Two aficionados of cuckoo clocks, brothers Roman and Maz Piekarski, are hunting for a successor to inherit the globe’s most extensive collection of the unique works of art.
Over the past fifty years, the two brothers have amassed a collection of 750 pendulum-operated clocks, currently showcased at their Cuckooland Museum in Cheshire, England.
Now, as they grow old and are both unmarried, they are worried about what will happen to their beloved clocks when they’re gone.
Roman told The Telegraph: “I’m 71 and Maz is 69, and we have not got anybody to leave it to. It’s the world’s largest collection – and we have 750 of them.
“It would be wonderful if we could get someone to take it on, it really would be.”
Roman and Maz said they’d become fascinated with clocks as teens and went into the trade as apprentices after leaving school at 15.
At 28, Roman was told he had multiple sclerosis (MS) and was given just three years to live. From there, the brothers decided to travel all around the world hunting down unique timepieces while trying to beat rival collectors from the US and Germany.
The first cuckoo clock made its debut in the 17th century, charming folks with its distinctive cuckoo bird-inspired call that signaled the passage of time. Powered by weights and pendulums, the clocks showcased the ingenuity of the era and became a signature of the Black Forest region in Germany.
Over the years, cuckoo clocks transformed from mere timekeepers into works of art, adorned by skilled woodcarvers depicting scenes of rural life, wildlife, and lush landscapes. The 19th century marked the golden age of these clocks, witnessing a surge in popularity and the emergence of iconic designs like the ‘Bahnhäusle’ clock with its quaint railway house motif. As these mechanical wonders gained global appeal, they became cherished symbols of German heritage. Today, the enduring charm of the cuckoo clock persists, offering a nostalgic reminder of a simpler time where each hour was announced by the delightful call of a bird, weaving a story through the ticking hands.