Junghans Antique Chess Clock

Lot #32. Junghans Antique Chess Clock

Junghans Antique Chess Clock.

This offering features a very rare Junghans Antique Chess Clock produced by the Junghans Clock Company.  This mechanical analog game timer features two wind-up mechanisms which could be independently stopped by pressing a rocker bar atop the frame which engages one of the escapements, thus causing that timing mechanism to stop. Incorporated into the handle is a flip-up cradle which holds the rocker bar in the pause position, stopping both mechanisms. The clock measures approximately 10 1/4″ x 6″ x 3″. Both the movements are in good working order.

A similar late 19th century Antique chess clock was made by Thomas Haller, Schwenningen. Thomas Haller merged with the Junghans clock company on April 1, 1900. Clocks like this, and those manufactured by Fattorini, Jaques and Tanner, were the earliest of the analog chess clocks used to regulate the time used by each player during the course of the game. This Junghans Chess Timer dates from the 1890s.

Brief history

Junghans was one of the principal companies in the long and eventful story of clock-making in Germany, with multiple factories, inventions, and a huge range of clocks of all sorts. The company was founded in 1861 by Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law Jakob Zeller-Tobler, in the town of Schramberg, located in the Baden region of the Black Forest. The company initially concentrated on producing clock parts for other clock manufacturers and it wasn’t until 1886 that the two partners had raised enough capital to begin production of their own clocks.

In 1870, Junghans was taken over by Erhard’s sons, Arthur and Erhard Jr. By the turn of the twentieth century Junghans had surpassed all other clock makers in Germany in both quality and production. In 1890, Junghans famous eight-point star trademark was designed which is still being used today on modern Junghans wrist-watches.

By 1903, Junghans had become the largest clock manufacturer in the world. They employed over three-thousand people and produced over three million clocks each year. Junghans produced a wide variety of timepieces and cases and moreover, created a range of clocks that were marketed for a wider demographic of potential buyers.

Junghans continued to expand into the early twentieth century and would merge with other well-known German clock manufacturers such as Gustav Becker, Thomas Haller and Lenzkirch. From the 1920s, Junghans became increasingly more concerned with the production of wrist-watches and by the mid-twentieth century production of the classic models of clocks had almost come to a complete stop.

An interesting history of the Junghans Company can be found at: http://www.clockguy.com/SiteRelated/SiteReferencePages/JunghansHistory.html

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