Mauthe Mantel Clocks are common, come in all shapes and sizes and can be found on most online for-sale sites, garage sales, flea markets and antique shops. Not all of them are in great shape and many have suffered the ravages of time and neglect. This attractive round-top mantel clock is in very good condition for its age.
While this is commonly called a mantel or shelf clock, in Mauthe marketing parlance it is referred to it as a “buffet clock”.
It is a 3-train Westminster chime pendulum clock with a 5-rod gong block and quarter-hour musical tone. I found it at an antique shop in Great Village, Nova Scotia (Canada) some time ago. It has an unmarked movement (no trademark) and has the number 50089 on the bottom right of the rear plate and there is no doubt that the movement is original to the case.
The Mauthe Clock Company
Mauthe clocks were made in Germany by a company that had a long and glorious life producing many thousands of wall, mantel, office and hall clocks. In 1844 Friedrich Mauthe and his wife Marie founded the company in Schwenningen, Germany to produce watch parts. At the end of the 1860s, Mauthe began to produce their own wall clocks (and movements). Some have been produced by home-work by the so-called “Gewerblern” method, a type of cottage industry, while others have been produced in a more “industrial” or factory way.
Mauthe sons Christian and James took over in 1876. In 1886 Mauthe began manufacturing its own spring mechanism.
Around 1900, alarm clocks, pendulum wall clocks, grandfather clocks, office clocks and “Buffet Uhren” or “Buffet clocks” were offered. The number of employees at that time went up to about 1,100 people. In 1904 the 3rd generation took over; Eugene Schreiber – son of Christian Mauthe, Dr. Fritz Mauthe – son of Jacob and Mauthe Alfred – son of Jacob Mauthe.
In 1925 Mauthe announced a new trademark. A right-looking eagle with outstretched wings, holding in its talons and a three-part round plate with the letters F, M and S. was stamped on the backplates. In 1930, the company produced about 45,000 clocks per week and employed a staff of over 2000. About 60% of the clocks were produced for a variety of export markets of which, England was the most important.
In the mid-1930s Mauthe started to manufacture their first wristwatches, some were even supplied to the German Army or “Wehrmacht”.
After a brief pause during the war years, Mauthe resumed production from 1946 onward, with the production of wristwatches. The company managed to carry over into the 50s, 60s and 70s, but eventually declared bankruptcy and closed in 1976.
Mauthe stopped clock production before continuing along with the production of wristwatches. This clock appears to have been produced around the time clock production was winding down, the 1950s.
It runs a full 8-day cycle and has a very pleasant sound. The case has a simple but attractive design, is in very good shape and the movement is clean having been serviced recently.
German movements are well-engineered, keep very good time and are certainly worth the cost of preserving.