This clock is beautiful from 5 feet. And it has a an extremely early serial number - 35324. I understand that Becker finished the first 15,000 clocks in 1865, with an additional 30,000 produced by roughly 1870. So, this clock was probably made in 1867 or 1868.
The mechanism reminds one more of a Viennese piece than a German: Plates that taper to the top, fine pivots, obvious hand-made quality - you can even see the maker’s scribe marks on the metal seat plate. The brass bracket for holding the mechanism is clearly a well done, hand made piece. And notice the early Becker trademark on the back of the mechanism. There is also a Becker trademark on the mechanism bracket!
An interesting mechanism, in a case that shows minor evidence of wood borers and looks great since the finish has been beautifully cleaned and polished. Get really close and you see its minor imperfections. Finish rubbed thin, a bit missing in places, a piece carved to replace a broken bit, a few scratches, but, the pictures don’t lie. It really is very pleasant clock.
The German movement is marked with a very distinctive Becker trademark: The name GUSTAV on one side, BECKER on the other, with a very clean anchor between, the letters G and B to either side of the anchor, and a crown above the anchor. Below the anchor is FREIBURGYS, and below that the serial number 35324. Note too the very nicely made brass seat plate with knurled screws holding it to the mechanism, and a third knurled screw holding the base plate into the mounting bracket.
The weight is appropriate, the bob is in perfect condition with a zinc back, also perfect.
The dial has small clusters of hair-line cracks at the 1 and 5. Not bad enough to make you notice, just part of its patina. There is a small repaired chip next to the winding hole, and all of the case glass appears old.
An interesting side note on this clock. The faux finish on this clock includes graining that was hand-drawn in - the back board shows this off better than about any Vienna I have seen. A person literally drew in lines to look like the grain in the wood. You don’t see it very often, and it looks great.
For many Vienna Regulator collectors the name Becker is the hall-mark of quality. This clock, with its very early serial number, would make a great addition to a collection, or a beautiful stand alone piece that will look great on the wall.
Caveats: Mechanism could used cleaned and the case looks great from 5 feet. Up close it shows minor repairs and a few worm holes. Missing top finial.
This piece, with a finial that will match in style, color and patina, will cost $2,300 delivered in the lower 48.