Dating english longcase clocks, how to determine the age of a grandfather clock

South in these notes means all the South of England, as far up as the South Midlands. How to Determine the Age of a Grandfather Clock. Sometimes the bob is cast iron with a decorative pattern, and painted gold or black. Two later dials, the painting filling the dial and arch.

English Longcase Dating chart

Dating scottish longcase clocks - Dating site satellite seriously

The wood that made up the longcase had to come from the trees of the region. The lack of originality may not be quite as radical as the example just mentioned, but there are many altered clocks, marriages, fakes and ones with subtle changes that can fool the unsuspecting. Unfortunately today, many clocks are in a similar condition, give or take a few alternative changes.

Maybe, but we will probably never know. But the best wood cases contained veneers in walnut and ebony. Two middle period dials with Arabic hour numbers. Very typical of the late dials, the 11 differences between except for the center seconds and use of minute numbers. This would fool most casual observers.

Another late dial, from the end of the Grandfather clock production days. Is my clock authentic and original in all respects? When buying therefore, it is best to approach a reputable dealer, or to learn the identification process yourself. Very popular outside London to Can be seen on the early brass dial pictured above. The average age however, is still well over years old, so at least we do have a genuine antique!

Prior was a London maker and the case suggests a Lancashire style. Covers American, European and Continental clocks of all types. The first white dials from to were lovely, simply and sparingly decorated, and with much of the white background showing. First we must identify the type and style of all of the components.

The clock case has a carved swan-neck pediment. The ones made before are very rare. For one thing, the name on the clock may not always refer to its maker. In terms of originality however, the astute specialist would quickly question a marquetry, walnut and ebony cased clock with a painted dial.

Dating your British grandfather clock.

Lead weights were always used until C. The minutes are shown by a minute band, two concentric circles close together, with lines inside to represent each minute instead of minute numbers. If all of the feasible date ranges for all of the components overlap, there is a good probability that you have an authentic clock, not a marriage. As we will see, in properly dating a clock, authenticity or originality is often resolved in the process.

Dating Antique Clocks General Facts


Fortunately the painted dials then followed a certain progression as the fashions slowly changed over time, this means that we can usually date a clock to the nearest five to ten years. It should be easy to look up the name and find out exactly when the clock was made, right? Not much white left on here - - - Center seconds hand and large date hand, rolling moon phases in the arch. There is also a listing of names with alternative spellings and a list of place names and maps. For example, a movement made in by Seth Thomas might wind up in a Waterbury clock case made years before.

Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers by F. The arch has dolphin spandrels. Dial centres were matted till C. From to the wire rod stayed, but the bob became flattened into a saucer shape, around four inches in diameter, often with a brass case. The minutes were usually dots, and not the lines inside two narrow concentric circles that we are used to, but often the minute numbers changed to the quarters only, instead of every five minutes.

General Facts Helpful to Know When Dating Antique Clocks

So if we have a foreign dial, and no packing or adjustments to the seatboard, why does it fit so well? The later Southern clocks usually have a dial which is a single sheet of thin brass, silvered all over and resembling an early painted dial at first glance. We must judge whether they are contemporary, whether they belong together, and whether they likely started life together as one clock. The maker will likely be listed with a working date and possibly other useful information.

Tips to help you estimate the age and date of your antique clock

The late ones to have a wide flat strip of iron instead of the wire rod, matchmaking and the same four inch brass-faced bob. Not much white left on here - - -. Most makers tended to follow the style of the day.

English Grandfather Clock

  • Easier to see than describe, but unmistakable once you have seen it.
  • These tend to be a better date guide than hands, which were often broken and replaced.
  • There are almost no provincial marquetry cases.
How to Date Your Grandfather Clock

Dating Antique Clocks By Maker s Names

Eventually most clocks went back to a plain or matted centre again. Of course, all dates are approximate, to the nearest ten years. There are exceptions to these sizes of course, raleigh speed dating meetup but they are a good general guide when taken with other features. The use of certain letters and characters also evolved as did the spelling of names and places.

Still the same lantern clock movement inside, but without the expensive brass body. Brass dials continued to be made in the Southern counties until or even later. There are several specialized indexes including one by city. Keep in mind that no one list is complete.

English Longcase Dating chart

How to Determine the Age of a Grandfather Clock

  1. Arch dials began about and continued as the preferred style through to current times.
  2. Very few Northern makers used this movement, it was essentially the same as the even earlier Lantern Clock movement.
  3. The case is highly decorative with blind frets to the hood, trunk and canted corners to the trunk and base.
  4. The principles to be used here apply to most English clocks, and some American ones as well, but the focus of this article will be based on just one interesting example.
  5. We would expect the movement to fit the dial well because the mounting holes were drilled to make it fit well.
  6. Cast Iron weights were used on nearly all painted dial clocks - - - a cast iron weight on a brass dial clock is not original.

Antique Clocks Tips to Help in Dating Antique Clocks

How to Determine the Age of a Grandfather Clock

Many entries provide birth and death dates and special achievements, and some entries are keyed to the bibliography for additional references. The base of the cross runs right down into the chapter ring edge. There are lots of forgeries on the market, hook many with names added later.

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We need to look in more detail. Did George Prior ever see any part of this clock? Matching hands started about the same time as the painted dial, in the early s.

Dating a longcase clock

Although a name can be a good starting point for dating a clock, pinpointing the year it was made can still be difficult for a number of reasons. Most serious horological books will suggest that the name on the dial should be the last place to start dating a clock. Because the hands of the clock often broke and were replaced, the detail work in the spandrel offers a better option for dating the clock. If you own a longcase clock, determining its age can tell you how much it is worth. From longcase clocks ceased being made in London, the clockmakers followed the demands of fashion, and made bracket, or shelf clocks.

The hands were made of steel, very fine, often blued or blacked and not exactly matching. The dial is brass and arched. We have fluted columns and carved rosettes to the swan neck. The chapter ring is an applied, silvered brass ring, normal for this type of clock, but the features are of an earlier period. Some Southern clocks continued this to the end of the brass dial period, but by the vast majority were separate from the door, fitted to the hood frame.

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