The clock making trade of the Austrian Empire had its “golden years” between
1800 and 1850. The reason for this could be that in 1789, Emperor Joseph II. organized the relocation of Geneva clockmakers and numerous sub-suppliers (the so-called Geneva Colony) to Vienna with the assurance of many privileges, in order to raise the standards of the local clock makers.
Pendulum clocks of the Austrian Empire
The local clockmakers were not pleased by this, which is strongly evidenced by a number of documents, filed in the applicable Austrian State Archive. After the termination of the “Geneva Manufacture” (it was closed for economic reasons in 1801) a new clock
type emerged, which was exported worldwide.
This type was well proportioned wall clocks in an elegant, formally reduced, glazed wooden housing and sometimes with complex movements. As in any trade there are a number of leading craftsmen. At this time, and - especially as of the century change until the early 1820s - Philipp Fertbauer, Mathias Wibral, Caspar Brändl and other masters produced extraordinary clocks, featuring traits hinting of possible future design-developments for their products.
While English wall clocks were of heavy and inharmonic shape or proportion, the Viennese clockmaker s produced relatively delicate cases with mouldings veneered with thin inlays of unusual wood and large amounts of glass to assure visibility of the pendulum, the movement and the dial.
Apart from the elegant appearance of the clocks, the movements were sometimes of complex design. There were clock movements with and without striking trains or with grande sonnerie on bells, later replaced by wire gongs. Clocks of small proportions featuring a grande sonnerie movement were at that period unusual. Striking movements were often supplemented by calendar work and in rare cases with a “perpetual calendar". Some clocks had a duration of one month up to a year or more. Apart from only a few English and French clocks, timepieces of such long duration hardly existed at that period and if they did exist, there were far larger than Viennese Clocks of similar duration.
Laterndl, Dachl & Floor standing clocks
Presently known as Laterndluhr and Dachluhr, these names were not used at the time they were made. At that time they known as Wanduhr, Pendil- or Pendiiluhr, Regulator, astronomische Pendel- or Secundenpendeluhr or plainly called Jahruhr.
Considering the geographic division of the clockmakers, it becomes evident that the majority of the prominent names were located in Vienna, the balance in the cities of Pest, Buda and Prague. In the royal provinces of Hungary and Moravia. Viennese clocks where sought-after not only in the Austrian Empire but also exported to the Danube princedoms, Turkey, Italy, England and America.
Caspar Brandi, Joseph Binder, Philipp Fertbauer, Anton Glückstein, Johann Sandhaas and Mathias Wibral of Vienna as well as Joseph Rauschmann and Franz Seiffner of Buda and Pest were the best known masters of the early 19th century.
Due to the industrial expansion in the 1820s until the 1840s, time pieces of aesthetic design and highest quality were produced in cooperation with clock case cabinetmakers, bronze manufacturers, gilders, dial melters or steelworkers. These clocks were made by such well known makers as Carl Heydt, Philipp Happacher, Michael Glückstein, Aloys Löffler, Anton Liszt, Josef Eisner, Ignaz Marenzeller, Ludwig Helbig, Adolf Fuchs, Franz Effenberg, Friedrich Schönberg and Franz Schieszel, to name but a few.
STEPHAN ANDRÉEWITCH FINE ARTS
Stephan Andréewitch has been part of Vienna's antique scene for almost 40 years. Specializing in antique Viennese clocks, the international company trades clocks, handicrafts, silver cutlery, Biedermeier glasses and Austrian paintings from the 19th century.
In 1979 Stephan Andréewitch founded his eponymous fine art and antiques - Stephan Andréewitch. In the early 1980s, he discovered his passion for Viennese clocks of the Biedermeier period. Since then, a large number of Laterndl and Dachl clocks have passed through his hands and have been sold worldwide. Numerous antiques are now represented in Austrian and international collections and museums.
Founded in 1979 in Burggasse in Vienna Neubau, they spent more than 20 years in Favoritenstrasse in Vienna Wieden. In 1997 the business moved to the inner city. The first locations were in Seilergasse and Spiegelgasse. Finally, a representative shop was opened in 2010 in Stallburggasse 2 near the Dorotheum auction house.