German Mantel Clock with Fiddler Automaton, by Junghans


Dating to the last decade of the 19th century, this entertaining clock plays music on the hour. It does this by driving a music box movement. As it plays, additional linkages operate a fiddler in operatic costume. The functions include his bow arm fiddling, his leg tapping, and his rotating and his torso bending forward at the waist in time to the music.

The fiddler’s velvet outfit and trimmings are absolutely original, and hence look a little tired, but in-keeping with its age. In fact, all aspects of this clock automaton are original.

The clock movement has a duration of approximately two days, but in reality you wild describe this as a 30-hour (daily-wound) clock. There is a trip button on the top of the oak case top set the automaton going at will.

The simple oak case has brass adornments.

The pristine white enamel two-piece dial bears Junghans’ star trademark inset with a ‘J’ , a symbol that was registered in 1888. By 1903, Junghans was the largest clock manufacturer in the world, producing over 3 million timepieces per year.

Both the clock movement and music / automaton motionwork are working beautifully, having been fully overhauled (see video).

It is protected under a large antique glass dome, on an ebonised velvet-covered base.


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