Antique clocks
Finchingfield antique clocks

What To Look For When Buying An Antique Clock

Buying an antique clock can be very rewarding but it is important to beware the pitfalls. Clocks are mechanical items and are therefore one type of antique that requires close scrutiny before purchasing. Thus it is essential to buy from a specialist dealer who has several years experience in studying and buying clocks. In the early years of clocks, they were seen as not only pieces of furniture but functional items and repairs & changes were made without a second thought. For example, a thirty-hour longcase clock made in the late 1700's may have had an eight-day movement made for it in the Victorian period for an owner who preferred to upgrade the clock rather than buy a new one. The price should reflect this and sold as such. The early 1900's also saw 'chopping and changing' of movements to suit tastes, and cases were also altered for this reason. Some early oak cases were carved in later life to suit the fashion and bases are sometimes cut down to allow the clock to fit in a room with a low ceiling. Simple clock movements could be discarded from elaborate cases and replaced by better movements from plain cases.
There is also the problem of clocks being either reproduced or faked which can catch out the uninitiated but will be obvious to the seasoned eye. Carriage clocks are a good example - although first made in the early 1800's their popularity peaked in the late Victorian period and have been made ever since in a similar fashion. It is important to be able to tell an early example from a late 20th century clock as the price difference can be huge but the differences are quite subtle. Again the experienced dealer will have the knowledge and integrity to advise.
Another important aspect when buying an antique clock is its performance. Although we do not expect antique clocks to have the timekeeping of a modern watch, it should still be able to run its full duration within accepted parameters. A specialist dealer should have had the movement fully overhauled and will guarantee it as such. It is important for any clock to be put through a reputable clock restorer and overhauled correctly - any damage can be expensive to correct and serious if not detected. If buying an unrestored clock, it is important to find a restorer to do the work properly. A good restorer will examnie the clock with you and explain any major work that has been done previously and what is needed to get the piece up to an acceptable standard.
A specialist dealer will normally deliver and set-up the clock for you, and have undertaken research on both it and the maker. By going to a specialist you are buying not only a clock but his experience, knowledge and piece of mind.
Telephone: (01371) 810258
Finchingfield Antiques, The Green, Finchingfield, Braintree , Essex . CM7 4JX