What is the Value of your Antique Clock, or is it Valuable at all?


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Below we have some great guidelines, but -- as always -- we recommend you consult with an expert before "blowing" too much of your hard earned money on any antique. 

Much of the information below was gathered from the Antiques Roadshow Primer, but it is not complete. If you want more of the same type of information, we highly recommend you purchase the book at pbs.org.

There are four criteria for determining if a clock or watch has value: mechanical complexity, reputation of the maker,  aesthetics and condition. While mechanical complexity, the reputation of the maker, and a fine aesthetic all contribute to the value of a timepiece, first and foremost is condition. Collectors want their timepieces to be in original condition and, ideally, to work. 

If the movement of a timepiece has been extensively repaired, if crucial mechanical parts are no longer the original ones, or, most disastrously, if case and movement were not born together, value will be significantly  diminished. 

Often, clocks or watches that strike the hour, the quarter-hour, the minute (in ascending order of value) also play music or incorporate moving figures and are more valuable than any ordinary timepiece. It can be very expensive to repair such timepieces, however, and never easy to find knowledgeable and competent repair persons. 

Old clocks that have to be wound daily are not as desirable as eight-day clocks. Although clock winding may have once been a comforting daily ritual, the. average modern purchaser of an antique clock can seldom find the time for such routine. 

Most clocks -- tallcase, bracket, carriage, shelf, and  banjo -- are signed or labeled by their makers. The signature of the clockmaker will be of only documentary interest, however, unless it is that of an important maker, for only an important maker's name will increase the value of a clock. 

Dials should not be crazed or cracked, although replacement hands, if not glaringly obvious (out of scale, out of period), do not seriously affect value. Any timepiece with a replaced movement, either battery-driven or electric, is worthless as an antique. 






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