with alabaster comumns looks unassuming. This clock is so histrionically significant because it was made by Johann Baptist Beha in 1842, when he was just 27 years old, it is one of the earliest known examples of a cased cuckoo clock. If fact there is just one other known surviving example of a cased cuckoo clock from this period, and it resides in the Cuckooland Museum in the UK.
This clock is also documented in the book Beha Uhren by Wilhelm Schneider. It is shown in the first page of the Beha chapter next to the only other known example, and it historic significance is discussed in detail.
Its history is equally exciting. The clock was first discovered by the author in the early 1980′s. A blurry photo was sent from the United States to Germany. After this initial contact the owner of the clock and its owner vanished and it was lost. Even though the photo was of very poor quality, its historical significance made it worthy to be included in the publication. The photo of this identical clock first taken in the early 1980′s is featured in the book.
With great fortune I recently purcahsed a large collection of over 20 Black Forest clocks. To my excitement this Beha, that has been “missing” for decades was apart of this collection… and now it has a permanent home here.
We are always interested in purchasing cuckoo clocks. Especially early clocks made by Johann Baptist Beha during the 1840′s and 1850′s.