10 Types of Antique Clocks to Keep in the Family
Looking for an heirloom to pass on? Perhaps something that will keep its value if you choose to sell it?
Searching for a great antique clock can be a challenge, as it’s easy to spend a lot up front without realizing what the clock is really worth and wondering if investing in a specific model is wise. Take a look at our selection below for clocks that retain their value and make wonderful decor and timepieces at home.
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E. Howard & Co. “No. 36 Regulator"
This model, when found in immaculate condition, can be worth quite a bit as it is a fairly rare clock. The pendulum ends in a glass jar and measures a meter long, while the overall clock is 74 inches by 26.75 inches by 9.5 inches, which is ideal as a wall or mantel clock and doesn’t demand too much real estate in a room. The deep-coloured walnut case is exceptionally crafted with a back mirror and a metal face, painted white. The auction price for this 1880s clock was $16,000 in 2018.
E. Howard & Co. “No 70. Oak Wall Regulator
With a face of Roman numerals, this oak wall clock is a fantastic antique timepiece to display in your home. It was made around 1890 and features a clear glass tablet to view the pendulum that sits inside with a cast iron weight. The length of the clock measures 45 inches, making it an ideal wall clock for a tight space. A clock like this in excellent condition can fetch a decent price. A model sold in 2015 with some touch-ups went for $4,613.
Goyer, “Aux Guirlandes” Cartel Clock
This ornate clock is an eye-catching piece that was created around 1770. The top of the case shows off an urn with a ram’s head on either side, ring in mouth that carries the festoons that drape over, around and down the clock’s face. The Roman numerals on the white dial is a striking and simple face that also blends Arabic 5-minute markers around the side. With engraved hands, and a clear striking bell this timepiece makes a statement for any antique clock connoisseur. An “Aux Guirlandes” clock that sold in good condition in 2018 went for $800 at auction.
E. Ingraham & Co. The Ionic Calendar Wall Clock
This clock functions as a calendar as well as a timepiece. The outer top dial features the time and the inner part displays what day of the week it is. This part tends to yellow with age since the dial face is paper on tin, and has oxidised with continuous winding for use, however, the aged patina doesn’t affect the clock’s readability. The lower dial tracks what day of what month is it, and works through its connection via a brass rod to the upper clock.
Brewster & Ingrahams of Bristol, Connecticut
This simple Roman numeral face is a sweet addition to any main living space. The warm colour-treated wooden case has some texture with deep moldings, featuring a convex glass case to protect the face. The spade hands of this timepiece make for easy reading. The brass coil spring is enough to run the clock for eight days, however, it may not be strong enough to keep for that long with the original spring still in place. The clock is 15.5 inches across and was made in 1850.
Seth Thomas Office No. 1
This deep mahogany-cased clock is a wonderful collectible that has withstood the test of classic taste. The top section houses the zinc-painted dial that is complete with Roman numerals and moon-styled hands while the lower section contains an ornate tablet that is the clock’s original. It’ll run for eight days on a full wind and also chimes out the hour on a gong that is positioned to the back of the case. This 25-inch clock was made in 1875, and still runs great today.
English Fusee Dial Clock
The English Fusee is an ornate and colourful clock that goes by a few different names. As a reliable clock, these timepieces were everywhere: in schools, offices, banks, pubs and many more places. The mahogany case accents the decorated glass panels, which are painted from the back in order to achieve such a bold look and keep colours vivid for a long time. The drop box below the face shows the pendulum in action. With Roman numerals for easy reading and measuring at 24 inches long, this 1880s clock fits any room.
Morez Picture Frame Clock
The Morez is a stellar and vivid timepiece that was popular in France, and has now become classic French country decor. The clock features a frame around its case, square and shapely around a circular dial. The dial has Roman numerals and red minute markers, with glass to protect the face. Though the designs vary, you’ll often find ornate materials used in the decoration process, such as mother of pearl. The time is announced every half hour by the gong that is housed inside of the case. Morez clocks will typically sell for around $850.
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Girandole Wall Timepiece
Though these clocks are typically gilded, some are not and will display the beautiful mahogany undertone. This expansive clock features many carvings and molding, most notably an eagle perched at the top of the clock. The dial is painted on metal, with Arabic numerals and a flair around the winding hole. The hands are traditional Curtis with concentric circles and pointers. The lower frame carries the painted tablet of Aurora pulling her chariot and the throat of the clock is similarly themed. It will run eight days on a wind, and is weight powered rather than spring.
Japanese Single Foliot Kak Dokei
This lantern-inspired clock is a unique piece from 1860, a modified design to reflect timekeeping in context, which may be confusing to Westerners. A bell is supported on an iron stand with iron pillars and brass siding, and the dial features a 24-hour system. The clock will strike on the hour and is operated by weight-driven movement. At 10 inches tall, this Japanese clock is meant to hang on the wall but may make a good shelf clock with some creative positioning.