|Johann Michael Harsch, Berlin |
Late 18th / early 19th century
Height 8'9" (8'2" without finials)
The case is made from a light colored fruit wood veneered over pine, which over the years has mellowed into a golden-orange color that is rarely seen in a longcase clock. The bright gilt trim on the pillars, doors, and plinth, along with the gilt finials, offset against the wood for a most attractive appearance.
Johann Michael Harsch, is registered as working in Berlin between 1785 and 1836 in "Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World", volume 1, by C.H. Bailie. The style of this clock would seem to point towards the earlier part of his career.
The 8-day brass movement strikes the hours on the hour, and strikes once on the half hour. There is a pull repeat lever mechanism, mainly used for telling the time at night. When the sound of the bell is not desired, the strike mechanism may be turned off with the "S/N" (Strike/No-Strike) lever below the signature boss. (Note that the bell was removed in the photograph to show the S/N mechanism from behind the dial, but it is there.) The geometrically punch-decorated center includes a calendar dial showing the days of the month, and seconds bit. The original hands are cut steel.
Condition: The clock appears to be virtually all original, including the glass on the hood door, the three gilded wood finials, the key (that works both the hood and trunk doors), the brass pendulum, the lead weights, and even the rosewood winding crank. There are minor restorations to the frets and the fabric is replaced. The feet are a recent addition, with no sign of there being feet previously. These may be easily removed, which would reduce the height of the clock to under 8' (without finials) if ceiling height is a limitation. The movement is clean and appears to be in good order.
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A German fruitwood longcase clock, late 18th century (K13)