Daneker steeple mantel clock

Oct 14, 2021. 20:08 UTC
Daneker Steeple Mantel Clock
United States of America


Acquired from

For sale

It is a Daneker Mantel clock i bought from a estate sale in lower Michigan. From my understanding the design is known as a steeple clock. It says german movement on the bottom of the face. Im unsure of the type of wood. I have found very similar clocks, but none with the floral pattern mine has, which has led me to question the authenticity. Any info on the model number and the pricing would be much appreciated


The only thing i know, was the man who previously owned it worked for a local pharmaceutical company named upjohn.

Answered within about 5 hours
Oct 15, 01:02 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$20 - $25 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$20 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Andrew,
Thank you for sending in this vintage steeple clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall do that for you this evening.
Small size, Cherrywood, sharp Gothic (steeple) mantel clock, with canister type German 30-hour movement, the dial was painted in Germany while the case was made by the Daneker Clock Company, Falston, Maryland, circa 1960s. {Apparently Daneker made steeple with two different sizes, large (20”) and small (14”), the larger version with pendulum spring driven movement runs for eight days and the smaller version, has a balance wheel 30-hour leer movement with no pendulum.}
Provenance: “The only thing I know, was the man who previously owned it worked for a local pharmaceutical company named Upjohn. It is a Daneker Mantel clock I bought from a, estate sale in lower Michigan.”
CASE: Approximately 14” x 3.5” this is a version of the sharp Gothic or steeple clock made of solid hand finished cherrywood. It has a sharply canted pediment using half round cherry mouldings, each rounded strip meets the center of the wooden plinth which has a pyramidal shaped finial carved above it, one on either side. Below the finial plinth the mouldings on both sides fall vertically down to the base. The side rails rest on the horizontal cherry base moulding which sits flat to the surface with no feet. The outer case therefore has a pentagonal shape. The glazed door is concentric with that five-sided shape and has two glasses, the larger one overlying the painted dial and the lower one with a hazy white background and a crosshatched decorative gilt decal with clear center to observe the pendulum bob swing (despite the fact that this clock does not have a pendulum nor a bob). Both glasses appear to be original. Of note is that the hinges in this model were fully exposed whereas on the full-size steeple the hinges did not show.
Of interest is that the backboard of the case is made of a soft woodchip type of board with a small hole cut out for the back of the round canister movement. I do not know if I can see the entire back of the canister but it is marked ‘Germany’, has a fast/slow lever for the balance wheel and has a screw type adjustment marked with a bell, perhaps an adjustment for the striking mechanism. The original backboard for the larger Daneker steeple clock (20.5” in height) is made of pine and is screwed into place along the edges and not stapled in place as the backboard on your example is. SEE - https://www.lelandlittle.com/items/240191/daneker-vintage-steeple-clock/
The smaller version, your example, did use a canister movement which did not require a pendulum and was wound from the front and adjusted from the back. There was a particle board backboard with small round canister brass movement marked ‘Germany’. This movement used a balance wheel type of escapement and did not use a pendulum. SEE: https://www.ebay.com/itm/334162575887?hash=item4dcda4420f%3Ag%3AgLYAAOSwn8VhSvEf&nma=true&si=4QfQDZXfRbCzFbioM30evE4vbMw%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
Another example of this smaller size Daneker steeple which sold on eBay for $6. Is seen at: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114890440758?hash=item1ac0010036:g:4JQAAOSwM1Rg41Cy
DIAL: This is a pentagonal shaped zinc dial plate painted white with black enameled Roman hour chapter ring, railroad track minutes, machine stamped steel Chippendale style hands, and polychrome colored foliage and flowers painted at the top and two lower corner spandrels. The name in the upper dial is Daneker and at the base of the dial made in Germany.
MOVEMENT: In this clock is a canister type simply marked Germany. It is a balance wheel movement and likely runs for 30 hours. Whether this canister movement has been substituted for the eight-day going spring movement used on the larger steeples is hard to know, but several examples are found suggesting it was made and sold by Danker IN THIS SMALLER SIZE.
CASE – The exposed hinges detract from the appearance of this steeple clock. If danker only made one size I would say that this is an altered or restored example but they do appear to have made two sizes, large and small, eight day and 30-hour examples and this 30-hour example was made much more cheaply than its larger brother.
DIAL – Yes this is a beautifully executed dial and it is in good shape, but it is placed in a very cheaply made clock with inexpensive canister movement.
MOVEMENT – SUPPLIED BY German clock maker and so marked. Since I can find at least four examples I believe that this type of clock was indeed made by Daneker for a fraction of the price of the larger example. I have no way to be certain of that fact, but the price is so low it would not make much of a difference to you in terms of selling it.
Daneker Clock Company:
This was a small cabinetry company located in Fallston, Maryland and run by Rutherford Daneker. They made cases for clocks starting in the post WWII era and culminating in 1975. The clocks were distributed by the Million-Rutherford Company. Million Elliot Daneker was Rutherford's son. Their primary output were grandfather clocks or what is today called Hall clocks. The Presidential model was made in the late 1960's. Movements were purchased from Germany, such as Urgos, Hermle, Kieninger and Mauthe movements. They used Mahogany, Cherry and Walnut for their cases and they styled the President in the form of a classic Hall clock with a glass waist door and modern type of brass dial. Daneker went out of business in 1975 after a labor dispute with a carpenter’s union. Million went on to form the Harford Clock Company in Maryland. Million died in April of 2009 – Million Elliott Daneker Sr., former partner in a Harford County clock-making firm that produced thousands of grandfather, grandmother, mantle and steeple clocks for more than three decades, died Friday of cancer at his Fallston home. He was 94. Mr. Daneker was born in Baltimore and raised in Bel Air. He was a 1933 graduate of Bel Air High School and attended the University of Maryland, College Park. He explained that he got his name from his mother, who liked the song 'I Found a Million Dollar Baby in a Five and Ten Cent Store,' which she always played on the piano," said his son, Million Elliott Daneker Jr., who lives in Bel Air. During World War II, he worked as an assembly-line worker, building airplanes at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. plant in Middle River. Also, during the war years Mr. Daneker and his brother, Charles Rutherford "Brod" Daneker Jr., owned and operated the Million-Rutherford Co., which made wooden plaques for the armed forces and for presentation to Red Cross gallon blood donors. They also produced precision wooden products for Western Electric and Bell Laboratories. The brothers were joined in the business by their father, Charles Rutherford Daneker Sr., who had been senior manager of the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. for Harford and Cecil Counties and parts of Baltimore County. It was the elder Mr. Daneker, who had been collecting and studying clocks for years, who convinced his sons that there wasn't a single manufacturer of grandfather or tall case clocks in the East, and he suggested they combine his interest with theirs in precision woodworking to manufacture a smaller version of the classic clock that was in keeping with modern-day ceiling heights. In the late 1940s, the Million-Rutherford Co. - commonly known as Daneker Clocks - located on U.S. 1 near Benson in Harford County, began manufacturing the clocks. At its height in the 1960s, the company employed more than 100 craftsmen. All the movements came from Germany. In addition to the movements, which came from Germany's Black Forest region, another German supplier made the solid brass dials with a silvered numerical disc, solid brass fittings and hinges. The mahogany used in the clock cases that were designed by Million Daneker and his brother in the Hepplewhite and Duncan Phyfe styles, came from Nigeria and the Philippines. Other woods used in the cabinet, such as maple, originated in Canada, with walnut and cherry from New York and Pennsylvania. We used to make 150 grandfather clocks a week. We had rows and rows of them in the factory, and they were all solid wood. Today, they are now very collectible according to the son. The elder Mr. Daneker insisted that the clocks be fitted with Westminster chimes, which replicate the sound of London's Big Ben as they strike the quarter-hour. Finally, coat after coat of stain is applied by hand and spray, and each coat is rubbed down and polished until the desired quality finish is obtained," said a 1958 article in the old Sunday Sun Magazine. They expanded their line to include mantle clocks that were inspired by 18th-century New England clockmaker Eli Terry. In 1969, the main assembly plant was destroyed in a fire, and four years later, the company closed for good when pro-union workers voted to join the United Furniture Workers of America, AFL-CIO. The decision to close the plant was tied to the union vote, Million E. Daneker Sr. told The Sun, adding he was "tired and wanted to take a long rest." The Danekers had a great reputation for their clocks during the 1950s and 1960s because of the hand work and craftsmanship that went into them.
The full-size example sells in the vicinity of $40-$50 dollars. The small example is generously priced at $20-$25. Those are fair market values. That is about as close as I can get to these two variations of the Daneker steeple clock. As a clock collector, dealer and appraiser, my gut reaction to this small version with the canister movement is one I would avoid since there are not a great many examples around. There is no published book where I can look up such an item and by recorded prices, the clock buying community stays away from this smaller version. I believe they have the same feeling about it as I do.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal. I am fairly certain that the price is in the correct ballpark.
Best of luck. I wish it could have had great value.
My best,

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