My quest for a one-weight Vienna Regulator ended this past week and I am now in possession of a miniature rather than a traditional antique Vienna wall clock. Here are first impressions back in 2016.
This attractive unmarked Vienna Regulator one-weight (time-only) clock is 34 inches long 4.75 inches deep and 11 inches at it’s widest point and 8.5 inches at the waist. There are no markings on the movement. My research tells me that very few Austrian clocks have markings on the back plates. There are indications that the lines and style suggest Austro-Hungary, about 1870. The maker, however is unknown.
I believe that this clock is a transitional clock that forms the link between the simplicity of the earlier styles and the extravagance of the latter. Where the earlier pieces rarely have columns on the side of the door, the transitional clocks have either broken columns (tops and bottoms of columns with hanging finials) or slender, elegant columns. In comparison, the hallmarks of the Alt Deutsch clocks were full, and typically fluted columns with Corinthian pediments and rectangular panels at the base. The four-posted keyhole mounts were common throughout the transitional period. Most dials are two-piece porcelain with spun-brass bezels.
Transitional Vienna Regulators typically have wooden pendulum rods and brass bobs with zinc backs. The cases were typically made with walnut, cherry and other fruit wood veneers. There are not as many ebonized or faux (false-grained) finishes in the transitional style cases.
This is a high quality clock housed in a beautiful walnut wood veneered case. The case is in excellent condition save for a few scratches near the door catch from the small brass hook moving back and forth and two small pieces of veneer missing on the uppermost right side that are not visible when looking at the clock head on.
The case is adorned with an attractive crown that is part of the clock unlike similar clocks that have removable toppers. Two finials finish the top. The finals do not appear to be original but are consistent with the style and age of the clock. The twin pillared tapered columns on either side start at the top and narrow towards the bottom of the case, an unusual feature and evidence of skilled craftsmanship. Curiously the left corner rectangular column piece is slightly longer than the right piece. The case is correctly finished on the bottom with a middle and corner finials. On the sides are two brass screws (or standoffs) for leveling adjustment.
Inside the case is a porcelain beat scale and large pendulum. All of the glass is original and in good shape. The interior glass clips used to secure the glass to the inside of the frame appear to be a later addition. The front glass which shows characteristic waviness and small imperfections are consistent with the age of the clock.
The simplicity of the time-only movement is what makes them last so long and remain easy to maintain. The four-posted key-hole mount is typical of a Germanic or Austrian clock. The Graham deadbeat escapement assures accurate timekeeping.
The brass weight is hung from a brass pulley by mean of catgut cable. The dial is a two piece porcelain with inner and outer brass bezels surrounded by roman numerals with bold but delicately styled hands. The winding arbour is framed in brass. There is some crazing on the dial consistent with aging.
The original clock key is a winding type with wooden handle.
There are stylistic elements that suggest that the clock is Germanic or Austrian such as the elaborate clock hands, the tapered pillars, and integrated crown. So, is this clock a Germanic, Austrian or Austro-Hungarian regulator? I am very pleased with my purchase and I believe that I bought a quality clock that, according to my research, was made in or about 1870. If you know the answer or can point me in the right direction I can be one step closer to solving this mystery.