Grandfather clocks are highly valued by a broad spectrum of collectors. Grandfather clocks will add class and elegance to any home or office quickly and easily. Grandfather clocks will also hold their financial value. Everyone will fall prey to the charms of your clocks in no time as they are known throughout the world for their beauty and accuracy.
When you are shopping for a grandfather clock you will first need to see where in your home or business you want to keep your new clock. Did you want one that can fit on a shelf or do you have a special corner that you want to put one in? Take some time and some measurements and then you will be able to make the right decisions about the grandfather clocks that will look the best in your home or office.
Grandfather clocks (or longcase clocks as they are known in the trade) are one of the very few actual working antique pieces of furniture you can purchase today, but you must be aware that buying a clock that is in less than perfect operating condition can represent a real risk.
With their mechanical movements which have most probably been around for hundreds of years it is essential to have someone knowledgeable involved in your decision making. There are a number of things that can make a clock movement stop working, points that are not so obvious at first glance, it takes just a small amount of wear on the pivots and pinions to alter the depth of the train which will stop the clock and make the movement in need of a complete strip down and resulting in a major repair.
So if you do not have the adequate skills or knowledge, find someone who does, it will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. Remember all clocks, running or not, need close scrutiny before purchasing.
Just a few things to check before you buy your future family heirloom:
- After making sure there is no major surgery needed to the movement and dial take a good look at the overall appearance of the clock case. Look for parts missing or damaged i.e. the correct feet or plinth are there and the base has not been cut down to fit into a room with a low ceiling, the same goes for the pediment or the top of the case hood. Look for any veneers or stringing that may be missing or loose and check fret work on the hood to see it is not damaged. Check the polish or finish of the case looking for cracking or splitting caused by shrinkage or exposure to direct sunlight. Although these can be small jobs, the cost of restoration can mount up and increase your overall investment
- Look for any pieces of the clock furniture missing or damaged, the brass or wooden finials that should be on the top of the hood, hinges to the trunk and hood doors are working correctly. Check escutcheons and locks, if any, and hood pillar caps.
- Take a good look at the case hood and make sure it fits onto the case correctly and check the dial mask fits correctly around the dial, any gaps or overlapping is a sure sign of a marriage, this could be where some unscrupulous dealer has put a movement into another case.
- Take off the hood and inspect the trunk cheeks. This is the top part of the trunk where the movement's seat board, the piece of timber the movement is fastened to, sits on the trunk. Check nothing has been altered or blocks have not been added (wrong movement in the wrong case).
- Open the trunk door and take a look at the back board, about the height where the pendulum is situated, and have a look for scratch marks made buy the pendulum indicating an ill-fitting movement, once again a sure sign of possible alterations.
If your knowledge on this subject is sparse, it is always best to be on the safe side and buy from a reputable clock dealer or antique dealer, which could save you tremendous costs in future repairs and restoration.
submitted by Dean A. Black (wesellitindy)
Dean’s extensive experience in both collecting and appraising enhance his skills as a Certified eBay Trading Assistant and eBay PowerSeller. He is the Managing Partner of IndyeBay, a full service consignment listing service, which provides both traditional and Internet based solutions for the sale of top quality consigned merchandise, much of which can been seen in his eBay Store – Top Quality Consignments Limited.