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Antique Mantel Clocks and Their Histories

Updated on January 8, 2013
Antique Mantel Clock
Antique Mantel Clock

Antique Mantel Clocks

Collectors have at least one common denominator—eye for details. But sometimes, it takes more than that to identify which or which is the most valuable piece. You see, you should know more about the history of the item you are hunting for. Say if you are looking for the top dollar antique mantel clocks, you should be educating yourself about the oldest of manufacturers of these items and where it actually originated. Generally, antique mantel clocks made of wood movements are associated to the 17th and early 18th century clock making, denoting that they are probably the best prized clocks today. But there are metal, gold, and brass ones that you should identify too to land the price for them. To ensure you get the best finds then, here is the timeline of the clock makers of antique mantel clocks in the 17th century and up to 19th century:

Early 17th century—Simon Willard designed what would be called banjo clock in Massachusetts, which led to the making of different designs and styles of mantel or shelf clocks. These clocks are made of wood, usually of cherry oak; ormolu; or porcelain with incorporation of either brass or iron materials. The clocks are key-wounded with pendulum.

Late 17th and early 18th century—Ansonia Clock Company was drawn into making mantle clocks which are made distinct of their painted flower images front surfaces. All Ansonia Clock Company mantel or shelf clocks had bases with carved figurines and sculptures, making them easier to identify.

1813—Seth Thomas moved to Plymouth Hollow, now known as Thomaston in his honor, and pioneered the mass production of mantel or shelf clocks. Seth Thomas clocks were stylishly designed with the same smooth and sleek lines on rich colored wood. That made them look a lot modern than their age back then.

1840—Ogee mantle or shelf clocks went to market. These beautiful clocks were distinctive out of their S-curve moldings that were very new in those days. All other clocks in the era was said to be variation of what Ogee clocks were.

Mid 19th Century—Elias Ingraham produced the steeple mantle clock. This has a triangle front and column sides resembling that of the church steeple.

Now that you know what you are looking at, you will surely find the best prized antique mantel clocks you are looking for. Those rare and elegant timepieces would surely look pretty awesome in your living or dining room, along with collectible silverwares.

Do you own an antique mantel clock?

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