Grandfather clocks

How Much Are Grandfather Clocks

10.28.13

Grandfather clock shoppers and seasoned grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks shoppers alike may be confused by the dizzying array of choices presented to them by Retailer and on the Internet alike.  Prices for new grandfather clocks can range from $200 to over $20,000 dollars.  Clearly, not only is there a broad array of choices within varying price points, but the differences between those price points and within the different ranges of prices.  Clearly, the vast majority of shoppers are looking to get the greatest grandfather clock discount they can, sometimes putting greater emphasis on service and trust from dealing with a grandfather clock shop where the owners will clearly know what they are saying and can actually help if and when and issues come up after the consumer or business receives its grandfather clock.  Grandfather clocks on sale can and reasonably should be one important consideration when making am important clock purchase, but other intangibles, such as knowledgeable salespeople and people who can truly give good answers to pointed questions about grandfather clocks, not to mention having a genuine warranty that is also worthwhile, but also knowing there will be a continuing clocks resources if and as needed.

In more recent years, there has been the challenge of very low quality grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks that are of inferior quality, yet in many cases were designed to look specifically like models of higher-end grandfather clocks, sometimes even “borrowing” the names of other models made by the best grandfather clock companies out there.  Sadly, some of the sellers of these what can literally be termed as pieces of junk and sold by some of the biggest and best known names in big box retailing.  Over the last year alone, we have received hundreds on inquiries looking for help from people who have purchased these grandfather clocks, and not only can they not return the clocks to these major retailers in most all cases (because the box has been opened and the items unpacked), but there is also frequently no contact information or telephone number of the maker or importer that will yield anything useful to these clock purchasers who have essentially thrown their money away.  They do a Google Search of the model name, and because the names have frequently be the names of the high-end makers, they see our contact information in the search engine results.  There is little we can do to help them, except suggesting they insist the retailer take back the junk in these cases.

So who are the best retailers, and which are the grandfather clock makers one should consider, even when not knowing how much one wants to spend.  One piece of good news is that all the well-respected and good-excellent quality makers have price points to match any budget for someone who is serious about investing in a good quality grandfather clock that might one day be considered an heirloom by family members.  Aside from the importance of the sound and quality of the grandfather clock chimes, the features such as chime-silence option and automatic nighttime shut-off, the bells and whistles such as a rotating moon-phase dial or an illuminated cabinet or lit grandfather clock dial, one should also consider an heirloom grandfather clock as an important piece of furniture that can be loved and admired and cherished for many generations.

Generally speaking, if one knows little about grandfather clocks, looking to the most well known brands with the best reputations for overall grandfather clock quality and workmanship would be a good way to start.  These would include brands like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and some few others.  There are also good brand names out there that no longer make grandfather clocks, but one may come across them, including 1-800-4CLOCKS’ Museum Grandfather Clocks, Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks and Bulova Grandfather Clocks.

The grandfather clock case will be one major component of the cost, based on the wood or sometimes metalwork involved and how much there is, its quality, and to what extent there are special elements like carvings or inlay.

The grandfather clock or grandmother clock movement is also critical, including whether it is cable-driven, chain-driven, tubular chime, spring-driven or quartz-driven.  This is a subject we have written about extensively in our clocks blogs, and we are also always available to discuss purchase options with serious grandfather clock shoppers, even if they are in their earlier stages of learning and shopping.  Which and how many grandfather clock chimes is another variable, and assuming they are on of the high-end mechanical movement makers, which nowadays includes mostly all Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks grandfather clock movements.  The chime is another element, with most of the basic clocks having one or more of Westminster Chimes, Whittington Chime, St Michaels Chime, Ode to Joy grandfather clock chime, bim bam chime, and the Ave Maria grandfather clocks chime.

Special features like rotating moon face dials, automatic nighttime shutoff, chime-silence option, illuminated dials, lit cabinets, and time capsules can all add to the desirability and price tag of any individual grandfather clock.

Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways, especially when purchasing a grandfather clock, is not to assume because 2 different clocks may look alike and each have the Westminster Chime, NEVER ASSUME they are comparable quality clocks in any way, whether they are brand new or vintage or even antique grandfather clocks.  If not careful and armed with some grandfather clock knowledge and knowing where to get the answers to other  questions, one might end up with a very expensive piece of junk.

How Much are Grandfather Clocks?

How Much are Grandfather Clocks?

 

 

 

Ohio Grandfather Clock

10.15.13

On the second floor of the Capitol Building stands a grandfather clock that had garnered a lot of attention in the news about the Countdown to a potential Government Financial default and counting up of the days since the Federal Government has shut down and “non-essential” workers remain at home.  During this Debt Ceiling Limit and Government Budget showdown, the so-called Ohio Grandfather Clock made by Thomas Voigt actually stopped running, and that was a euphemism to many that our Government was indeed broken. The Senate purchased the clock in 1815 from Thomas Voigt.  The rumor is that the clock was meant to celebrate Ohio joining the Country because the clock has 17 stars and Ohio was the 17th state to join.   However, there is no proof that the rumor is true and the clock was ordered 12 years later when there were 18 states in the Union. The big, wide Senate hall just outside the back of the Senate Chamber, on the second floor of the Capitol, attracts dozens of reporters every Tuesday around lunchtime.

Democrats meet privately in a room on the far right (as one walks away from the president’s room) while Republicans meet around the corner. Arrive around 12:30 p.m. to get senators as they go in, then leave around 1:15 p.m. Come back at 1:45 and get ‘em as they go out.

The more in-demand senators will go to special microphones to the right of the clock around 2:15. Be sure to bring a tape recorder.

The Ohio Clock, standing in what is now known in the Capitol as the Ohio Clock Corridor, is an imposing grandfather’s clock opposite the main doors of the chamber, is often cited as a place to meet sources — easy to find, easy to remember.

Thomas Voigt 1815 Grandfather Clock on Second Floor of US Capitol outside Senate Chambers in Ohio Corridor

The government shutdown was ironic from the moment it began — It all happened over the health care law, which started registration the moment the government shut down at midnight on Oct. 1.

Over the days since, the United States has witnessed a variety of strange consequences. Here is s a look at the weirdest effects of the shutdown, from a panda cam going dark to the hands on a historic Senate clock frozen in place to bored Congressional workers.

Clock hands ‘frozen’ in place
Credit: U.S. Senate

The hands of the Senate’s historic Ohio Clock are frozen at 12:14, according to NBC News. The curators tasked to wind the 11-foot-tall (3.4 meters) clock have been furloughed, last winding the clock on Sept. 30.

Despite its name and the shield with 17 stars on the front of it, the clock is not meant to celebrate the 17th state Ohio’s statehood, according to the U.S. Senate. In 1815, Sen. David Daggett of Connecticut ordered the clock from clockmaker Thomas Voigt. Though Sen. Daggett gave fairly detailed instructions about the clock’s appearance, he didn’t mention anything about it commemorating Ohio or how many stars should be placed on the shield.

“The dial to be about two feet in diameter, an hour, minute and second hand, a Spread Eagle on the top and the United States arms at foot. We wish it good and handsome and expect to pay accordingly,” read the order for the clock, according to the U.S. Senate website.

Complete Resource of Information on Grandfather Clocks

10.09.13

When shopping for grandfather clocks online, or looking for the best grandfather clock discount, knowledge of the market is critical to any savvy buyer.  Unless one happens to be an expert at their local Grandfather Clock Store or Furniture Retail Store which may have grandfather clocks on sale, the array of choices can become very hard to create a climate where a floor clock buyer feels he or she is in control.  This is compounded by the fact that more and more grandfather clock stores have gone out of business, and those that remain have significantly curtailed the number of grandfather clocks they may have on display on their showroom floor.  This is true because the economics of selling clocks of all kinds, whether floor clocks or mantel clocks or wall clocks or cuckoo clocks, have changed dramatically over the last decades.

Whether you are looking for a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, a Kieninger Floor Clock, one of the Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks or a Hermle Grandfather Clock, a sophisticated shopper is likely to run into the same grandfather clock shopping questions and issues regardless of where in the USA, Canada, or other parts of the world the consumer or individual may be located.  It is relatively easy to see many grandfather clocks online, but trying to see the one you are most interested in by a particular maker, whether it be one of the Howard Miller Clocks or Hermle Clocks or Ridgeway or Kieninger Clocks, finding the clock to view in person can be a challenge.

In response to that, clock retailers like 1-800-4CLOCKS, in addition to the obvious toll-free service and advice they provide, have also created resources for shoppers to at least begin to understand the different both between and within grandfather clock brands, as well as the type of movements and musical chimes available, the wood used, which is solid hardwood for most all cases, and what the pros and cons are between different clocks, styles, movements, manufacturers, price points, features and much more.

The Grandfather Clocks Blog was launched, in fact, to be a thorough and highly searchable resource for someone who wants to learn not only about new grandfather clocks, but also antique grandfather clocks and Vintage grandfather clocks.

Here are but a few of the titles of blog posts we have used to be the best single source of information for grandfather clock buyers:

Moving Grandfather Clocks

Antique Grandfather Clock Prices

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks Setup Video

El Howard Miller Video de Como Construir su Reloj de Caja

Granfather Clocks

Types Grandfather Clocks Tops Swans Neck Bonnet Flat or Round Styles

Clocks Index

Grandfather Clocks Information

Grandfather Clock History Revisited

Discounts Grandfather Clocks

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Grandfather Clock Diagram

Grandfather Clock Buying Guide

Tempus Fugit Grandfather Clocks Means Time Flies

Hermle Grandfather Clocks on sale

Grandfather Clocks Discount

Presidential Grandfather Clocks by Howard Miller

Clock Collecting Across Generations

Black Forest Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clock Showroom

Chiming Grandfather Clocks

Discount Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clocks Made in America

Grandfather Clocks Running Fast Slow Over Time

Grandfather Clocks Private White House Office

Big Ben Clock Turns 150 Today and is As Good as Old

Grandfather Clocks Running Fast Slow How Fix

Discount Grandfather Clock

Grandfather Clocks Make Beautiful Heirlooms

Grandfather Clocks Tallcase Clock Long Case Clock

Grandfather Clocks Wedding Anniversary Presents

Grandfather Clocks eBay

Unusual Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clocks Antique or Not

Grandfather Clocks for Sale-Discounts

Grandfather Clocks Howard Miller vs Ridgeway

We also hope you will out 1-800-4CLOCKS.com website, as well as ClocksBlog.com to see even many more resources to help make your clock shopping experience most valuable.  And remember, we at 1-800-4CLOCKS never use a call center and always have knowledgeable grandfather clock people who will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Grandfather Clock Complete Resource Guide

Grandfather Clock Complete Resource Guide

Grandfather Clocks History Past-Present

10.07.13

Some grandfather clock history and clocks history never gets old.  Just look at the stories of Simon Willard, Aaron Willard and Benjamin Willard.  An article written in 1936 is still as informative and interesting to a clocks historian as one written today.  Grandfather Clocks enthusiasts are sure to minimally find this interesting.

Richmond Times-Dispatch
May 24, 1936

Grandfather Clocks, Some Genuine Old-Timers Still Tick Off Hours or Chime Timely Melodies, Proof of Care Their Makers Used

Many things had been discussed by the little group seated behind the plate glass window of a Franklin Street store. And that isn’t exactly true either. Many things had been broached, but the discussion was almost wholly a monologue by the host, a veteran of many a trek into the hinterlands of the antique country and a recognized authority on early American antiques. Now and then a listening member would throw a few words into the conversation, more to keep the oratory flowing than for any factual use, until at last someone uttered those well-worn last words: “What time is it getting to be?”

Subconsciously glances were directed toward the tall dominating grandfather clock against the far wall. Then they fell back to modern wrist-watches and there was a concerted start–for watch and clock pointed to the same hour. No one mentioned it, but there was a subtle sort of mental agreement that it was all “just a coincidence.” But it wasn’t. That old grandfather’s clock was still keeping time, and correct time. “How come?” I lingered to question the antique dealer. And thereby came this tale, a story of famous old American clocks and clockmakers.  It seems that– when Simon Willard was 13 years old he made his first “grandfather” clock. When he was 82 he made the large clock in the Capitol at Washington. He was born in 1753, lived to be 95 years old, and left behind him some of the best and most beautiful clocks that have ever been made.

Simon Willard had no grand ideas about organization, sales promotion and production. He did all his work in the space of four rooms. It is good to think that Simon’s clocks, which were made by hand and with infinite care and solicitude, command a higher price today than those made by Aaron Willard, his brother, who opened up a factory and turned out watches and clocks by the hundreds.

Side by side in a Richmond, Virginia antique shop may be seen a grandfather clock made by Simon Willard and one by Aaron Willard. To the connoisseur with blood in his eye the clock made by Simon is much the finer. To the casual onlooker both the clocks are rare examples of early American grandfather (or long case) clocks.

A Simon Willard “Grandfather” clock (left), which is still in first-class condition. The case is very handsome with its curved fretwork on top. Phases of the moon and the days of the month are both given. Simon Willard made his first Grandfather clock at the age of 13.
A Simon Willard shelf clock (right). The Willards’ called these clocks, which were made as early as 1784, timepieces, because they did not strike. The works are made of brass.

 

Benjamin Willard, who started making clocks in 1764, was the father of Aaron and Simon, and the first of this famous Massachusetts family to engage in clock-making. In the Boston Gazette for February 22, 1771, he advertised, “Musical clocks playing different tunes, a new tune every day in the week, and on Sunday a Psalm tune. These tunes perform every hour.”

Reliable Clocks Kept Puritan Sabbath

And such is the reliability of a Willard clock that there is no single record of a Puritan Sabbath being violated by week-day tunes. Likewise, the beauty and workmanship which went into the clock cases of Simon Willard is not the only reason these clocks bring good prices wherever antiques are sold: The clocks run and they keep good time.

Simon Willard was an inventor of genius, but that did not keep him from being a thrifty American. He thought that clocks ought to be good and that they ought to be cheap enough for an American to own one, and at the same time have money enough left for a house to put it in. He advertised little, relying on his clock papers (and his clocks) to put across his ideas. One of these clock papers tells his story:

A Simon Willard ‘Grandfather’ clock (left), which is still in first-class condition. The case very handsome with its curved fretwork on top. Phases of moon and days month are both given. Simon Willard made his first at age 13. A shelf (right). Willard called these clocks, were as early 1784, timepieces, because they did not strike. The works were brass.

“Simon Willard, at his Clock Dial in Roxbury Street, manufactures every kind of clock work, such as large clocks for steeples, made in the best manner. . . . Clocks that will run one year without winding up, with very elegant cases, price 100 dollars. . . . Elegant daytime pieces, price 30 dollars. Timepieces which run 30 hours and warranted, price 10 dollars. . . . Chime clocks that will play six tunes, price 120 dollars. . . . Gentlemen who wish to purchase any kind of clocks are invited to call at said Willard’s Clock Manufacture, where they will receive satisfactory evidence that it is much cheaper to purchase new than old and second-hand clocks. He warrants all his work–and as he is ambitious to give satisfaction–he doubts not of receiving public approbation and patronage.”

Willard Originated the “Banjo” Clock

Although Simon Willard knew the worth of his clocks, it is doubtful if he dreamed of the approbation and patronage they would receive less than a hundred years after his death. He set out to make serviceable clocks that thrifty Americans could buy with a clear conscience. What would he say if he could happen in today on some sale of rare antique clocks and see his paragons of thrift and mechanical perfection sold for prices for four figures? And the purchasers, descendants, perhaps, of those thrifty New England customers of his, glad to get them at that price and paying for them with a smile?

Aaron Willard turned out his clocks by the hundred. The clock at right is mahogany with inlay. The other clock is by Nathaniel Edwards of Acton, Mass.

In 1802 Willard brought out his patent timepiece, which was later called the banjo clock. It was a prodigious success. No improvement has since been made on the original design. The story goes that such accuracy did Willard have in his hand and eye that he habitually filed the teeth of his cogwheels without marking them; and that when someone asked him why he didn’t stamp his brass with markers, he replied that it was unnecessary–his wheels were accurate. And Simon Willard was right! One proud owner of a Willard order clock says that it has run within 30 seconds of accuracy for a month.

Simon Willard died during the turbulent year of 1848. He had retired from business in 1839 and sold his tools and the good will of the business (together with the privilege of putting the name Simon Willard on the dials) to Elnathan Taber, his best apprentice. Simon Willard Jr. took these clocks and sold them at his shop in Boston.

It was this son, Simon Jr., who made the astronomical clock now in the observatory of Harvard University. His astronomical regulator was standard time for all railroads in New England.

Since the first grandfather clock appeared in England in 1681, clockmakers in this country and abroad have given them thought and consideration, so that now, when the antique hunter goes clock hunting, there is every style, every wood and every price at his disposal for this useful and beautiful ornament.

Grandfather Clock Blog

02.11.13

So, say you want to start a blog about the Grandfather Clock world, and these grandfather clocks are also known by such names as Floor Clocks, Hall Clocks, Free-Standing Clocks, Longcase Clocks, Tall Case Clocks and I’m sure we are leaving some names out here as well.  Now should this great new blog be called Grandfather Clock Blog, or should it be called Grandmother Clock Blog, Floor Clocks Blog, or maybe even Grandfather Clocks Blog.

Well, some years ago at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we faced this very exact dilemma.  We opted to go with Grandfather Clocks Blog, and found on the internet at this very website.  However, at around the same time, we cleverly, if we say so ourselves, reserved the domain GrandfatherClockBlog.com, in case we decided to use it instead, or additionally in some way.  So we are delighted to report the news that as of today GrandfatherClockBlog dot com can now also be found by visiting www.grandfatherclockblog.com.  You can even look at our Best of Grandfather Clocks Blof highlights, as well as Best of Clocks Blog, and Latest 1-800-4CLOCKS Blog Highlights, all from the bottom of the 1-800-4CLOCKS home page and every page on the website.

At Grandfather Clocks Blog, and Grandfather Clock Blog, we will continue to aim to bring to you the best information about all aspect of grandfather clocks ownership and the grandfather clock purchase preceding it.  We not only focus on antique grandfather clocks, but also on vintage grandfather clocks, like Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks, Trend and Pearl Grandfather Clocks, and even Bulova Grandfather Clocks which ceased production a few years ago.

We also look at brands of the best grandfather clocks, and compare the styles, movements, features, and other pros and cons within and between grandfather clock makers and in their own grandfather clock lines.  Featured most prominently are Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, and of course Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.

We also sell and service antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.

We look at traditional vs contemporary grandfather clocks, we look at mechanical grandfather clock movements and compare chain-driven mechanical movements, cable-driven mechanical movements, quartz or battery driven mechanical movements, and even tubular chime grandfather clock movements.  Not only do we look at the grandfather clock cases and their construction and parts and styles, but we also look at mechanical grandfather clock movements, including triple chime movements, which may include either Westminster Chimes, Schubert’s Ave Maria or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or the more traditional triple-chime combination of Westminster, Whittington and St. Michaels chimes.

Styles of grandfather clock cases, including split-pediment, also frequently known as swans neck pediment, compared to bonnet top grandfather clocks, and of course the rectangular top, not to mention the many contemporary grandfather clock model options.

We also look at features offered on various clock models, and can advise you, based on your own criteria and desires, on value of the money spent for different grandfather clock options, including automatic night-time shutoff, illuminated dials, illuminated cabinets, chime-silence option, cable vs. chain-driven, faux vs rotating moonphase dial, single chime grandfather clocks, usually having the Westminster Chime, vs. triple-chime models, and many other aspects.

A knowledgeable customer is something we are always willing to help a customer become, if they want or need that help.

News Clips Grandfather Clocks

12.03.12

At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, where we offer the widest selection and savings on all kinds of new and antique grandfather clocks, wall clocks and mantel clocks, we are always on the lookout for any special news story featuring clocks of all types and sizes.

We were recently informed by a customer that some clocks, including a grandfather clock and wall clock, still partially intact, reached the shores of the western continental USA, and are thought to be from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated so much of Japan just a little over a year ago. While the mechanisms were mostly all gone and ruined, the grandfather clocks and wall clock cases themselves, while also effectively no longer of use for much of anything, still maintained their overall shape and grandfather clock construction and wall clock case design. These antique clocks effectively acted like a combination of ships and driftwood and different points in their journey. We have yet to see any actual news reports on this, but we are hopeful it may be covered by some of the major media outlets including television and newspapers that have recently done stories on debris washing up on different parts of Hawaii.

Given Japan’s culture and rich history and reverence for antiquities, we know from first-hand experience that many Japanese citizens collect both many types of clocks, including mantle, wall and grandfather clocks, and also pocket watches and even sundials. We have sold many antique clocks to customers in Japan, and we have heard from many individuals who are looking to replace a cherished heirloom clock that may have been in their family for many generations, and they hope they can find one that is nearly identical in form and design if not the very same clock.

When natural disasters strike, including Hurricane Katrina and the more recent Hurricane Sandy, we tend to hear from good numbers of individuals who are looking perhaps not only for insurance claims, but also to replace a treasured item in their home with something that will be meaningful to them. While we most shy away from doing grandfather clock appraisals, and antique clock appraisals in general, because it can be such a murky area, we usually try to help these individuals to the extent we can. Sometimes we get great new customers for grandfather clocks that way, as well as those replacing mantel clocks and wall clocks, but we do it to try to keep the spirit of antique clocks collecting and grandfather clock ownership alive and hopefully thriving in our ever more modern society.

Grandfather clocks, much like a fireplace in Winter, were seen by many families as the gathering spot in the living room around which to congregate. Now that grandfather clocks and mantel clocks have more competition from televisions and computers, not to mention telephones, grandfather clocks are less the heartbeat of the home than they used to be.

We hope to keep the grandfather clock heartbeat tradition and ticking alive in homes around the world through good times and bad, through periods of vast technological progress (think atomic clocks), and with natural disasters that seem to be coming ever more frequently. But let us hope and cherish the safe time together.

Grandfather Clocks floating between Continents Reaches Shore

Grandfather Clocks Discount Sale

03.03.12

Whether we are selling Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Museum Clocks™ Grandfather Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Hermle Floor Clocks, or Kieninger Grandfather Clocks we always work with our customers to provide the very best in service and value, along with our Low Price Guarantee.  Frequently the clincher for many of our repeat customers especially is that we provide in-home set-up of these grandfather clocks.  So while a smart shopper always takes pleasure in shopping for grandfather clocks on sale or the most aggressive grandfather clock discount, one needs to look also at the total value received.  Many of our clients have had bad prior delivery experiences where grandfather clocks or curio cabinets are left on the curbside, and then the truck is gone and the buyer is left with a large and quite heavy item still in its original container.  At least hope this happens on a day when there is no rain or snow, or even worse, also large puddles which could seep through to the prized grandfather clock or other heirloom furniture.

There is another criterion to look carefully at, especially nowadays, when consider discount grandfather clocks.  Try typing that or other similar phrases such as grandfather clock discounts or discount grandfather clock and you will likely be besieged by photos of grandfather clocks which look great in the photo, but if you are looking for an heirloom grandfather clock, you would want to stay as far away from these clocks as possible.  Not only may they require assembly and be particle board vs solid wood, but the movement is not one that will last very long, or sound any good in comparison to the grandfather clocks with German mechanical movements by Hermle and Kieninger, which are the only types of mechanical grandfather clocks we sell.  While you may think you are saving $1,000 or more today, you are really buying something you are likely to want to or have to throw out in the trash in months if not a year or two at the most.  And you may be sorely disappointed by the added initial time investment which will likely be necessary.  Sadly, with many of these clocks, it is almost like throwing your money down the drain and worse.

So how does one know what type of grandfather clock to buy?  Well, we carry only the makers and brands we feel are of the highest quality and workmanship, and also offer a tremendous value to our customer.  We are willing to patiently take our prospective customers through all of the differences between types of grandfather clocks, such as chain driven vs cable driven grandfather clocks, as well as the different features, and differences and similarities between makers, not to mention some times very relevant grandfather clock history.

We would like to take the opportunity at this time to highlight one of the newer Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, which is part of the Howard Miller 85th Anniversary Collection, and is known as the Howard Miller Leighton Grandfather Clock 611086:

Howard Miller Leighton Grandfather Clock  611-086

Antique Grandfather Clock Prices

05.05.11

Should a prospective grandfather clocks shopper who is considering purchasing either a new grandfather clocks or perhaps a special antique grandfather clock spotted at a local antique clock or general antiquities store treat them as equivalent purchases.  Not at all.  An antique grandfather clock can have certain advantages, including perhaps a rich provenance, a likely much louder gong or strike sound on the hour or half-hour, perhaps greater investment potential, and maybe even some unique design, or less likely special grandfather clock feature, which would make it especially endearing to a floor clocks shopper.

At the same time, when one is buying an antique grandfather clock, the first phrase that comes to the mind of this experienced grandfather clock shopper is caveat emptor.  Two of the biggest and very real risks are, first, and perhaps most likely, that one will end up purchasing a grandfather clock that ends up becoming a project clock, and at the same time a money pit, and may not ever work as well as the way a brand new grandfather clock would work.  In these circumstances, it can not only be harder and much more expensive to find a qualified repair person to fix the clock, but then the risk of parts not being available, or need to be custom-made at some real expense and likely time delay, starts to come into play.

The second biggest risk when considering the purchase of an antique grandfather clock is that the clock may in horological terminology be known as what is called a marriage.  Now while in our civil society “a marriage” is generally considered a good thing adding value to society-at-large, in serious clock collecting and investing nomenclature, a “clock marriage” is a “dirty term”.  It means that the case and the movement, and/or perhaps other parts as well, were not together when the clock was first made, but were put together at some point more recently.  While there can be many good reasons to do this, such as if a clock is in a fire and is rebuilt in a new grandfather clock case or fitted to an older one, it will not be considered a “genuine clock” by serious collectors, and any investment value may essentially be lost.  While many marriages can be skillfully hidden, most real expert clockmakers will be able to spot a marriage if they take apart the clock and look inside.

Antique grandfather clocks will also likely not have the same great chime selection, the vast majority being time and strike only, not will the have what we refer to as the “bells and whistles” that many of the new clocks have, such as automatic nightime shutoff, chime-silent option, lower volumes overall, more of a choice or perhaps any actual chimes, and working right out of the container, just to name some of the highlights.

New clocks, such as those made by Howard Miller grandfather clocks and Hermle Clocks, and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Bulova Grandfather Clocks,  the Kieninger grandfather clock collection, and the soon-to-be-unveiled Americana Grandfather clock collection (which we are very excited about).  Most all of the mechanical grandfather clocks have German 8 day movements, and are highly reliable, and have solid wood cases.  What you pay for is what you get, and a grandfather clock customer knows what he or she is getting.  Other options can include illuminated dials, chimes including in addition to the most popular westminster chime, also the Ave Maria and Ode to Joy chimes, which were only even introduced on grandfather clocks in recent years.

When purchasing a new clock, there is also the possibility of purchasing a Limited Edition Grandfather Clocks, many of which are quite spectacular, and even Howard Miller’s Limited Edition Tubular Chime Clock known as the JH Miller II Grandfather Clock.  The Howard Miller Presidential Grandfather Clock Series and the Ambassador Collection made by Howard Miller also offer the highest-end grandfather clocks they make available, and are probably the most highly sought after brand of grandfather clock today.

The reasonably recent introduction of grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks designed by Ty Pennington for Howard Miller as certainly added to the cache of the brand.

New grandfather clock vs. antique grandfather clocks – it’s a combination of personal preferences and a role of the dice.   In any event, first do your grandfather clock research, ideally with the help of an experienced professional.

Below is a picture of a Hershcede Antique grandfather clock in a Gothic style that stood in a large Church in New York City for probably at least the last 80+ years.  We will soon be putting this clock up for sale, but here is a sneak preview:

Antique grandfather clock by Herschede Gothic Style

Hershcede Antique Grandfather Clock Gothic from NYC Church Westminster Chimes

Howard Miller Reagan Presidential Grandfather Clock

Sligh Bulova Grandfather Clocks

02.04.11

Press Release.  We have some exciting grandfather clocks news to report.  As background, the Sligh Furniture Company stopped making Sligh Grandfather Clocks perhaps 6 to 8 years ago.  Then about 5 years ago, the Bulova Grandfather Clocks Company, a division of Bul0va Clocks, bought the design rights to the Sligh Grandfather Clocks, and continued to make many of the same grandfather clock models made by Sligh, only with the Bulova name.  Now stick with this, because it gets complicated and is quite interesting.  When Bulova began introducing many of the same Sligh Grandfather Clocks models with the Bulova clock name, the clocks were identical, and made by the very same people in the very same place with the very same materials in the very same location.  These Bulova grandfather clocks, in addition to being identical to the Sligh grandfather clocks as described above, also used the identical German-made Hermle movements that had been used in the comparable Sligh Clocks.  Then, about 6 months ago, Bulova clocks itself decided to exit the grandfather clocks market place.  Currently, we at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com have only a handful of the Bulova grandfather clocks in stock.

Now for the exciting new grandfather clock news.  The company and individuals that actually made the clocks both for Sligh Gramdfather Clocks and later Bulova Grandfather Clocks has just shared with us that they will very soon be introducing many of the same grandfather clock models made earlier by Sligh and Bulova.  Not only that – they will also be offering new designs of grandfather clocks, and some of the same previous designs but also for the first time in a choice of wood and finish.  These grandfather clocks will still have the same German Hermle mechanical grandfather clock movements, and will still be made by the same people in the same place that the Bulova and Sligh grandfather clocks were made.

We presume that many of the grandfather clock models, especially when the same grandfather clock model is offered in, say, oak or cherry or walnut, will in some cases require a special order with some lead time for grandfather clock construction and delivery.

Some of the nicest floor clocks made by Bulova are of the size that they can be considered grandmother clocks or grandfather clocks.  Tallcase and Long case clocks that straddle roughly the 80 inch size in height are what we use as the defining characteristics of free standing weight driven pendulum clocks that can be termed grandmother clocks or grandfather clocks.  Floor clocks is another common term used to describe both, as is Hall Clocks.

These clocks will also offer an excellent alternative when grandfather clock shopping to Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Hermle grandfather clocks, the Ridgeway grandfather clock collection, and the special order Kieninger grandfather clocks.  For those that may be wondering, and we get this question quite frequently, Seth Thomas is no longer making grandfather clocks, and new Seth Thomas grandfather clocks have not been made or sold for well over a decade.

Another wonder feature of many of the old Sligh grandfather clock designs is that many were reproductions of antique grandfather clocks.  Some of them had pretty incredible and historic grandfather clock designs.

We can also expect these grandfather clocks to be offered with both the Westminster Chime, as well as many models also having the traditional grandfather clock triple chimes, which also include the Whittington and St Michaels option built in.  This sometimes confuses customers, but the triple chime grandfather clock means that the individual clock purchaser can listen at any one time to any of the three grandfather clock chimes.  The grandfather clock comes built in with all 3 clock chimes (NOTE: one has to be careful about when and how to switch from one chime to another, following the owners manual carefully and never ever switching a chime, or even moving a grandfather clock hand, when the clock is about to or is or just finished chiming its grandfather clock melody or gongs counting the hour or hours).

We look forward to bringing you new information on these new grandfather clocks for sale, as soon as we know more that is worth sharing.  We also expect to be able to offer grandfather clock discounts on these clocks, with greater grandfather clocks discounts than usual, because we will be selling these clocks to you direct from the manufacturer.

Grandfather Clocks Discount

02.10.10

Now that the Super Bowl is over, and many households may be heading back to some semblance of normalcy, it may be the time of the year for the hot dog and peanut and beer salespeople to start peddling grandfather clocks.  Can you hear it resonating throughout the football stadium; “Get your grandfather clocks here”, “Grandfather Clock Sale here”, “Grandfather Clock Discounts and Sales … gert them now while they last”.

Interestingly, a segue that had not occurred to this author as the post was first being written.  We are asked an average of at least once a day if we would appraise a grandfather clock, wall clock, mantle clock, pocket watch collection, or entire clock and watch collection.  We say no almost all of the time, with some notable exceptions.  We will also need to explain why we generally say no to clock and watch appraisals.  But back to the segue – one group for whom we did literally hundreds of appraisals for was individuals who lost their clocks, especially grandfather clocks, to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Home of the newest Super Bowl Champions! (whomever one was rooting for, I would like to think every American took some pride in this Super Bowl Win as Katrina is still a Phoenix rising from the ashes, but with even more pride, and still some way to go.  Especially Ward 9, which can and never should be forgotten or given short shrift!!!

So when Hurricane Katrina victims called us “needing” appraisals for their ruined antique and new grandfather clocks, and special wall and mantle clocks, we felt a duty to respond.  We did many many appraisals, and never charged a penny for any of them!

We also make exception for fire, hurricane, and smaller flood situations where the owners are sometimes literally grasping for straws by the time they get to us with their clocks or watches collection.

Here is why we are so wary of timepiece appraisers and doing clock and watch and pocket watch  appraisals.  In our experience, we encounter appraisals most often when an individual is looking to sell a timepiece, and they bring along the associated Appraisal.  In our experience and opinion, and even setting aside current market realities, the sour economy, and many luxury items being seen as ever more discretionary, we find Appraisals, in our opinion, to be GROSSLY OVERSTATING the value of the item which is being appraised.  Now why might this be?  Adjusting for changing markets, and general market swings from time-to-time in Antique timepieces, which are very real, we still see a wide gap in our view of value and the Appraisers view of value.

Simply put, our experience and resulting opinion is that because Appraisers generally charge hefty fees (which is of course subjective), they want their “clients” to feel good about having paid a large amount for an Appraisal.  Therefore, there is an inherent bias in making the Appraisal number so large that the customer will be thrilled both with the Appraisal and the Appraiser.  In fairness, it should also be noted that many Appraisers employ many methodologies in establishing a value for a new or antique grandmother clock or grandfather clocks, and there are many legitimate “market value prices” for, say, a particularly special antique grandfather clock where it to sell at Sotheby’s, vs. sitting in a high-end antique store for a year, vs. sitting for a year in a decent general antique store, vs. a quick sale approach, vs. a well-placed eBay auction, vs. a non-trusted or not well listed eBay auction (again, the timing length can be critical), vs. word-of-mouth, vs. Dealer consignment, vs. Craigslist, and on and on.  Not to mention that the same identical item could  reasonably sell for widely divergent prices depending upon the dynamics and participants in an auction on any given day.

One point not to forget – any Dealer who gives an Appraisal has an inherent conflict of interest in that the Dealer may well be either interested in purchasing parts or all of a collection, and/or may be offered that very opportunity.

Now this post started about grandfather clocks discounts, and has moved on to grandfather clocks appraisals and some of the limitations that may well be inherent.

Grandfather Clocks discounts rule.  In the midst (hopefully rapidly fading, especially in the dark employment picture) of the Great Recession, grandfather clock shoppers are more proactive than ever in seeking out discounts.  We welcome that and are pleased when people call us to see what the best deals are that we may offer on a particular clock.

So go for the discount!  Just don’t ask anyone for an Clocks Appraisal until after your new or antique grandfather clock has been in your home for some time.

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