Guide to collecting fine antique clocks

Posted on 27 July 2017
Guide to collecting fine antique clocks

When it comes to collecting fine antique clocks it can be hard to know where to start, luckily, we are here to help, with our guide to collecting fine antique clocks below.


Pick a style that suits the interior of your home


There are so many different types of clock to consider and so many different styles that it can be hard to know what style to choose. You may decide you would like a more traditional clock such as longcases, this style of clock make wonderful furnishing pieces, as they work well in most interiors. A fantastic example is Isaac Nickal’s longcase clock which is a striking longcase clock from the 1740s, an important George II period cream lacquer longcase clock with three train brass dial quarter chiming movement and moon phase.

Earlier clocks also come in smaller sizes, which can be more manageable in many peoples homes with Bracket and mantel clocks being an excellent example.


Consider opulence in your choice


French mantel clocks always tend to incorporate ormolu, which is a technique that sees finely-ground, high-carat gold applied to bronze.
The clocks stand out in any interior and are a great option for those who like a bit of ‘bling’ around their home.
We have a fantastic French Royal Exchange mantel clock that was crafted in roughly 1820 and is a Regency period red marble timepiece with a gilt engine turned brass dial that would make a beautiful addition to any home.

Clocks as a gift

Clocks make brilliant presents, with carriage clocks traditionally considered to be a wonderful type of clock to gift to a loved one. With perpetual or year-going clocks also making perfect presents because of their eternal and enduring quality.

Those looking for the perfect present might consider our Richard & Cie Anglaise Riche carriage clock.



A specialist eye

There are many things to consider when buying a clock and our specialists Howard Walwyn Fine Antique Clocks are always on hand to help.

Howard's love of English clocks began in his teens when he bought a country made longcase for a few pounds on his way to school and since that very moment, his passion for antiquarian horology has never diminished. He has devoted the past 30 years of his life to buying and selling English clocks, 20 years of which trading in London’s Kensington Church Street. With his linguistic background, he is also always happy to conduct business with international clients in the major European languages.

Whether offering advice to the first-time buyer, or to the collector looking for the rarest pieces, his commitment and integrity are all-important. Over the years, Howard has built up a loyal following of private clients and collectors, and he has been privileged to sell a number of special clocks to museums both in the UK and abroad.

When looking at a clock yourself, even if your completely new to the world of horology, you should examine three essential components on the clock.

We suggest looking at the following components:

Is anything missing? How are the surfaces? Is there noticeable damage such as cracks, dents or tarnishings? Check if the veneers are replacements always check to see if the feet are later than the case, as this will have a noticeable impact on the value of your clock.

Has the dial got scratches or rub marks on it? Has it been fixed and restored? This is important as we’ve known people who have covered an existing maker and sign with a new one or added an entirely new one if the original was missing one!
Damage to winding holes is also very common on enamel dials that have been restored.

Is it clean? Does it have an excess of oil? Is it missing any parts? Keep a special detailed eye on the key, bell and pendulum of the clock.

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