Archive for December, 2011
On a recent trip to the UK, I paid a visit to the Cuckooland Museum. Just as the name implies, the museum is dedicated to preserving 300-plus years of cuckoo clock history. It was started by two brothers, Roman and Maz Piekarski, who were trained as clockmakers from a young age.
At first, the collection was comprised mainly of antique German Black Forest cuckoo clocks. Some of the rare clocks in their collection include the “cuckoo and echo” clock that is one of only six in existence. Timepieces by Black Forest clockmaker Johan Baptist Beha are also on display. For me, the most fascinating clocks were those that reflected more modern styles like Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
In our modern world of atomic clocks and satellite-transmitted time signals, regulator wall clocks are definitely like an antiquated timekeeping mechanism. When they were first put into production at the end of the 18th century, however, they represented the gold standard in timekeeping accuracy. In an effort to make them as precise as possible, they were stripped of all of the non-essentials, such as calendars, allowing each hand to move off a discrete mechanism.
Over the years the design of regulator wall clocks has changed dramatically, including innovations allowing for the space-saving wall variety. Although there are more accurate options on the market today, pendulum-style one day cuckoo clocks are still utilized as a traditional piece of home décor.