Winking Eyes Clock, ca. 1900
I brought in a clock that has been in the family for approximately, oh, 40 years or more. My father was a clock collector and he was stationed in Germany in the late '50s, early '60s. And while we were over there, he purchased this clock. He used to name his clocks, and this one he named Andreas. It was my favorite clock, and I had it in my room when I was a little girl. And then, when I turned 30, he gave it to me as a birthday present.
Okay, well, what you've brought in is what we call a winking eye clock. Now, this particular clock is probably of German Black Forest origin. Possibly Swiss, but more likely German. And that means that it has a movement that's made out of a combination of steel and brass gearing. And then it also has a wooden frame. Now, this particular type of construction you see a lot in cuckoo clocks and other types of clocks from that area. The construction of the case is very interesting. Here we have a clock that looks much like a picture frame that frames a wonderful chromolithograph picture of a... probably a Bavarian or a Swiss hunter right before his going out for his expedition. The colors and the condition of this thing are really outstanding. There's this felt hat, his really nice, trimmed mustache. Again, they made many, many clocks in that region, probably hundreds of thousands annually. But what really makes this clock quite special, other than the fact that it's in such great condition, when this clock is running, his eyes will actually move back and forth as the pendulum swings. And that really sets it apart. Any time you add automation to a clock, it changes it from just a strictly horological timepiece to something that's whimsical and fun to have. This type of clock is weight-driven and originally designed to hang on the wall. And as you said to me earlier today, that the pendulum's at home and it had weights that would hang from it. It would run approximately 30 hours on a wind and strike the hour on a wire gong. Made about 1900. You may notice that there's a name, Karl Lech. That name may actually represent the person that did the coloring for the chromolithograph. Another reason why it's in such great condition is it has this glass to protect it overall. If it didn't have the automation, it wouldn't be something that would be particularly valuable. But because it has the automation feature to the clock, it makes it really desirable. A clock like this I could see quite easily selling in a retail shop or at a well-placed auction somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,800 to about $2,000.
Oh, my father would be thrilled. I love the clock. It's entertained me since I was a little girl.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.