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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What's It Worth? Sculpture after Charles Perron, World War II poster, Busy ...OregonLive.com, November 16th
Garniture sets usually were comprised of a central mantel clock along with a pair of ewers, or sometimes a pair of candelabrum. Yours appear to be painted spelter with green glass, or perhaps painted ceramic bodies. At auction, without the matching...Read more
Here are some intriguing facts about world's first computer, Antikythera MechanismBusinessinsider India, November 12th
It resembled the antique mantel clock in its size, a rounded face and with hands which were capable of rotating. A knob was found that was probably used to wind up the machine and propelling the gearwheels linked to each other in order to make them...Read more
Holiday Shop at Craftsman Farms opens for business this weekNorthJersey.com, November 10th
"Our shop is mission-driven. Gustav Stickley wasn't satisfied with mass-produced rubbish, and neither are we! We feature many products from small American companies and local artists. A gorgeous hammered copper mantel clock, or a soda-fired beer stein; ...Read more
“Beauty and the Beast” opens on Braham stageIsanti County News, November 5th
While she spends her days at his castle, Belle gets to know the personalities who reside here: Lumiere, a charmingly handsome candelabra; Cogsworth, a tightly-wound mantel clock; Mrs. Potts, a sweetly maternal teapot; Babette, a flirtatious feather...Read more
In Cincinnati, ArtWorks' mural tours tell the Queen City story, one wall at a ...cleveland.com, November 1st
The Golden Muse, a 2012 addition to the mural collection that celebrates the nearby Taft Museum of Art. The mural features a female figure, inspired by an 18th century mantel clock, wrapped in sheet music. It's not just any music – it's Aaron Copland's ...Read more
Antiques: 1800s candelabra light up the night in styleOttawa Citizen, October 28th
to 1814) style, and the five-candle bouquets belonging to the emerging Napoleon III (1852 to 1870) style. He also says that the parcel gilt and patinated bronze figures are in fabulous condition, and may even at one time have had a companion mantel...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