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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Review: Actiontec MyWirelessTV2 Wireless HD Video KitWe Got Served (blog), April 26th
You are fortunate because the builder added an outlet to supply power for a mantel clock, decorations and so on. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to add a hidden HDMI cable behind the brick to send the signal to your new TV from your receiver or...Read more
Bernadette Ruof: It's painful to put the past to restBuffalo News, April 23rd
After she removes her things, the questions arise: Who gets the mantel clock? Who should have the only framed family photo? And who gets the cat? There are no good answers. Not one of these losses is marked as more or less than the other; each loss is ...Read more
Royalty-Inspired Interior DesignLuxury London, April 20th
Matthew Boulton,” describes antiques dealer Nick Wells, an accredited member of The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers (LAPADA), “including the Derbyshire Blue John mounted perfume burners, the famous mantel clock known as the 'King's Clock' ...Read more
Enjoy cultural weekend as fair full of treasures returns to PetworthWest Sussex Gazette, April 16th
Clock and barometer specialists Olde Time have an attractive French porcelain and ormolu mounted mantel clock, c1860, £8,500. The oldest item to grace the fair is a large split pair of 120 million year old Russian ammonites that were found in the Volga...Read more
Riverview School Drama Club to present Disney's Beauty and The Beast Jr. on ...West of the I, April 14th
With the help of the castle's enchanted staff, including a loving teapot, a charming candelabra, and a nervous mantel clock, Belle and the Beast find a beautiful friendship and love that neither knew was possible. Beauty and the Beast JR. features...Read more
Collecting Guide: ClocksChristie's, June 12th
If this is above your price bracket, take a look at a 19th-century version of 18th-century mantel clocks, such as the French ormolu-mounted white marble striking mantel clock (below). Late 19th-century French clocks are a good way of buying the 18th...Read more
Junk or Gem: German Mantel ClockWMTV, February 23rd
It was a staple in many homes decades ago. A mantel clock that chimed every fifteen minutes or half-hour. Now, one woman is curious to see what the history behind her grandmother's mantel clock could be. "This is my Grandmother's mantel clock, my ...Read more
Collectibles: Angle lamp, Chinese cabinet and screen, Ingraham mantel clock ...OregonLive.com, January 19th
Q. My grandmother gave me this clock and I believe it dates from the early 1900s. I recently had it repaired and it keeps great time. I'm just wondering what the value may be? S.F., E Portland. A. The E. Ingraham Company, an important clock and watch ...Read more