|Project by madburg||posted 02-28-2016 04:01 AM||2247 views||2 times favorited||18 comments|
This clock is a reproduction Laterndluhr, the original style of Vienna Regulator. They were amongst the finest clocks ever produced, both in the delicacy of their cases and the precision of their movements. The finest were made over a short period of time between c.1800 to c.1845. The term ‘Vienna regulator’ usually refers to a weight driven precision wall clock. There were two main early types. The Laterndluhr, or lantern clock has a large top and bottom case with a slimmer middle section. The Dachluhr, or roof top clock, typically has an architectural top and a single-section case. Both styles have glazed doors and side panels – the Laterndluhr is often called a nine light, while the Dachluhr is a six light. Another floor standing style was also made but in very small numbers. The extra length of these cases gave a longer drop for the weights enabling them to run for up to a year on one winding.
After about 1845 the classic restrained style degenerated into fussy, and over decorated cases. First came the Biedermeier style with carved pediments and pedestals, followed by the over decorated factory-made imitations by German makers. This over decorated style continued with more and more carving to the cases and endless turned finials. They were mass produced by German and American manufacturers right through to the early 1900’s.
The original Laterndluhr and Dachluhr cases were usually of pine veneered in mahogany, often with a contrasting lighter wood used for stringing the frames. Walnut and ash veneer was sometimes used, and there are some examples with ebonized fruit wood cases. All were made in relatively small numbers in or around Vienna in Austria, or in other cities of the Austrian Empire, including Budapest. Most run for 8 days, though some of the finer examples run for 6 months or even a year.
The rarest and most sought after of the original Laterndluhr’s, were those with ‘complications’, so called because they had a number of subsidiary dials. These would show day of the week, date, and month, and occasionally seconds.
My reproduction Laterndluhr is made of solid fiddle back Jarrah, with contrasting maple stringing. The back board, plinth and hood roof are veneered with Vavona, a burl from the Sequoia tree. The three box case has nine glazed, half jointed panels, three of which are doors. The hood with its architectural style top has a hinged door, while the trunk and pendulum doors lift up and then out. They are held in place by brass pegs, similar to the original clocks. The whole hood can also be removed by sliding it forward, to provide access to the movement, following the original designs.
The case has two typical ‘steady screws’ at the bottom to help fix its position on the wall. Other typical features are the small concave wooden mouldings on the top and bottom of the trunk, and the six small maple stringings on the trunk door.
The movement in my clock is Hermle’s 241 870, which comes complete with a 200mmm dial incorporating three subsidiary dials – the ‘complications’ mentioned above. It strikes the half hour and hours on a coiled gong. It is powered by two brass covered lead weights. There are other regulator movements by Hermle and Kieninger, some with Westminster chimes on either gongs or bells. The ultimate Vienna regulator movement currently is Kieningers RWS movement. This has a 240mm enamel dial, a 1 second beating pendulum, and a Westminster chime on an 8 rod gong – it is magnificent. There is also a Kieninger version with a smaller 180 mm dial, with a Westminster chime on a nest of bells.
When I made it in 2009 the asking price for an original Laterndluhr with ‘complications’ was in the region of US$39,000 – US$49,000. If you have a deep pocket, or want inspiration for your next wall clock project check out the superb range of examples on this specialist web site. www.campbellandarchard.co.uk/laterndluhrs.htm
-- Madburg WA