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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lenzkirch Wall Clock (ca. 1878)

The Completed Clock

A piece I recently worked on was a German Wall Clock made by the Lenzkirch Clock Company ca. 1878. The clock had several markings on the movement which shed light on to the age of the clock. The first marking found said "D.R.P. May 21 1878". D.R.P. is short for Deutsches Reichspatent which is a German patent prior to May 1945. With this in mind the earliest possible date of manufacture of this clock would be after the patent date.

Below this marking were stamped the numbers 8160. This is a model number for the movement and not a serial number. According to a website on Lenzkirch clocks, the serial numbers were around  627,912 by this time. A little research showed that this model was a spring wound wall clock with an asymmetrical arbor. The asymmetrical arbor was probably an attempt to maintain the torque on the mainspring, allowing the clock to keep a more constant time. 

The other stamp on the clock was the name Lenzkirch and the letters A.U.G. . The initials stood for  Aktien (Stockholder), Uhrenfabrikation (Clock Factory), and Gesellschaft (Corporation). All of this show that the movement was made by the Lenzkirch factory in the late 19th century. 

The case for the clock was made of pine. The outer ring of the clock was made of Elm and had a brass bezel ring which surrounded the flat bezel. The clock face itself was painted on metal and had roman numerals indicating the hours. The hands were steel moon style hands.

After all of this information was gathered, I set about my task of restoring this clock. In addition, I was asked to replace the movement with a modern quartz movement so that the clock would keep good time and would not have to be wound. The clock hung high on the customer's kitchen wall so winding it was a chore. 

I had no problem with doing this because I was able to replace the movement without permanently altering the clock. I did this by first removing the movement and then replacing it with a wood block that the quartz movement would attach to. The face would then attach to the new movement. I was even able to find moon style replacement hands for the new movement (nice, but not as nice as the originals!). The procedure of switching the movements was relatively straightforward and allowed for the clock to be admired as well as used. I then cleaned the glass and the case of the clock and returned it and the movement to the owner. Below are some photos prior to the case being cleaned followed by some photos of the movement and the completed clock.

This photo shows the clock as it came to me.
The original movement and the chime removed from the clock.
The next two photos show the stamps on the clock movement.

This block was used to attach the new movement and position the face in the right place.
The completed clock with the new moon style hands.

Here is a link to a website on the Lenzkirch Clock Company: http://www.lenzkirchclocks.com/

The company closed its doors in 1933.

9 comments:

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  8. Amazing. You able to replaced the movement without altering the clock. It must be really difficult and need precision to did it. And I like that wooden clock. So unique. It would be perfect if that wood clock hung at my livingroom wall. It would be perfectly decorate my livingroom. I appreciate your work and thanks for share your knowledge.
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