Thursday, January 27, 2011

Keeping Time: Victorian Mantle Clocks

I was reading online the other day and came across an article proclaiming that the watch and clocks were dead due to availability of cell phones and computers. Downstairs I could hear the chime of my mantle clock as it ticked off the hours. Clocks may be dead but they certainly are not forgotten.

A with most things Victorian, mantle clocks were a 'status symbol' and certainly the mantle clocks of  the day reflected the exuberant taste of Victoriana, Finishes ranged from Black to faux marbled versions. Most clocks took a Greek theme with classic columns on either side usually 2-4 on each side.

Clocks were placed in a place of prominence , usually the center of the mantle. If no mantle was in the room the clock might be displayed on a wall shelf or placed on a marble topped table. These clocks were built in large numbers and are relatively speaking plentiful.

You can find them at antique malls and of course online resources like Ebay and Ecrater. Prices vary by region with east and west coast prices higher. A non working clock will run you from 50-100.00 working clocks typically run from 100-200.00. Expect to pay more for a "restored' clock from a clock shop or dealer will be 225.00-450.00. If you buy a non working clock repairs may be as simple as having the mechanism cleaned to spring replacement. Usual cost 50-100.00.

Popular Brands Ansonia, Ingraham, Sessions. If you find a elaborate clock with issues like a cracked column or a broken foot, parts are relatively easy to find. You should stay away from clocks with bad finishes or scratches as that is costly to fix.

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