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Posted by / 17-Dec-2018 05:40

Dating brass dial grandfather clocks

More plentiful are the late 17th and early 18th 'furnishing' clocks by lesser names that - if some imperfections and restoration are tolerated - sell in the £8000-20,000 bracket.

A connoisseur market also exists for those clocks designed for precision timekeeping.

These precision timekeepers, often with outwardly simple dials and cases but very substantial six-pillar movements and heavy grid-iron pendulums, have seen some substantial price movements in recent times.

Examples by leading makers such as John Arnold, Edward John Dent, Benjamin Vulliamy and Charles Frodsham are commanding record sums.

The need to protect the movement within a high case to house the heavy drive weights, and soon afterwards a long pendulum that beat once every second, led to a style of clock that remained popular for more than two centuries.

These venerable timepieces, housed in elegant cases of ebony, walnut, mulberry, marquetry or japanned lacquer, have a long collecting history and appeal beyond the relatively small field of horology.

Pricing depends heavily on quality, condition, movement and maker.

The story of the freestanding, weight-driven pendulum clock or longcase is told through a succession of technological breakthroughs designed to make the clocks more accurate, more elaborate in their function or easier to maintain.

Often it is these technical sophistications, many of them pioneered, improved or perfected by the great names in British clockmaking, which interest serious collectors as much as the splendour of the case.

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Early rarities from the 'Golden Age' of English clockmaking in the late 17th century are the preserve of the wealthiest collectors.

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