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Antique Clocks Blog Home → Viewing post: "Regional Characteristics of Antique Grandfather Clocks"

Regional Characteristics of Antique Grandfather Clocks April 20, 2012

The production of cabinets of antique grandfather clocks throughout the 18th and 19th century centuries was seperate than the clockmaker who produced the fine antique clock movements. As you can imagine communities stayed very much together during this time and people did not travel long distances in the main. As a result you will notice every area of the country in the 18th century had a very different case style. It is very easy to place the manufacture of an antique clock cabinet from just a very few features on the cabinet.

Further case styles can be found by clicking on the grandfather clock link here, .

For example with the production of longcase clock cabinets in london, designs might have changed slightly during the 18th century but for the early 18th century and the late 18th century they are very much on the same thinking. You will see after C1720 and up to C1800 usually two plinths, moulding to trunk door and high quality walnut, mahogany veneers or fine lacquer work cases.  Examples can be seen below. After about 1800 london clocks can lose the second plinth and the moulding to the door but you will still see them being quite similar in design. You will also find these close similarities in cases of clocks within 50 miles or so of London, many clockmakers actually bought London style cases in  these areas.














You will find many regional designs of cabinets though and after looking for a while you will get a good idea of where the clockmaker was based from just looking a certain case features. In Scotland for example, especially the East Coast you get some wonderful cases from C1770 to c1810, all very slender, shaped top to the trunk door, high proportion base and standing on bracket feet. The most characteristic is the swan neck pediments to the hood.













You will also find Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol cabinets to be quite distinctive, in the 18th century these areas were very wealthy, especially because of the trade going on with the West Indies and the USA, and Manchester was the birth place for the industrial revolution. Cabinets in Manchester and Liverpool, especially at the end of the 18th century and later tend to be quite large with quite imposing features,  Og feet, Corinthian columns, fine veneers. You will see a typical high quality Liverpool case below.













Bristol was another very important port in the 18th century and the clocks made in this part of the country are very distinctive. Wobbly doors are very common and scenes engraved to dial are very popular, pierced swan neck pediments and OG bracket feet show the fine cabinet work. Again it is easy to see the wealth in this part of the country in the 18th century, the cases are very flambouyant. Understanding case design and the styles of the various parts of the UK cabinet design is important when looking to buy an antique grandfather clock. You can use this knowledge with further research to pinpoint all those important questions that you need reassurance with, when purchasing antique grandfather clocks. Our shop online shop takes all these worries away from you.















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