ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Collecting Mania: Caring For Antique Clocks

Updated on May 30, 2010

Up until the early 1800's a clock was a symbol of prosperity. Every part was painstakingly handmade and a single timepiece would take months to produce. A buyer would pay dearly but in return they would receive a masterful example of old world craftsmanship which not only would work flawlessly, but would also serve as a family heirloom which could be handed down for several generations to come.

Today clocks are so plentiful and inexpensive, we take them for granted. There are many wall mounted clocks available in low end department stores which can cost less than five dollars! However, no LCD or battery-operated instrument can replace a handsome mantle or majestic grandfather clock. Somehow, they seem to give a home its heartbeat.

Despite the seemingly effortless precision with which clocks operate, they do require some attention to maintain their peak timekeeping abilities. Here's how to keep yours ticking along:

Clocks run best when they are not subjected to extreme temperature changes. That means keeping them away from stoves, sunlight, and radiators. Ironically, mantel clocks, despite their name, should not be placed on a mantel - at least during a working fire. Rising soot and temperature fluctuations can impair efficiency and threaten longevity of the movement.

Keep antique pieces wound with a snug-fitting key, being careful not to overwind. Experts also recommend that you get in the habit of winding at the same time every day.

See to it that clocks sit or hang level, especially pendulums. A balanced swing will keep the clock "in beat." Always remove the pendulum before moving the clock. Otherwise it throws off its rhythm and damages the spring.

Over time, clocks accumulate dirt. The oil in the movement thickens and becomes gummy, and eventually the clock will stop running. A telltale sign of coming trouble is if your clock stops when a room gets extremely cold and then starts working again when temperatures warm up.

Visit a clock doc, more formally known as a horologist, every three years for a proper cleaning and oiling. A horologist will remove the movement from its case to make sure parts are rust-free and not unduly worn, and to inspect the teeth to check they are not bent. Consider a professional overhaul every 10 years or so.

Treat wood cases as you would any piece of fine furniture. Dust them with a soft brush or untreated cloth on a regular basis and protect them from direct light and extreme household dryness or dampness. The condition of the wood is an important part of the clock's value.

Not surprisingly, functioning clocks are generally worth more than their tick-tockless counterparts, but restore with caution and keep in mind that replacing major parts devalues a clock's worth. That would seem to place a collector in a difficult position as if a clock is purchased that is inoperative and it requires the simple replacement of a few minor parts, should that process not be undertaken? It is a choice which each collector must make for themselves.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      This hub, Hal, has been written by a person with a true love for collecting beautiful items. If clocks and watches are one of your interests, take a look at my hub on the World's Most Complicated Watch. I think you will be fascinated by it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)