We just returned from the 2012 NAWCC National Convention in Pasadena, California. It was a fantastic show, and we will go into the details on our exhibit in the next post… but first we want to share with you our newest acquisition.
On Saturday, which is the last day of the show, a elderly Gentleman approached our display and asked if we had any interest in a large musical Wehrle shelf trumpeter clock. After getting some details on the clock (which turned out to be a Wehrle flute clock) we made a deal and immediately collected the clock at his home in the Los Angeles area. When we returned to the convention with this new musical monster in hand it really added excitement to our Black Forest display… and the prospect that really great clocks can still be found at the NAWCC conventions.
Some details on the clock:
The clock turned out to be a wonderful example of Emilians work. The case is heavily carved and measures at over 44″ in height. The case is done in a traditional hunters motif, although this is a common motif found on wall hanging Black Forest clocks, it is rarely seen on table examples. The movement in the clock is a massive (solid brass plate) movement that gives the clock a running duration of 8-days. The clock plays two complex tunes at the top of the hour (on 8 wood pipes), while the tune plays a large flute playing figure appears behind the double doors in the base of the case.
What further perked our interest in this clock is this clock was photographed and included in Rick Ortenburgers book, Black Forest Clocks, back in 1991. The clock can be seen on page 202. Besides the owners story confirming this clock was documented, a label from an early 20th century repair in San Francisco can be found in the photo of the book, which matches the clock now in our possession. This identicle clock had been known to us for nearly 20 years, but its where about unknown!
The condition of the clock is really magnificent, it is one of the most original Wehrle’s we have owned. The caption in Ortenburger states, “This clock is in very original condition”.. and we are so glad the owner had continued to care for the clock all these years.
We have lightly waxed the case, oiled the movement, and done some minor adjustments to the pneumatics. The clock now plays very well, and fills the house with the most beautiful sounding tune.
We are always looking for additional examples of musical Black Forest clocks. Even if it is not a piece you are interested in selling, we would love to see photos of the clock to further our understanding of what was made.
Justin J. Miller