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Finding Great German Chalet Cuckoo Clocks

Updated on July 8, 2011

Jagdstuck Cuckoo Clock

Antique Cuckoo Clocks

Antique Cuckoo Clocks are more than just an old way to tell time in a new age. Within each carved wooden case rests not only a mechanism of imagination and illusion, but a deep history of artistically realized ingenuity. Black Forest, Jagdstuck, Bahnhausle, Chalet are just a few of the types of cuckoo clocks made history. And they are all alive and well today.There is a strong resurgence in the collecting of antique cuckoo clocks. Many fetch a high price in collectors markets, while most -- although beautiful-- are more moderately priced. All of them are visions and dreams, waiting to be displayed. Below are just a few of the makers and types that exist today.

Black Forest Clocks

Although cuckoo clocks were invented in Germany many decades before the woodcarvers of the Black Forest Region started their hand at production, it was these artisans that truly brought the Cuckoo Clock into the home of the average German family. The Black forest region and artists who lived there, began to experiment with the common form of the cuckoo. Different artists from varying families injected their own mirth and myth into the wooden timepieces. The result was a wide variety of styles and motifs that reflected not only particular regions of Germany, but entire family lines and professions. Some of the more popular styles to emerge from the early Black Forest years are the Chalet, the Jagdstuck, and the Bahnhäusle.

Black Forest Region --Germany

A markerBlack Forest Germany -
Black Forest, 78147 Vöhrenbach, Germany
get directions

The Home of the Black Forest Cuckoo Clock. Notice to the north is Furtwangen, another important destination in the history of the cuckoo clock.


The Jagdstuck cuckoo clock is a favorite among collectors around the world. These clocks are sometimes called 'hunting clocks' as they primarily have a motif that centers around the display of guns, antlers and animals in a 'captured' or 'shot' pose. The clocks in some terms could be considered gaudy. but a closer look and finer eye reveals that what once appears to be a hodge-podge of images and sculpture thrown together with little care or concern turns out to be a well balanced intricate piece of woodcarving. These clocks are often topped by the head of a deer or elk under a nest of antlers. Very few hunting cabins in northern Wisconsin can be considered complete without have a Jagdstuck mounted on the wall -- working or not. I'm sure the same goes for other places around the world.


The Black Forest Chalet Cuckoo Clock is actually a swiss interpretation of the original German housed shaped cuckoo. Of the main three types of the cuckoos, the chalet is the most common in terms of base theme. Within the chalet style there are three sub-styles; the Black Forest chalet, the Swiss chalet and the Bavarian chalet. These clocks most often have a motif that centers around a profession or activity such as dancers, drinkers, woodcutters or moving water wheels.And of course, they all have a cuckoo.


It was the Clockmakers School of Furtwangen that brought the cuckoo clock to the masses. It launched a public competition, asking for modern clock case designs which would allow homemade products to attain a professional appearance. The result was the simple Bahnhausle clock case that was understated, with clean lines and slim on decoration. Instead of overly sculpted figures of animals, beer-drinkers and windmills, the Bahnhausle incorporated the architecture of the existing modern world. The result was that of a modest house with simple, symmetrical designed lattice. Typically unpainted or embellished.

Anton Schneider Cuckoos

Beyond the cuckoo styles it would be tragic not to mention Anton Schneider, who started producing his brand of cuckoo clocks in 1848 at his farm in Schonach, Germany. The Cuckoo Clock company named after him is has been going strong ever since.It has produced extremely valuable cuckoo clocks at their old factory since 1952. Collectors around the world seek out these classic clocks for good reason. Now, they are very popular and throughout the world. If you are addicted to black forest clocks you probably already have a Schneider Cuckoo gracing a wall in your home. And if your not a collector, once you see a clock produced in his factory, you'll quickly see what all the fuss is about. Pure Genius!

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      Jack Kruger 7 years ago

      Where can I find complete inner works plus weights, bird and bellows for Jagdstuck Cuckoo clock. (My email address is Thank You.