CILSS Antique Longcase Clocks - or as Americans call them: Grandfather Clocks


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Soon after the development of the pendulum clock the English introduced the antique longcase clock, with a tall wooden case designed to protect the pendulum. The first longcase clocks had short pendulums but soon after longer pendulums became the norm. 

Early (or antique grandfather type) longcase clocks were designed along classical lines. Early clocks had opening upper cases for winding the clock but as the clocks became taller after 1710 they had a lower door for this purpose. French makers surpassed the English longcase clocks after 1730. 

The adoption of the pendulum in Britain quickly led to the development of bracket clocks as well as longcase clocks. These were the origin of the American Grandfather clock.  The cases were made of wood with ebony, walnut, mahogany, and other veneers. Only a few clocks had inlay work but painted examples were very more common. Most clocks had eight-day mechanisms -- barely getting one through the week. 

The term 'bracket clock' is derived from the wall-mounting bracket that some of these clocks had even though most were made so they could stand on furniture. Most English bracket clocks that found their way abroad were made in London. Provincial clocks were largely for local sale. 








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