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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Charming Décor Shop Sells Items for Every Part of the HomeDigital Journal, February 10th
The site offers numerous accent pieces for indoor and outdoor, including a shelf or mantel clock styled to look as if it's melting, like the clocks in Salvador Dali's surrealist masterpiece “The Persistence of Memory.” “We want to make it easy for...Read more
GUSTAV BECKER VIENNA REGULATOR - For SaleThe Observer Star, February 7th
Viennese Enamel Mantel Clock Delicate although, mythological characters and arabesque gilt work beautify the edges. The Roman numeral dial often is sold with a winding apparatus and the key often is attached ready to wind and set all of this darling...Read more
At Santo Trafficante auction, a chance to buy a piece of Tampa's mob historyTampabay.com, January 27th
Among the "stuff'' up for bid will be crystal chandeliers, several Oriental rugs, an unopened 1975 bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, a pair of still lifes purchased at a Gasparilla art show and Trafficante's favorite mantel clock. Magnani's own...Read more
Two friends celebrate a very special anniversary together at PSWSPenn State Worthington Scranton, January 26th
Then and now: on top, Marilee Mulvey and Lynne Fazio pose near a display they created shortly after they started working at PSWS in 1990. At bottom, Marilee and Lynne receive their 25-year PSU chairs, commemorating their landmark anniversary...Read more
Weekly Roundup of eBay Vintage Home FindsHuffington Post, January 18th
Don't miss the pair of Warren Platner chairs, the 1970s Chapman lamp, the Navajo rug, the vintage spool rack, the French mantel clock, the 1960s Martin H. Miller photograph, the antique set of Windsor armchairs, the 1972 Alexander Calder signed...Read more
In Watches, Coming EventsInternational New York Times, January 17th
includes more than 100 exhibits — among them, timepieces such as a lady's platinum, gold and diamond pendant watch, a man's gold and sapphire pocket watch and fob, and a gilt bronze mantel clock — owned by the city's wealthiest residents during...Read more
Art MovementsHyperallergic, January 15th
Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Two works were censored at Apres Charlie (After Charlie), a show at the French Institute in Tel Aviv that marked the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo killings...Read more
Grundy County employees recognized for serviceMorris Daily Herald, January 13th
Craig Cassem, Grundy County engineer, was recognized by Grundy County Highway Committee Chairman Eric Rasmusson for 25 years of service and was given a pin, certificate and mantel clock. Cassem then announced those from the Highway ...Read more