Cuckoo clocks have existed for centuries, hand-carved and painted from the infamous Black Forest region of Germany. They are quality timepieces that are genuinely ornate, unique, and can last a lifetime if they are authentic. If you’re looking to add one to your home, use this short guide to identify authentic cuckoo clocks and where you can find them today.
Traditional Carved Cuckoo Clocks
Nature and hunting scenes take center stage in the traditional style of cuckoo clocks. Typical designs include a stag with horns located at the top of the clock, with the signature cuckoo bird below. Guns, leaves, and animals such as rabbits, hawks, and birds, are also commonly carved by hand into the wood, depicting this traditional hunting theme. The bottom of the clock often features decorative pine cones that hang from the bottom as well.
Designed to look like a traditional German chalet, this clock style is very hard to come by. What makes this cuckoo clock so popular is the intricate design, combined with splashes of colour throughout. Animals, trees, and windmills are usually featured here, and characters are often showcased chopping wood, feeding animals, or doing something that was typical during the 18th and 19th centuries in Germany. Many of these clocks also play music or have rotating dancers.
Shield Cuckoo Clocks
The shield clock is more simplistic than the first two styles, and it’s designed to feature delicate paintings instead of characters. It can be identified by the square shape and arch located at the top. A majority of these do not feature a cuckoo bird but have beautiful floral lacquer designs that can last for decades.
Railroad Station or Bahnhäusle Clocks
Railway scenes, painted faces, and grapevines are common designs on the Bahnhäusle style cuckoo clocks. Similar in shape and form to the Chalet style, these clocks are very hard to find as they are highly popular among clock enthusiasts worldwide.
Modern Cuckoo Clocks
At first glance, you might not think these more modern clocks are part of the Black Forest cuckoo clock collection, but they are indeed authentic handmade clocks. Featuring more contemporary designs, these types of clocks use different materials than traditional wood as well. With modern cuckoo clocks, you’ll often find square or rectangular shapes with more minimalistic designs.
Ready to purchase a beautiful cuckoo clock? Visit us at Frankenmuth Clock & German Gift Co We have one of the largest selections of authentic Black Forest region clocks in the U.S.A.