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  1. #1

    Default Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock

    I bought a German grandfather clock in 1977 while stationed in Germany in the USAF. The clock has a Urgos gong and a Westminister chime. The only other markings on the clock are: P.L. 116 on the bottom left of the back movement plate and 713 on the bottom center of the back movement plate. The hinges for the top door and bottom door are on opposite sides of the cabinet. The clock is in excellent shape and runs perfectly. I tried to post photos, but couldn't figure out how.

    1. I was hoping to determine the manufacture date. Could the 713 possibly mean i was manufactured in July, 1913 or is the 713 a serial number?

    2. I guess the P.L. 116 means the pendulum is 116cm - does this help identify the manufacturer?

    3. I read somewhere that Urgos started manufacturing clocks in 1920, so does this mean my clock was made after 1920?

    4. Is it possible that 1 company made the gong and another company made the movement?

    5. Did Urgos put any identifying marks on their movements?

    6. Do the hinges being on opposited sides of the cabinet have any significance?

    Thank you for your help.
    Steve

  2. #2
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: stevedeb)

    Hello Steve and welcome.

    Yupp, we need pics of the clock, the dial, the movement.
    When you post a reply, you scroll down a little to the button
    "manage attachments". Search your hard drive, upload - that's it.

    Urgos was a tradename of the Uhren und Gongfabrik, Schwennigen
    (Black Forest), Haller, Jauch & Papst.

    No, your clock was not made in 1913, since the company was formed
    in 1920.

    713 may be a SN, or a movement model, I can't say, now.

    116 is most probably the pendulum length; most makers showed
    that in some way or another.

    In most cases, the makers stuck to their own types (and names)
    of gongs - unless the gongs themselves were unmarked.

    Urgos had a clock dial with chime rods as a trademark - but, not all
    movements were marked...

    Do a search on "Urgos" here on the board and you'll get plenty of
    reading.

    I don't know about the hinges, it all depends on whether or not
    it's plausible in general.

    Jurgen

    BTW: The pendulum leader is important for movement ID - and
    if possible, the strike rack on the front side too.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: stevedeb)

    Steve, welcome to the message board. I encourage you to post pictures of your clock, both case and front and back of the movement. That gives us much more to work with in addition to what you have stated, and we can probably talk more directly to your clock. I suspect that Urgos may have made both gong and movement, but that would be borne one way or the other out by the pictures. The length of the pendulum should have no bearing in the identification of the maker.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: Steven Thornberry)

    Thanks for the help on how to attach photos. Please let me know if additional pictures would be helpful in dating and identifying my clock.
    Thanks again,
    Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100.jpg   030.jpg   036.jpg   041.jpg   034.jpg  

    049.jpg   056.jpg   088.jpg  

  5. #5
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: stevedeb)

    Steve,

    this is exactly what I was afraid of...

    I suppose your clock is mid to late 1920s, but I can't
    get more specific on dating.

    Why?

    Your clock case style, called "Rundkopf" (round head) or
    "Rundbogen" (arch) was popular for a longer period of time,
    from about 1920s to very late 1930s.
    All the major makers had them in stock, they were very similiar,
    with minor differences.
    But after looking at the catalogues, there seem to be some clues.
    First, the numerals on the dials tended to be less fancy and plainer
    in the 1930s.
    Second, the two door types mostly appear in the mid to late
    1930s catalogues and seem to have disappeared by the mid
    1930s.

    Now, if the hands of your clock are held by a tapered pin, the
    clock should be somewhat "older".
    If there's a hand nut, the clock should be a bit "younger".

    Unfortunately, I did not find pictures of the open doors, but
    I have no doubts that your clock is original.
    If, at all, a door has been rehinged, it would be the top one.
    So you would see closed holes or something there on the opposite
    side of the hinges.

    The movement is a good quality "heavy" kind of make and it
    should outlast us all, with proper care.

    It's an Urgos, allright, and the plates should measure 170 x 250 mm.

    Sorry, that's about all I can contribute.

    Jurgen
    Last edited by soaringjoy; 06-29-2011 at 09:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User bkerr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: soaringjoy)

    Jurgen, excellent work on explaining the progress of theses clocks. There are quite a few in the states in fact I have one very close to the one pictured and am looking at maybe buying another. These clocks sound great!

    Thanks again for the education!

  7. #7
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: bkerr)

    Just scrolling around, I have found an old Urgos ad from 1925.
    An interesting detail, it says they specialized in tall case
    clock movements with strike or chimes - and - they also
    offer complete tall case clocks.
    It's emphasized, that they manufacture their own gongs -
    "unreachable sound", etc., etc.

    Jurgen
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Urgos1925.jpg  

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: soaringjoy)

    Hello Jurgen,

    Thank you very much for all of the information on my clock. I have attached a few additional pictures.

    If I understand correctly; my clock, including the movement, case, and gong were all made by Urgos probably in the mid to late 1920s.

    During this time frame did Urgos use serial numbers; and if so, could the "713" be a serial number? I seem to remember reading somewhere that Urgos started making clocks in 1923. Would you have any idea/educated guess on how many clocks they made per year and if they started with serial number 1? I would assume that Urgos made clocks other than grandfather clocks.

    Do you know what city/region in Germany that Urgos made clocks in the 1920s?

    Was it standard practice for Urgos in the 1920s to make clocks with doors opening on opposite sides of the case?

    Thanks again for all of your help,
    Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 014.jpg   015.jpg   024.jpg   031.jpg   043.jpg  

    048.jpg   050.jpg   052.jpg   039.jpg  

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: stevedeb)

    Nice clock you have. Somewhat unusual the Westminster movement is offset to one side.

    Urgos clocks were always good quality, aside from some of the 70's movements.

    As Jurgen said, this style of clock was popular until the late 1930's. I do remember seeing a few postwar examples, but not many.

    It's emphasized, that they manufacture their own gongs -
    "unreachable sound", etc., etc.
    Some makers imported gongs from other makers. Jsgus, for example.

    P.S. The lever beneath the chime hammers is a silencer, if ones wants the chimes to be silent.
    Justin A. Olson

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: chimeclockfan)

    Quote Originally Posted by chimeclockfan View Post
    Some makers imported gongs from other makers. Jsgus, for example.
    CCF --

    Now you know that we tend to gongphilia . So when one states that J. Schlenker-Grusen imported gongs from other makers, one (this other one) is curious.

    Or did you mean that some clock manufacturers had gongs (with e.g. their marks in the gong blocks) made for them? By, say, a gong-manufacturer? Or perhaps that some makers imported gongs from Jsgus?

    Yours in gongs,
    Zep
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Adr.buch 1925  S.008.jpg  

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: zepernick)

    Quote Originally Posted by zepernick View Post
    CCF --

    Now you know that we tend to gongphilia . So when one states that J. Schlenker-Grusen imported gongs from other makers, one (this other one) is curious.

    Or did you mean that some clock manufacturers had gongs (with e.g. their marks in the gong blocks) made for them? By, say, a gong-manufacturer? Or perhaps that some makers imported gongs from Jsgus?

    Yours in gongs,
    Zep
    Here is the clock. It would be Jsgus getting gongs from another maker.

    A video of the clock. *click here*
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gb n jsgus 059.jpg   gb n jsgus 061.jpg  
    Justin A. Olson

  12. #12

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: chimeclockfan)

    CCF --

    Thanks for the photo. But Isgus cheerfully sold lose Werke, especially Hausuhrwerke, to the trade. And as things progressed, to those outside the immediate trade as well.

    You could in other words just buy the bare (i.e. so-called "naked") movements. Or the complete clocks. Or somewhere in between (with dials, weights, etc.). Can't imagine that they would have been importing British made gong sets.

    Regards in gongs
    Zep
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Isgus Hausuhrwerke 1926.jpg  

  13. #13

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: zepernick)

    Thanks for the information. I, too, would view Jsgus importing British gong blocks as unlikely, if not redundant as Jsgus was capable of making their own gong blocks.
    Justin A. Olson

  14. #14
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: chimeclockfan)

    CCF,
    don't get your leg pulled by Zep;
    he just wanted us to know, that he's got the 1925
    address book too...

    No, seriously, there were a whole number of specialized,
    gong making foundries and they supplied them to some major
    German makers to their demands and wishes.
    Other makers proudly insisted on making their very own gongs.
    This is indeed a topic for a whole bunch of research, although there's
    a splendid "Gong Ho" article by Stevenson in the NAWCC bulletin
    of June 2009 on it.

    Zep also pointed out, that the makers sold their movements alone,
    marked or unmarked, with or without the gongs, etc.
    Any old cabinet maker, furnisher or wholesaler could do it - and
    they did.
    The procedures in France (roulants a Paris) were similiar, not even to
    mention reknown jewelers like Tiffany's or Wempe.

    As to Isgus, I wouldn't be surprized, if they imported British made
    gongs, just to sell them back to the UK with their clocks...
    Uhren-Mafia it was.

    Steve,
    yes, your clock should be around mid to late 1920s.

    Urgos was located in Schwenningen, WŁrttemberg, Black Forest,
    the town was more or less one big clock factory, so to say.
    I don't know about the doors, but it's a minor issue, because
    we can't say for certain, who actually made the case.

    I noticed a typo in my previous post, it should of course, be:

    But after looking at the catalogues, there seem to be some clues.
    First, the numerals on the dials tended to be less fancy and plainer
    in the 1930s.
    Second, the two door types mostly appear in the mid to late
    1920s catalogues and seem to have disappeared by the mid
    1930s.

    Jurgen

  15. #15

    Default Re: Help ID Antique German Grandfather Clock (RE: soaringjoy)

    Jurgen,

    Thanks again - I assumed that was a typo from your previous post. Any idea/guess as to what the "713" might represent?

    Steve

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