Handcrafted from the Black Forest
The cuckoo clock known today is the most popular form of ornamental clock—one that is decorative as well as functional. When the tiny wood cuckoo emerges to call the hour, two small pipes attached to two miniature bellows make his call. The sets of pipe-and-bellows are mounted on either side of the clock with slots cut through the wood frame opposite the bellow vents to allow the sound to be heard. Inside the clock, a finely made set of brass clockworks controls the time-telling. Two weights shaped like pine cones that dangle from the ends of chains and a pendulum that is tipped with a leaf add to the traditional appearance, although these are only decorative on modern clocks that are spring-driven.
The cuckoo clock is a favorite souvenir of travelers, particularly handcrafted cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest region of Germany. The clock is prized for a number of its features. The outer worked wood case is usually made of beautiful dark wood that is intricately carved with folk and forest scenes. The clock itself is made in the premier clock-and watch-making area of the world. And, finally, there is the cuckoo and its fellows. On the hour (and often the half-and quarter-hour as well), the charming carved bird pops out of a door to sing the hour in a melodic “Coocoo!Coocoo!” call. He is often introduced or followed by a parade of townspeople, forest creatures, or other animals that circle through another door and seem to celebrate the passing of every hour and the timelessness of their carefully crafted clock home.