Lenzkirch Clocks



2015-06-26 11:08:58

Lenzkirch clocks were produced between 1852 and 1930 and gained a reputation as some of the most well-crafted and richly decorated clocks in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century.

Brief history

Established in the south German village, Lenzkirch, the company was founded by Eduard Hauser. Originally trained in metalworking and in the design of musical instruments, Hauser gained clock making experience in France and Switzerland and established the company in 1851.

In 1857, Hauser was managing the clock factory along with Paul and Nikolas Tritscheller and Franz Josef Faller and the company quickly developed a solid name for making excellent and reliable clocks. Lenzkirch clocks used machinery and technology far advanced for this period and quickly asserted itself as the dominant German clock manufacturer in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

During its eighty year history, the Lenzkirch clock factory employed thousands of people and in 1900, at the height of the company’s productivity, employed nearly five-hundred workers. Their factory was the largest in the Badenia region of the Black Forest. However, in 1928, unable to compete with their ageing equipment compared to the growing number of modern clock making factories in Germany, the Lenzkirch Clock Company merged with Junghans Brothers. The factory in Lenzkirch was dissolved in 1929 and Lenzkirch operated as a satellite company for Junghans until 1933.

Guide for collectors

Lenzkirch clocks produced during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century in the Black Forest area of Germany are very popular among clock collectors as they represent some of the most outstanding examples of clock making craftsmanship. Companies such as Lenzkirch helped to establish the Black Forest area's international reputation for excellence and quality.

Lenzkirch produced a number of clock movements, including wall clocks, mantel clocks and table clocks and, depending on the pieces age and condition, prices tend to range from $400 to $5,000 at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. The most collectable and expensive Lenzkirch clocks are the tall-case (grandfather) clocks and the earlier the model the more expensive they are.

Below is a recent list of serial numbers with the corresponding years of production. For more detailed information, collectors should locate the reference book “Lenzkircher Uhren: 1851-2001 (150 Yahre) Aus de Geschichte einer bemerkenswerten Uhrmacherzeit”.

  • 1852 23,256
  • 1855 93,024
  • 1860 209,304
  • 1865 325,584
  • 1870 441,864
  • 1875 558,114
  • 1880 574,424
  • 1885 790,704
  • 1890 906,984
  • 1894 1,000,000
  • 1895 1,038,867
  • 1900 1,233,242
  • 1905 1,427,617
  • 1910 1,621,992
  • 1915 1,816,267
  • 1920 2,010,652
  • 1925 2,505,017
  • 1930 2,399,392

Notable Sales

On November 6th 2011, a Lenzkirch grandfather clock realised a price of $39,200 when it was auctioned by the Stevens Auction Company, Aberdeen, Missouri. The clock, which was 8ft 2” inches tall and featured a music box that played 15” discs, was dated to the early 1860s and became a new world record for a Lenzkirch clock sold at auction.

In April 2007 at Christie’s, London, a Lenzkirch striking eight day ‘Vienna’ wall clock was sold for $667.

In November 2007, a German ebonized regulator long-case clock, made by Lenzkirch circa 1900, was sold through Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, for a realised price of €5,250.

A large German ebonized walnut weight driven regulator wall clock, produced by Lenzkirch at the end of the nineteenth century, fetched €1,800 when it was sold through Sotheby’s, Amsterdam.

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