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"A visit with Heinrich Engelmann"
If you have not heard of Heinrich Engelmann or if you don’t own his book
Schwarzwalduhren - Sammeln, Restaurieren, Bewahren you are truly missing out on one of the most wonderful musical Black Forest clock collections in the world. Heinrich or as he asked to be called in english "Henry” has been collecting and restoring Black Forest clocks for over thirty years.
He is truly a master craftsman and does all the restoration on his clocks, from the movements, cabinets, wooden flutes
and painting restoration. My visit could have lasted for days just to really cover all of the wonderful Black Forest items Henry owns in his collection. Items ranged from band organs, player pianos, automatons, a coin operated antique phonograph, organ clocks to a very rare exposed Beha cuckoo echo clock. The amazing clocks and Black Forest items just never ended! After a while I became desensitized and my mind was on overload as one clock was more magnificent than the other.
We went from room to room where Henry would tell me who made the clock, what year it was produced, and then to top it off he would activate the clock so that I could hear the wonderful tunes they would play. Each and every clock was a joy to behold in both their uniqueness and the melodies they would play.
I particularly love organ clocks with automatons in which Henry owns so many I lost count at one point. To me the crowning piece in his collection is the magnificent tall case organ clock which there is a photo is at the top of this article of Henry and I standing in front of it. Not only does it play beautifully but all the figures are automated and one even moves his mouth up and down to sing along with the tunes.
His book (which unfortunately is now out of print) along with the DVD video of his collection which is the favorite of all the books that I own as it truly shows what the artisans of the early Black Forest era could produce. The book and the video document this amazing Black Forest clock collection.
In my opinion, It is by far the best Black Forest musical collection in the world and after visiting it personally it confirms that my feelings are correct.
In closing I would like to thank Herr Heinrich Engelmann once again for his hospitality for letting me visit and see his wonderful collection of musical clocks!
Hackbrettuhr (Dulcimer clock)
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