Mantel clocks (also known as mantle or shelf clocks) were inexpensive to make and affordable to own, which explains why they were one of the most popular clocks in the 18th and 19th centuries. Part decoration, part practical timepiece, mantel clocks are so named because they were small enough to be displayed on a shelf or mantel.
Mantel clocks were made with both brass and wood movements and ran anywhere from 30 hours to eight days between windings, although some Seth Thomas clocks from the late 19th and early 20th centuries ran for 15 days. Although its origins lay in France in the 18th century, the mantel clock took off in the U.S. in Connecticut during the early 19th century, when clockmaker Eli Terry began mass-producing them.
Ornately decorated and usually made of wood, porcelain, or ormolu, mantel clocks were mostly key-wound with a swinging pendulum. American mantel clocks were typically made of cherry or oak and sometimes incorporated iron or brass.
The bases of mantel clocks were decorated in a variety of ways. Some were made of solid wood or wooden panel, others were engraved, and some mantel clocks featured intricately detailed painted scenes. There were even mantel clocks with calendars built into their faces.
The Ansonia Clock Company made some gorgeous porcelain mantel clocks, whose front surface was painted with images of flowers. Ansonia also produced carved clocks with beautiful sculptures and figurines sharing their base.
Unlike Ansonia’s elaborate carvings, Seth Thomas clocks were all about smooth, sleek lines. His slick, 19th-century mantel clocks, usually made of richly colored wood, look more ...
The ogee clock was introduced in the 1840s. Featuring an "S"-like curve in its molding, ogee clocks were very popular, and most clock companies of the era produced variations on the ogee theme.
In the mid-19th century, Elias Ingraham created what is known as the steeple clock, whose triangle front and column-like sides resemble a church steeple. This design sparked numerous spin-offs, such as the double steeple and the beehive.
Whatever you call them, mantel clocks have maintained their popularity for more than two centuries because they are dependable and work so well in so many different domestic situations. Today, they continue to be sought after by collectors and non-collectors alike for pretty much the same reasons.
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St. Georgen: "Embee-Tischuhr" kehrt zurückSchwarzwälder Bote, October 24th
Nahezu in jedem englischen Haus ist im Wohnzimmer ein Kamin vorhanden, und auf den Sims über dem Kamin gehört eine Kamin-Uhr, manchmal auch Mantel-Clock genannt, welche von englischen Herstellern stammte, aber auch aus dem Ausland, aus ...Read more
Alessi Celebrates 50 Years with Michael Graves in ExhibitGifts & Decorative Accessories, October 21st
will display more than 30 select pieces that Graves has designed for the company, including other tea and serving pieces, items from the Euclid plastics line, and less common wooden pieces including the Mantel Clock and Twergi series of tabletop items...Read more
North Atlantic Oscillation Provide Guide To New AlbumantiMUSIC.com, October 17th
Some of the 'ambient' percussion is an old mantel clock with the weight removed so that it ticked faster and more erratically." August: "Some spurious time signatures smuggled into what is otherwise a fairly guileless dream-pop song. Too Many Organs...Read more
Fine Art and Antiques Show at Park Avenue ArmoryNew York Times, October 16th
At Frank Partridge, there's a gaudy, repellent yet fascinating Directoire ormolu mantel clock made in France in 1795. Its iconography represents a peculiarly ethnocentric vision of America. Atop the clock sits a doll-size, shirtless, black-skinned...Read more
Opening SaturdayEast Hampton Star, October 9th
Stanley Bitterman recently made repairs to an 1840s mantel clock from the Talmage family at the East Hampton Farm Museum, which opens to the public on Saturday. Morgan McGivern. When the East Hampton Farm Museum opens on Saturday, visitors will ...Read more
The grandfather clockThe Citizen.com (blog), October 7th
He had to still the eight-day mantel clock over the piano (shown in an 1897 Sears catalog for #3.90); its brisk clatter covered the solid, decisive ticking of the grandfather. Elsewhere in the house, the little French clock, an ornament on his mother's...Read more
Weekly Roundup of eBay Vintage Home FindsHuffington Post, October 6th
Be sure not to miss the French Art Deco mantel clock set, the Victorian needlepoint fireplace screen, the 1960s chandelier, and the 1950s Verstervig Eriksen dining chairs. DISCLOSURE: Editorial selections are made by Zuburbia with no direct promotional ...Read more
Cabinet Press local business directoryCabinet.com, September 24th
served as administrator for about a year in 2011-12, and again as a part-time temporary during the medical leave of Administrator Kate Thorndike from last fall until the appointment of current administrator Russ Bolland, was presented with a mantel...Read more