Antique Grandfather Clock Valuation

When you look at antique grandfather clocks versus modern styles, you will see a number of changes, most related to materials and technology. For instance, antique grandfather clocks used swinging pendulums, weights, and a self-winding system. With the older clocks, you would choose from a 30-hour clock, which would need to be wound daily or an eight-day clock, one that needs winding just once a week. However, for the newer grandfather clock designs, many are made to wind automatically.

We wanted to address antique grandfather clocks and the components that make it run efficiently. You will find this type of clock features four primary elements. First is mechanism, second the movement, third, the dial, and finally, the case. When looking to invest in an antique grandfather clock, each of these components plays a distinct and important role. As you will see from the information below, we wanted to provide additional information a well.

Movements

The movements of a grandfather clock include a system made of brass and steel wheels and gears, otherwise known as the train. In most cases, the movements are housed in between two brass plates.

Escapement

This part of the grandfather clock is a part of the movement, controlling speed of the clock.

Balance Wheel Escapement

Until 1760, this type of balance wheel escapement was used for lantern clocks. The wheel would oscillate, releasing two pallets of flags onto the vertical bar, at which time the toothed wheel would engage.

Anchor Escapement

Used in long case clocks (grandfather) from 1670 to the time grandfather clocks were standard, this anchor engages with the teeth of the escape wheel.

Pendulum

The pendulum of an antique grandfather clock is what helps control the speed of the weight-driven and spring-driven clock. Typically made of steel or brass, the bottom portion features a metal disc called the bob, which can be adjusted to speed up or slow down the clock's time.

Dials

The dial of the grandfather clock consists of many different components to include:

  • Applied corner spandrels
  • Calendar aperture
  • Chapter ring
  • Dial arch
  • Engraved boss
  • Hour Hand
  • Matted center
  • Minute hand
  • Subsidiary dial
  • Winding holes

Hands

The hands of the clocks are usually made from blued steel, with the minute hand measuring longer than the hour hand.

Cases

The case is the body of the grandfather clock, the area in which all the components are housed. The cases come in a number of different materials, as well as finishes, sizes, and detailing.