Antique Collectors Guide to Cuckoo Clocks and Reselling – Designed in Time
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Antique Collectors Guide to Cuckoo Clocks and Reselling

Posted by Megan Mahoney on

The cuckoo clock is one of the oldest German treasures. It has a history deeply rooted in the small villages of the Black Forest, Germany. Cuckoo clocks were once even thought of as exclusively royal gifts. Today we enjoy them in our living rooms and might even find a rare gem at a garage sale. Others contain sentimental value as they are passed from generation to generation.

But what exactly is a cuckoo clock?

A cuckoo clock is much more than merely a clock containing a cuckoo bird. They come in a wide range of shapes and styles. Here are a few of them:



This is probably the most common type of cuckoo clock. It is a classic German hut with windows and a cuckoo bird. Each chalet cuckoo clock will usually have a theme. Some of them feature beer drinkers, woodchoppers or hunters. They may also have carved animals like deer, dogs or horses. Some even have moving water wheels with real water!



These cuckoo clocks focus on master craftsmanship and detail. They usually will feature large maple leaves and birds. Hunter themed clocks are also common and usually are adorned with a deer or deer head at the peak of the clock.



Did you know that the first cuckoo clock actually was simply a clock dial and a cuckoo bird? Yup! The shield clock was the earliest form of cuckoo clock and is a rare gem today. Where they lack in carving, they certainly make up for it in their stunning paintings and embellishments. They are truly a work of art!


Rail House

The Rail House is a type of cuckoo clock inspired by the construction of the railway in the Black Forest. It was actually a winning clock design from a clock making competition in the 1800s and is a model of the rail houses along the rail way. Much like the traditional styled cuckoo clock, this differs as it does not have any leaves or animals.



Modern cuckoo clocks have been the rave of the last several years and can be so many different styles, I don’t think one post can quite cover it. In fact, I think that as long as it is unique, new and contains a cuckoo bird, it could be called a modern cuckoo clock.


There is also a lot of resale opportunity with cuckoo clocks. Many people don’t know the true value of their cuckoo clock and you can often sell them for much more than the garage sale prices.

Here are some things to consider when reselling your clock:

1.) Is it a Black Forest cuckoo clock? Ask the seller where they got the clock from. If it came from Germany, chances are it is quite valuable. If you can find out who the manufacturer is, that is an added bonus. New clocks from makers like Hones, Schwer, Schneider, Rombach & Haas, and  Engstler are usually $300 and up!

2.) What kind of movement does it have? A clock that has to be rewound once per week is most valuable.

3.) When was it made? If it is old enough you may attract the attention of antique collectors, but a new one in good condition could also be sold for a price close to that of a new one.


Regardless if you sell it or keep to be the next family heirloom, cuckoo clocks are the perfect solution to bring an added dose of joy into your family.

We also recommend you checking out this site to learn more about antique clocks

Let me know if you have any further questions or concerns!


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