Thank you for sending in this Kienzle mantel clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Let me say that I start out at a disadvantage because of information that has already been supplied to you by a gentleman you trust. I have never heard of Kienzle clock that is worth many thousands of dollars, but I will show you similar examples before I finish my own appraisal.
I have in the past been in contact with Dr. Eduard Saluz who ran the German Clock Museum in Furtwangen in the Black Forest. He apparently retired in June of this year and I have emailed the Museum to try to find him as a consultant since no one is more of an expert in German clocks as Dr. Saluz.
I do not mean for this appraisal to cast any aspirations on Dale, who appears to have a very good reputation, is trusted and well liked, from what I can see online.
Over the past decades I have appraised and looked at many Kienzle clocks and I feel confident that I can do this appraisal properly for you, as long as you keep an open mind about what I am describing. What I send you is not Fake News but my honest opinion about your clock, and as much significant data on your clock and this company that I can logically put together. What I would like you to understand up front is that, to this day, no one has put together a database of Kienzle Serial numbers, where one can identify a date based upon a serial number on the back plate of the clock.
Art Deco era, mahogany, three train, triple spring driven, eight day time, hour/half hour striking and quarterly chiming mantel clock, S/N 155294, made by the Kienzle Clock Factories, Schwenningen, Black Forest, Germany, circa 1925-1930.
Case: 15” x 9.75”-11.75” x 6.5-7.5” depth, solid mahogany mantel clock case with arched mahogany case enclosing an arched gilt framed, beveled glass dial door. The sides of the case are not seen but assumed solid mahogany. The rear of the case has a square door providing access to the movement compartment and has a brass cross-hatched screen to allow the strike and chimes to exit easily from inside the case. The lower part of the case has a double stepped molding down to a broad flat mahogany base molding and all rest on suppressed ball “button” feet.
Dial: This is an arched silvered metal dial with upright enameled Arabic hours, closed minute track, steel Continental-style Spade hands and three winding apertures for time, strike and chiming functions. There is a matte silvered dial center. The main dial is surrounded by rosette and foliate filigreed spandrel ornaments while in the upper dial floral designs continue with the presence of two subsidiary dials: a circular dial to make the movement run faster and slower (to achieve greater precision), and a chime/silent feature which can turn the chiming function off when desired. The dial is not signed by the clockmaker.
Movement: Although I cannot see the movement in full it is a rectilinear brass plate example with tubular corner pillars connecting the front and rear plates and screwed together at the back plate. There should be an anchor recoil escapement and the presence of three steel springs which power the clock for approximately eight days, cause striking on the hour and possibly half hour and quarterly chiming on a set of several (perhaps five) metal rods with matching movement hammers. A short metal pendulum rod and heavy brass bob hang from the pendulum suspension at the top of the back plate.
The information on the rear plate is very informative.
(1) – Serial number 155294. As previously noted there is no consistent published information on the chronology of Kienzle serial numbers.
(2) – D.R.P. is the Deutsches Reichspatent, a proper patent in Germany from 1877 to 1945 and used for innovative true inventions. On your clock these numbers are:
D.R.P. 283312 (This was a 1914 German patent, also registered in the USA in 1914)
D.R.P. 367338 (This was a 1923 German patent number)
(3) - D.R.G.M. is Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchs Musterschutz, a utility model patent used in Germany from 1891 until 1944 and indicative of a patent applied not to an invention but to a change in the appearance of an object. On your clock the movement is marked: D.R.G.M. 779005 (This was a utility model patent from 1920, registered in the USA in 1925)
**N.B. -THE PRESENCE OF THE DATE 1925 ON THE BACK PLATE INDICATES THAT THIS CLOCK COULD ONLY HAVE BEEN MADE AFTER 1925. Kienzle opened an office in New York City run by Erich Kienzle, a family member, in 1914. Therefore, 1914 had to be a date when Kienzle was sending clocks directly to America. However, Kienzle had been making clocks for quite a few years prior to World War I which were made specifically for export to English speaking countries such as Great Britain and the USA. Following WWI they stopped signing their dials, like all other German clock makers, out of a fear that the Allied Nations, countries that defeated them in the War, would not purchase such clocks if they knew their origin was Germany.
(4) – Of great significance is the wording behind the pendulum rod. “Kienzle Clock Factories, Schwenningen, Germany” above the trademark - a dial with Arabic hours and wings to either side. The original winged dial logo was registered in 1892 in Germany and on June 2, 1914 in the USA. SEE: https://mb.nawcc.org/attachments/figure-24-marks-jpg.4998/
This particular winged dial on the back plate of your clock movement is slightly simpler and different from the 1892 design. There are no circles around the numerals as in the old logo. The new logo was actually filed in the USA on March 8, 1924 and had been in use since 1921. Also, if you read the URL below, it does say the Kienzle family business changed to a stockholder corporation, “Kienzle Clock Factories” A.G. (Germany), in 1922, another indication your clock was made in the 1920s not early in the history of Kienzle in the USA, circa 1914). SEE:
(5) – The numbers on the rear plate at the bottom, 18cm and what actually should be read 157.98 represent a measurement of the plates of the clock movement (in centimeters) and the length of the pendulum (I believe in millimeters).
Case – Excellent condition, original beveled glass in the front door.
Dial – Excellent and fine throughout although unsigned. There is a slight scuff or rub between the 11 and 12 positions.
Movement - Original to this case, genuine and functional. In very good condition.
GENERAL HISTORY of the Kienzle Clock Company:
What today is the Kienzle clock factory was founded in 1822 in Schwenningen Germany by Johannes Schlenker. Schlenker was a master watch maker. Ownership passed to his son Christian who became partners with his son-in-law Jacob Kienzle (1859-1935). Kienzle has trained under his own uncle, noted clockmaker, Friedrich Mauthe. Their partnership, known as Schlenker & Kienzle lasts from 1883-1897. After 1897 Kienzle is the sole owner of the business and by this time the company is producing about 250,000 clocks per year. Their major products before 1900 were wall clocks with and without alarm. Under Kienzle’s direction the company grew rapidly, adding factories in Czechoslovakia, Milan and Paris. In 1914 they added a New York City office for distribution of their products. The flying winged clock dial was well known since the 1890 era, but was reissued, a bit plainer version, in 1921. The company left the control of family in 1925 and became a stockholder corporation, Kienzle Clock Factories, It became well known all over the globe. In 1929 Kienzle merged with Thomas Ernst Haller, and by 1939 it had 3500 employees and produced 5,000,000 clocks per year. In the second half of the 20th century Kienzle focused on watch production and still produces movements for the wholesale trade. The use of the trademark of the dial and wings was first issued on June 4, 1910. They continued to use this trademark until about 1929. There were many Kienzle trademarks over the years but the most famous were their two flying clock dials.
KIENZLE CLOCK PRICES:
Modernistic Kienzle clocks from the 1970s and 1980s have bought very high prices as specific signed designer items, up to $20,000. I am avoiding showing those examples since they have no bearing on the price of your clock. I have seen several examples of your model during my years of appraising clocks. The first two examples are the mantel clocks by Kienzle which bought the highest prices on the two major American auction websites:
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/55898021_kienzle-german-bracket-clock (This is the most expensive Kienzle bracket type mantel clock ever sold on live auctioneers. It sold for $350 in 2017)
~https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/clocks-2-two-european-clocks-kienzle-8-days-westm-604-c-c577be25fb (Here is a Kienzle bracket clock combined with an English lantern clock. The two sold for $3500 together.
This was the highest price on invaluable auctioneers for a Kienzle bracket type mantel clock.)
https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/a-german-carved-mixed-wood-quarter-chiming-mantel-clock-r-Qrkwzms- (this example reached $800 at Bonhams in 2010 and was the highest price for a Kienzle bracket type mantel clock ever sold on the Barnebys auction website, the largest in Europe)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/germany-kienzle-8-day-time-and-strike-spring-brass-movement-westminster-r7HDPVL3- (Sold in 2017 for $170)
(Sold at Christies in 2002 at the height of the clock market, it sold for $608)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/kienzle-german-triple-wind-mantel-clock-c-1920-IpU-i_-E6 (sold in 2017 for $200, made in 1920)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/kienzle-german-westminster-chime-mantel-clock-housed-in-a-mahogany-nUhif4AaHf (mahogany chiming example sold in 2017 and made in 1915, sold for $160)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/vintage-mahogany-kienzle-german-mantel-clock-RwIwXvRf9u (Sold for $50 in 2016)
https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/a-late-19th-early-20th-century-german-oak-cased-mantel-clock-by-kienzle (similar dial on clock offered in 2012 auction, but withdrawn when it only reached $325)
https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/a-german-carved-mixed-wood-quarter-chiming-mantel-clock-r-Qrkwzms- (this example reached $800 at Bonhams in 2010 and was the highest price for a Kienzle bracket type mantel clock every sold on the Barnebys auction website, the largest in Europe)
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-german-eight-day-clock-with-westminster-chime-b-4062-c-0ea4720ae9 (Sold for 300 Australian dollars in 2019)
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/c-1925-german-kienzle-westminster-chime-bracket-c-105b-c-cs1zh1vlyf (sold for $200 in 2006)
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-large-1930s-continental-oak-cased-mantle-clock-526-c-0e9467b875# (sold for 200 British Pounds in 2020 = $258)\
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/14678892_950-a-late-19th-century-german-oak-cased-mantel-clock (I do not know the German clockmaker but similar to your example and sold for 90 Pounds.)
To go back to part of your comments (MY COMMENTARY IN CAPITALS), “I took to a professional clock horologist and he stated after checking into all the numbers, that this clock is the only one of its kind (JUST NOT TRUE) and the first made in English numerics for the USA (ALSO NOT TRUE SINCE THIS CLOCK WAS MADE AFTER 1925. IT WAS LONG BEFORE 1925 THAT KIENZLE MADE CLOCKS FOR DISTRIBUTION IN AMERICA AND HAD AN OFFICE IN NEW YORK CITY AROUND 1914 WHEN ENGLISH CERTAINLY WAS USED ON THE CLOCK AND MOVEMENT). He stated its imperative I get insurance on this clock and it's worth thousands. (IT IS IN FINE FUNCTIONAL CONDITION AND BECAUSE OF ITS CONDTION IS WORTH HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS.) I do want to know the exact value if at all possible (THERE IS NO EXACT VALUE BUT I WILL GIVE YOU A RANGE).
This is a very fine example of a Kienzle Art Deco era mantel clock in superb condition and functional. I would place a fair market value of $750-$800 on the clock with retail prices about twice that amount (use that retail figure for insurance purposes. You will find it listed under the fair market value.)
** If this local horologist offers you $1800 for your clock, it is really imperative to sell it to him as soon as you can. (I do mean that and I am not joking, although I am smiling.) I do not think that will happen, but why don’t you at least offer it to him and see what he is truly willing to pay you.
Thank you again for choosing mearto.com.
I hope you are not terribly disappointed with my report, but I do believe I am correct or at least in the right ballpark.
Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry. So that I may best assist you, can you please upload a single clear view of the entire dial since i can only see it through a beveled glass door and need to see it clearly.
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