RS Mauthe mantle clock (30)
Mauthe mantel clock

Mauthe Mantel Clocks are common 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.

We call this clock a mantel or shelf clock although Mauthe typically referred to it as a “buffet clock”.

It is a 3-train Westminster chime pendulum clock with 5-rod gong block and quarter hour musical tone. It was found at an antique shop in Great Village, Nova Scotia. Sometimes it is hard to tell if these shops are antique shops or a glorified flea markets. Nevertheless, it was an excellent price for a Mauthe clock. It is an unmarked movement (no trademark logo) and has the number 50089 on the rear bottom right of the movement but there is no doubt that the movement is original to the case.

RS Mauthe mantle clock (29)
Back of the clock showing the 3-train movement
RS Mauthe mantle clock (28)
Mauthe clock on top of a Stromberg Carlson console radio

The Mauthe Clock Company

Mauthe clocks have an interesting history. In 1844 Friedrich Mauthe and his wife Marie founded a company in Schwenningen, Germany to produce watch parts. At the end of the 1860’s Mauthe began to produce their own wall clocks (and movements). Some have been produced by home-work by so called “Gewerblern”, others have been produced in a more “industrial” way.

The Mauthe sons Christian (1845-1909) and James (1847-1915) 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 so called “Buffet Uhren” “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 (1877-1939) – son of Christian Mauthe, Dr. Fritz Mauthe (1875-1951) – son of Jacob and Mauthe Alfred (1879-1911) – son of Jacob Mauthe.

In 1925 Mauthe announced a new trademark. It shows a right-looking eagle with outstretched wings, holding in its talons a three-part round plate with the letters F, M and S. Early in 1930 the company produced about 45.000 clocks per week (with 2000 employees). About 60% were produced for export markets, England was an important export market.

In the mid-1930’s Mauthe started to manufacture their first wrist watches, some were even supplied to the German Army (“Wehrmacht”).

From 1946 on Mauthe re-started with the production of wrist watches. The company eventually declared bankruptcy and closed in 1976.

RS Mauthe mantle clock (11)
Clock face in excellent condition

My research tells me that Mauthe stopped clock production sometime in the 1940’s. This clock appears to have been produced around that time.

In summary

It runs a full 8 day cycle and has a very nice sound. The movement is in good shape though a good cleaning is due. The case is in generally good shape but a fresh coat of shellac would bring back luster to the finish. The brass/copper trim was cleaned up and it looks very good especially on top of a Stromberg Carlson console radio of the same period.

German movements are well engineered, keep very good time and are certainly worth keeping and repairing.