When I first started my, the first thing I noticed was how little I knew about the clocks I had. There are so many styles and types of clocks, made by so many clock makers and from so many countries, that I was totally lost. The question I get most from the comment form on this web site is: “What can you tell me about this clock? ” Most people do not collect antique clocks per se, but end up with one or two clocks that were handed down from family members. Some people will see a clock at an antique store that would look good in a certain room of their house, and end up with it that way. However you might end up with your special clock, you probably would like to identify, date and generally learn more about it. This page may be able to help.
Antique Clock Dating and Identification Discover Clocks
You can post your clock here for other visitors to see. If these visitors have knowledge of your clock, they can post comments about it here. Also, if I know anything about your clock, I will also post a comment for you. There are many ways to identify and date an antique clock. Entire books have been written on the subject.
But some of the most common things to look at first are usually the most helpful. First, look for the obvious signed dial, and/or movement. Many clock makers (and companies) put their names directly on the dial and on the movement. Sometimes, however, the dial may have the name of a retailer, or other special name that was requested by the customer. Good customers of a clock company that bought in bulk could arrange to have their own name printed on the dial.
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In this case, look at the movement for the name or trademark of the maker. Some clocks are unsigned. The manufacturer does not put their name on the clock at all. When this is the case, look next to the label. The paper labels that were glued on many antique clocks are a wealth of information if they are still readable and intact.
They tell you the name of the company (or clock maker) that made the clock along with the city, state, or country of origin. This may also help to date the clock since many companies changed either their name, or place of manufacture many times in the course of time. So if you know the time line of a company’s history, you can tell when your clock was made. Good examples of this are The Seth Thomas Clock Company, Ansonia, E. Ingraham, and The Waterbury Clock Company.
Another thing to notice is the style of the clock. These styles are well documented in clock books as to the years they were made. Some of these styles are banjo, OOG, black mantel, beehive, steeple, lantern, iron, cottage, and many more. Some of the other things that are looked at are the type of glass and stenciling, the dial (paper, tin, wood, ceramic, etc. ), the type of strike (gong, bell, chime rod, etc.
), case materials, hand styles, type of fasteners, and many more. All these items have dates and companies that used them along with the years they were in use.