Another wall has been added to my collection. Let’s look at what I have and whether or not it is worth what I paid.
It was advertised locally (Truro, Nova Scotia area). The seller knew surprisingly little about the clock beyond it’s provenance but it was an interesting but brief story nonetheless.
In the early 1980s his wife brought the clock over from Holland. It had been in his wife’s family for several generations. The gentleman’s wife had passed away three years ago and had she been alive today I would certainly have learned a lot more about its history. The seller was reluctant to let this clock ago since it was a happy reminder of his past life. But he was moving into the next phase of his life with a new partner and that meant divesting of furniture and other items. Like him, I think of life in phases. The price for this clock was $100 and non-negotiable.
It is two train (time and strike) spring wound clock and some would say that it is in the style of a Vienna Regulator. The movement, as expected is dirty. It is very common for clocks such as this never to have been serviced although at one point some adjustments were made judging from marks on some of the screws on the movement. The clock is Intact except for a missing finial on the bottom centre base. Why is it the only missing part? The clock came over in a suitcase and in order to make it fit the bottom final was snapped off and lost forever.
The clock is over 100 years old. My research tells me that it was made between 1895 and 1914 though the exact year of manufacture is unknown. The trademark is a Friedrich Mauthe of Schwenningen (FMS) in 3 spokes with eagle on top. Mauthe trademarks are distinctive and each one reveals the period of time the clock was made.
Other than benign neglect the case is in good condition and everything appears to be original including the winding key.
The crown nestles into a slot on the top of the clock and can be removed quickly if the clock needs to be moved. The crown is made of wood though the horse seems to be made out of some sort of casting material.
The dial is made of celluloid and darkened with age. There is a leaf-like emblem inside the dial surround typical of designs from this period.
The base is nondescript though the bottom centre finial is missing. That will be replaced.
The coil gong and block with movement rails is typical for the period.
History of FMS Mauthe
Mauthe clocks have had a long and illustrious history in Germany. In 1844 Friedrich Mauthe and his wife Marie founded the company in Schwenningen to produce watch parts. At the end of the 1860s Mauthe began to produce their own wall clocks (and movements). The Mauthe sons Christian (1845-1909) and James (1847-1915) took over in 1876. In 1886 Mauthe began manufacturing its own spring. Around 1900, alarm clocks, pendulum wall clocks, grandfather clocks, office clocks and so called “Buffet Uhren” or “Buffet clocks” were offered. 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 to build on the base of the company.
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. In the 1930s the company at its peak produced about 45.000 clocks per week. About 60% were produced for export markets such as England. In the Mid-30s Mauthe started to manufacture their first wrist watches and some were supplied to the German Army (“Wehrmacht”). From 1946 on Mauthe re-started with the production of wrist watches. It was not long after that the company fell into decline.
Was it worth $100? I would say yes, but it would be the top end of what I would typically pay for a clock like this. Now to clean the clock up, install a new bottom middle final and put it in the queue for servicing.