1950s Quail & Cuckoo Clock, Welby, Germany

A customer recently brought in this 1950s quail and cuckoo clock for repair. The case was dusty from years of storage. I cleaned it with Natchez Solution and it came out looking great. This clock has the solid brown finish that was used on many cuckoo clocks from the 1950s and 60s. The case is 18 inches tall and 13 inches wide, with a 4 inch dial. The clock was made in Germany and imported by Welby.

Below is a video of the clock in operation.

The instruction sheet on the back of the clock is not the correct one for a quail and cuckoo clock, it describes a cuckoo clock with rack and snail cuckoo that is self-synchronizing. On this quail and cuckoo, if the clock runs down, the quail and cuckoo may get behind and will need manual synchronization.

Synchronizing the quail and cuckoo:

The quail should call once on the first quarter, twice on the half hour, 3 times at quarter to the hour, and 4 times on the hour. If it does not, you advance the quail by moving the minute hand forward to 3 minutes before a quarter hour (3,6, 9 or 12) then moving the minute hand back 10 minutes. Each time this is done, the quail does the next quarter hour. Do this until the quail is correct.

To synchronize the cuckoo, move the minute hand forward (allowing the quail to go on each quarter) to the next hour (except if the next hour is 1:00, keep going to 2:00). Open the door on the right side of the of the clock, and push in on the vertical wire. Each time the wire is pushed in, the cuckoo will call the next hour. Do this until the cuckoo calls the correct hour.

Then move the minute hand forward to set the clock to the correct time, pausing each quarter for the quail (and cuckoo on the half hour and hour).

This clock cuckoos after the quail on both the hour and half hour. On antique quail and cuckoo clocks (around 1920 and older), the cuckoo goes only on the hour.

Repair job 5011.

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  1. I have a Welby cuckoo clock, left to me by my grandfather, it is a clock that cuckoos only on hour change. I sent clock to be repaired for the second time. It comes back working each time, this time until I wound it and then it refuses to keep running. I love this old clock and have spent many hours waiting for the clock to send the bird out. Do you work on these clocks? What kind of information would you need to service this clock?

  2. 0n the back of the movement, on the quail side, is the quail “count wheel” that goes around as the quail plays. This has two pins, one activates the hour cuckoo and one activates the half-hour cuckoo. These pins lift a wire. You can check to see that both pins lift the wire. Maybe the wire needs adjusting to engage both pins, or perhaps one pin is missing.

  3. I have a 1950’s Welby 2 bird cuckoo clock. The qual works fine as described. The cuckoo does not activate on the 1/2 hour mark. On the hour mark the cuckoo will activate once as it should on the 1/2 hour, the next hour mark the cuckoo will activate the number of sounds associated with an hour. The cuckoo bird is always off time because it does not activate on the 1/2 mark. How can I correct this, I have moved the hands to match the 1/2 hour and hour mark with no success.

  4. I have this clock, but it was found with w various mismatched weights. What size weights are used on it? The top piece I have on mine is from a smaller Welby cuckoo do you know where I could get the same kind you have? My clock cuckoos and quail calls with no sort of pattern. It is very strange at times it will finish the quail, cuckoo stop and cuckoo again. I wonder if someone had mine apart I also can get quail cuckoo quail cuckoo. I would like to find the proper weights and top at least. It keeps great time just the birds are strange

  5. on the quail and cuckoo clock from the 1950’s, how many was made and what is the value of this clock? thank you.

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