Winking Eyes Clock, ca. 1900

Value (2008) | $1,800 Auction$2,000 Retail

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.

Appraisal Details

Delaney Antique Clocks
West Townsend, MA
Appraised value (2008)
$1,800 Auction$2,000 Retail
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)

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