What are Cuckoo Clocks?

Are there any timepieces more idiosyncratic than cuckoo clocks? This curious item, with its chiming gong and cuckoo call, has become synonymous - erroneously - with Switzerland and, correctly, the Bohemian areas around the Black Forest, an area where clock making took hold many years ago and is still prevalent today.

Cuckoo Clocks

Cuckoo clocks are made to an almost standard design these days, one that harks back to the original idea which was somewhat elaborate and features carvings and depictions of leaves, trees and other items drawn from nature, while the traditional model also includes an automaton of the cuckoo, which emerges from behind doors when it makes its call.

This novelty appeal has led to cuckoo clocks becoming popular with a wide range of people, and there are collectors of antique cuckoo clocks, some of which can fetch vast amounts of money.