People collect antique clocks because of their beauty and historical significance. Many buyers also choose antique clocks for their fascinating inner workings and decorative appeal.
Most of the time, the prized pieces that are acquired by people are those that were made during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Some of the most popular companies that are known to offer unique and authentic clocks include E. Howard & Co., Waltham Clock Company, and Simon Willard.
Due to the varying styles and types of clocks that are made, the value of an individual piece can vary. Having an expert evaluate it can help you know if it is worth buying.
There are various styles of clocks that are commonly used in the market, such as advertising, grandfather clocks, and the banjo. Some of the most prominent brands that are commonly offered on the market are: Some of these styles are also known to be very valuable.
Walter Durfee was born in 1856 in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1877, he started a business known as Durfee & Enches, which was an antiques shop. Two years later, he partnered with Charles Pendleton to expand the business. During his time in the industry, he had traveled the world looking for and buying clocks.
The two men decided to buy high-quality clocks in England and sell them through their company. This strategy worked well as the pieces they bought were very popular. They had to move to larger locations to accommodate their growing business.
In 1884, John Harrington of England was able to successfully patent the first tubular bell for clocks. After meeting him in 1886, Durfee decided to secure the U.S. patent rights for Harrington’s tubes. This resulted in him becoming the leading supplier of tall case clocks with tubular bells.
In 1896, Durfee purchased a company in Massachusetts that made tubular bells. This business then started producing a larger version of this type of bell for churches and universities.
After the patent was lost in 1902, Durfee had to face the challenges of the modern market. Despite the setback, he still continued to make high-quality clocks. In 1907, he introduced a variety of products, such as the banjo clock. By 1930, he had started to focus more on repairing and maintaining clocks.
The Waltham Clock Company was established in 1897 in Waltham, Massachusetts. It mainly made wall clocks, shelf clocks, and hall clocks. In 1913, it was sold to a large watchmaking company. The company continued to make its products under the Waltham Watch name until 1923.
The name of the company was changed to Waltham Watch Co. in 1925, and it continued making high-quality products until it closed in 1930. During its time in business, the company was able to produce some of the most popular grandfather clocks in the market.
If you’ve ever been to a store, you might have noticed a Westminster bell clock. These types of clocks feature a melody known as the Westminster Quarters, which plays to the rhythm of the quarter hour. The amount of sets that each clock has is related to the number of hours that have passed.
Originally, the Westminster Quarters was designed to be used for a clock in Cambridge’s St. Mary the Great church. In 1851, it was used in a new clock at the palace known as the Palace of Westminster.
In 1875, the Westminster Quarters was incorporated into a church’s tower clock mechanism. The popularity of the melody led to other companies also incorporating it into their products.
French Industrial Clocks
During the 1800s to the 1900s, French companies started making industrial-themed clocks that were designed to celebrate the achievements of the Industrial Revolution. These types of clocks were made using high-quality materials such as gold and bronze. The designs of these types of clocks were inspired by various types of objects, such as steam engines, boats, and turbines.
One of the most prominent companies that made industrial-themed clocks was the company of André Romain Guilmet. He was also known for his mysterious clocks, which feature a pendulum that can swing imperceptibly and without any apparent means of keeping the timepiece running.