Photographed pre-restoration is this fine example of a cuckoo and quail shelf clock from perhaps the best known Black Forest maker, J. S. Beha & Soehne, This is a slight variation on the Model 508 dating from around 1865 – the base has a simple rail, unadorned with vine leaves which differs from the catalogue diagram, but this has clearly never been any other way.
The case requires very little work to restore it to its former glory – the largest loss is the rail of the fencing on the left hand side.
It has the original wooden-plated triple fusee movement and bellows, all intact but showing signs of wear, to be overhauled by us prior to sale and guaranteed for 3 years. The strike has a combination of calling from the quail on each quarter, the cuckoo on the hour followed by a strike on the coiled gong affixed to the back.
Carved bone numerals and hands that have been repaired once or twice.
There is a big variety in the quality of carving on these intricate vine leaf clocks, even among those by the same clockmaker. The case carving was done by a number of cottage craftsmen situated around the Black Forest factory. This clock has among the finest I have seen, the grape vines with a delicate quality to them.
Beha cuckoo clocks are perhaps the most famous of all Black Forest clocks. This style of adorned railway-house case had evolved from the pioneering simpler version of the same, designed by Friedrich Eisenlohr in the early 1850s.