Longcase clocks dating
C grandfather clock clock repair repair clock. An English lantern clock, made in London around Short 10" pendulum and verge escapement. Because of the short pendulum it could stand on a table, but the timekeeping was poor. Another Lantern clock, C, with the "new" long pendulum and anchor escapement this clock had to be hung on the wall to run.
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Oak was used in longcase clock making from the earliest times c. But it was not used in the same manner throughout that period of over two centuries. The earliest clocks were costly items, made for wealthy clients, principally served by London clockmakers, and rich timbers were used such as walnut and olive-wood.
Cheaper versions were made from about by provincial clockmakers and for these oak was used, being a far less costly timber, though occasionally pine was used at a lesser cost still. These earliest oak cases were simple by intent, partly because London styles which they copied in simplified form were themselves still simple, but partly because there was little point in offering a clock in cheaper materials if the sheer extravagance of styling made it into a costly clock anyway.
Fruitwood and solid walnut were sometimes used as alternatives to oak at about the same price, but these woods were very prone to worm, were not too popular, and have far less often survived. The earliest longcase clocks let's say about the year were made in eight-day form, but also, as country versions, in thirty-hour form, the latter being about half the price of the eight-day. An oak case for a longcase clock in simple form at this early period would cost about one pound - whether for eight-day or thirty-hour made little difference.
Against these costs a London eight-day clock in its case of fine walnut veneers very different in cost from solid walnut might cost thirty pounds. Simplicity was everything in this early period, in terms of both clock and case, because it kept the price down to such as rural customers were willing to pay, and kept the height down to fit within the ceiling of the less grand homes the clock was aimed at. These very factors have meant that this type of oak clock is ideally suited to many of today's customers, who seek simplicity and small stature to fit well within a limited modern ceiling height.
This type of case is often called today a 'cottage' clock or perhaps a 'farmhouse' clock, these being modern terms we have coined to describe that small, homely type of clock, with which we feel comfortable and which does not stand pompously looking down at us in the way a mahogany 'Chippendale' clock might. So oak cases, initially almost always of oak alone with no other woods added as trimming, began in an atmosphere of simplicity and many rural examples retained that simplicity of form and construction for about a century, until the brass dial faded from popularity in favour of the white dial about But not all oak clocks were restricted to this simple, early style.
There were provincial customers who wanted oak but wanted a bit more of a flourish, perhaps greater stature, perhaps more showy cabinetworking skills, and the country casemaker could certainly accommodate such requests. Newcomers to clocks are often surprised to find that that many oak examples are in fact of 'mixed woods' in that the basic oak body is decorated with fancy trim in other woods such as mahogany. By popular demand some oak cases retained the simple outline but took on a little fancy work in the form of crossbanding or other trim such as lateral mouldings, hood pillars in a fancier wood.
This trim was usually in walnut or fruitwood from about , generally switching to the instantly popular mahogany, once its import made adequate supplies available from about Plain cases in oak alone continued to be made, but increasingly by about or , they carried some amount of trim in various forms but most often in the form of crossbanding. Crossbanding was initially a veneered border of cross-grained wood, its purpose being to give strength to the edges of doors, panels, etc.
If long-grain veneer were used in crossbanding, it would splinter and chip away from any knocks, and this is why long-grain crossbanding is hardly ever seen. Cross-grain gave a strength, which resisted chipping, but it also gave decoration, in so far as the wood's grain was at a different angle to the main panel itself, thus providing an interesting border of contrasting colour - the more so if this crossbanding was in a different wood from the main panels, which it nearly always was.
Although crossbanding began with a function, it gradually became more of a decoration, and ultimately was used in places where it would never receive a knock or bump, thus illustrating that it was purely for show. When new, oak clocks were stained before polishing, to give a rich red or deep brown colour, whichever was desired. Some oak clocks however were left with the wood almost a bright yellow colour in order that the dark brown mahogany crossbanding would contrast all the more - demonstrating again that the crossbanding was by now more for show.
On an oak case the crossbanding was almost always in a denser wood, and usually one of contrasting colour. Oak cases cross-banded in oak are known, but are very unusual. More normal was for the cross-band wood to be a richer and finer-grained wood fine-grained for strength , such as walnut before about and mahogany thereafter. In very rural areas clocks made entirely and only of oak continued to be made till the end of the brass dial period.
But so much had crossbanded decoration become the norm, that it is in fact unusual to find an oak clock after about without crossbanding. Generally speaking we would expect cheaper clocks to have cheaper cases, so that a simple thirty-hour clock would have a less grand case, even in oak, than an ordinary eight-day, and even more so than a costly eight-day such as one with a rolling moon.
The reason was essentially one of cost. Put an expensive case onto a cheap clock and it priced itself out of the cheaper end of the market it aimed at. It follows that the grander oak cases without, or more usually with, crossbanding perhaps those having swan-neck pediments, fluted hood pillars, fluted quarter-columns to the trunk, and so on, would tend to be those housing eight-day arched dial clocks, especially those with moon dials, though there are occasional exceptions.
The customer was the man whose preference counted, and, although the clockmaker might suggest what would be suitable, the buyer always had the option to insist on his own specification. At the exceptional end of the scale oak cases are occasionally found in 'Chippendale' style, with masses of crossbanding, blind fretwork, and all the showy embellishments we would usually associate with high-fashion mahogany cases.
However, when we think of oak, we think essentially of simplicity of styling epitomised by the time-worn patina of a cottage clock.. Click here for details of: Home page Finding out about your antique clock: Antique Clocks Collecting Click here for details of: A very early and extremely simple thirty-hour cottage clock of about in oak by Richard Savage of Shrewsbury. Click for closer view. An early eight-day longcase in oak, made about by Stephen Blackburn of Oakham, this one an arched dial clock with imposing caddy top, much in the style of a London walnut clock of the period.
An eight-day clock of about in oak, made by the celebrated Thomas Ogden of Halifax, whose work was often housed in unusual cases. This oak case is crossbanded, most unusually, in oak and also has crossgrained oak veneer around the hood door. An eight-day clock of about by Thomas Hartley of Snaith, Yorkshire, being a clock with a rolling moon yet still having a simple cottage style of case with no crossbanding, the only decoration being dentil moulds to the hood.
An eight-day clock in oak made about by John Scholfield of Barnsley, still in cottage style but with a much more sophisticated treatment of fluted pillars and swan-neck pediment. An eight-day clock in oak made about by John Watson of Kirkby Moorside, Yorkshire, with rolling moon. The case is a mixture of refined styling swan-neck pediment yet simplicity square corners without fluted columns and plain hood pillars. An eight-day clock with rolling moon made about by Thomas Birchall of Nantwich, in an oak case of much more sophisticated type.
This one has mahogany crossbanding everywhere, swan-neck pediment, brass-capped fluted hood pillars and similar trunk quarter column. An eight-day clock in oak of about by John Holroyd of Wakefield, this case crossbanded in fruitwood and with fruitwood pillars, and trimmed with walnut for the topmost moulding and the moulding below the hood.
English Longcase This chart will give an approximate date for your painted dial longcase clock. Dating chart. Compiled by. Jon Kneebone. Dating a longcase clock. by Dennis Radage, Canada Download a pdf of this article. There are usually two key questions that always seem to be asked when.
Ok so youve got a grandfather clock and you want to know roughly how old it is. Here are some basic paramaters to allow you to see the date ranges of the various features so you can get an idea without doing a whole load of reasearch on makers and suchlike. The first Grandfathers produced in London because Christian Huegens invented the pedulum clock. Before this clocks were…well they sucked really as timekeepers.
We have a large archive of sold clocks, and almost articles by Brian Loomes on clock collecting, clockmakers and clock care and identification.
This leaflet is to assist you in the care of your recently purchased longcase or Tallcase clock, it contains a few pointers that will help get the maximum life between overhauls or cleans. Most clocks we sell are between and over years old, you must admit that the quality of construction and materials must be exemplary for a clock to function for so long. Remember they will never keep as good time as a modern timepiece, but with care and regulation will be accurate to within 1 minute a week.
Grandfather clocks, also called longcase clocks by horologists, were invented after Dutchman Christiaan Huygens applied a pendulum as a clock-winding device in But it wasn't until about when clockmakers mastered the workings of the pendulum for accurate timekeeping in conjunction with an anchor escapement -- the mechanical device that gives a pendulum its swing. If you own a longcase clock, determining its age can tell you how much it is worth. After , most clocks were mass-produced by German and American manufacturers, effectively putting an end to the valuable custom-made grandfather clocks. English clockmakers crafted clocks with brass dials from about to Early brass-dial grandfather clocks had only one clock hand, since to clock owners, the hour of the day was more important than minutes. By , grandfather clocks with two hands began showing up in England, even though outlying villages and country regions still had clockmakers crafting clocks with only the hour hand. From through , brass dials became more ornate and contained other features such as second hands, date hands and wheels. Grandfather clocks with moon dials appeared in clocks made from through
How To Date Your Grandfather Clock If your grandfather clock has a brass dial, it was probably made in the period between and The early brass dial clocks only had one hand, because the average person had no need of knowing the time to the nearest minute, and with a bit of practise you can tell the time to the nearest five minutes on one of these early and rare clocks.
These are: When was my clock made?
How to Determine the Age of a Grandfather Clock
Two weights, one pendulum, one movement, one trunk and one hood. To begin with you will need to decide where the clock will be situated. This can obviously be anywhere in your house but you will need to be careful when placing them near radiators or other sources of heat due to the possibility of damage to the case. Screwdriver, screws for fixing the movement to the seatboard, screws for fixing the trunk to the wall if required , drill, block for wall if required , masking tape and some small wooden blocks to level the trunk up against the wall. Screwing them to the wall is firstly to keep the clock firm against the wall and secondly for security. If the clock is to be placed on a carpeted surface then the need for screwing the clock to the wall will be reduced as they tend to sit very well on a carpeted surface. If however the clock is to be placed on a wooden or stone floor then it will almost certainly need to be fixed to the wall. The first job is to place the trunk of the clock against the wall. Using a level make sure the clock is straight. This is not absolutely necessary to make the clock work properly as the clock can be adjusted later in the set-up process but the clock must be straight to the eye. You may need to use the small wooden packs to level the clock under the front corners of the trunk. Depending on the clock or floor you may need to use more packs on one side than the other.
Antique Clocks & Barometers from a Leading UK Dealer - Antique Longcase Clock Specialist
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Large antique clock with seconds date a grandfather part iigough grandfather clock with loveantiques. Large antique dealers at 1stdibs, mantel or waist of american five tube grandfather clock. Hemv 7 colour changing led digital alarm clock? Ok so youve got a bet? Many guides accessible to identify and date an ice cream soda. We can find more correctly known as the origins of the serial number one source of the most serious horological books have an old it.
A grandfather clock also a longcase clock , tall-case clock , grandfather's clock , or floor clock is a tall, freestanding, weight-driven pendulum clock with the pendulum held inside the tower or waist of the case. Clocks of this style are commonly 1. The case often features elaborately carved ornamentation on the hood or bonnet , which surrounds and frames the dial, or clock face. The English clockmaker William Clement is credited with the development of this form in Until the early 20th century, pendulum clocks were the world's most accurate timekeeping technology, and longcase clocks, due to their superior accuracy, served as time standards for households and businesses. Today they are kept mainly for their decorative and antique value, being widely replaced by both analog and digital timekeeping. The advent of the longcase clock is due to the invention of the anchor escapement mechanism by Robert Hooke around
However, a signature may refer to someone other than the clockmaker. The actual movement may have been made by someone else. Until the 19th century clock cases were almost always made separately from the movement and are rarely signed. It provided a safe alternative to the hazardous use of mercury in gilding metals, which was banned c. They are metal rods specially tuned to produce a sequence of chime notes when struck by the movement's chime hammers. In Seth thomas introduced clock models in Adamantine veneer finishes which mimiced marble, slate, wood grains and other materials. Leo Baekeland, who founded the Bakelite Corporation around
The origins of the longcase clock are somewhat confused but it seems that they originated from the lantern clock. This type of clock had evolved from having a balance wheel escapement to the anchor escapement with a long pendulum and weights hanging underneath. When the anchor escapement was invented it was found to be a much better time keeper but due to the longer pendulum being exposed to the elements the idea of enclosing the movement, weights and pendulum inside a wooden case was thought of. Almost all of these early clocks were of 30 hour duration but the 8 day and month duration longcase clocks followed very closely. There were even some made that were of year duration. A number of longcase clocks by these makers are in the Royal collection.Mahogany 8 Day Long Case Clock by William Lane c1730