Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clocks Antique or Not

08.31.09

Well this is a subject that the author of this blog post has been stewing about for some period.  Grandfather clock sellers, and for that matter sellers of wall clocks and mantle clocks as well, will frequently describe their specific grandfather clocks or other clocks as antique, even when it is ONLY ten, twenty, or thirty years old!

By that definition, I am an antique as well … but I sure do not feel like one.

When I was growing up, an antique anything always had to be 100 years old, at the very least, to qualify as an actual antique.  This is the definition we at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com have always used as  that milestone when an item moves from the vintage milestone to the antiques description!  Or occasionally, we might take the liberty of time definition if something is near antique, such as 90 years old or something.

OK, now before both taking the moral high ground and potentially looking like an idiot on our Grandfather Clocks Blog, I am about to look up the actual definition!  Be right back, or as many might instead time today, brb.

INTERESTING … not as cut and dry a definition as I might have thought.  I have learned something new.  When used as a noun and according to USA Customs law, an antique is in fact defined as something more than 100 years old.  But when used as an adjective, there is apparently a LOT more flexibility in the meaning.  Look below at the dictionary definition excerpted here from Dictionary.com:

–adjective

1. of or belonging to the past; not modern.
2. dating from a period long ago: antique furniture.
3. noting or pertaining to automobiles approximately 25 years old or more.
4. in the tradition, fashion, or style of an earlier period; old-fashioned; antiquated.
5. of or belonging to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
6. (of paper) neither calendered nor coated and having a rough surface.
7. ancient.

–noun

8. any work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or the like, created or produced in a former period, or, according to U.S. customs laws, 100 years before date of purchase.

So cars can be referred to CORRECTLY as “an antique car” if it ONLY ABOUT 25 YEARS OLD!?!?!?!!!!!!!

Live and learn!!!!  Even though realize I may now be defined as an “antique blogger”, at least I am still able to learn and adapt, even though a may have been born from a period long ago according to the definition, let’s say, of my children, or indeed of many out there.

Here’s where I think we antique clocks folks may still have the advantage of the younger (or vintage :) ) folks.  How many younger people today know the difference between a noun and an adjective, and even more so, when to properly use each one.  I submit that in this day and age older antique people will be much much better at this then their younger counterparts.

OK so how do we get back to grandfather clocks and how to classify them.  I guess I first may owe an apology (even though I did not say anything this time, I just thought it) to the young man who tried to sell us his battery driven antique grandfather clock that used to belong to his grandmother who got it as a gift twenty or thirty years ago.

Live and learn.  Time and time again!

2 comments so far

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I just bought my first howard miller grandfather clock I love it



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