I have a grandfather clock made in 1985

Jan 08, 2020. 05:09 UTC
I have a grandfather clock made in 1985
Marshall
United States of America

Acquired from
Inherited

For sale
Maybe
Description

I have a grandfather clock made by Pearl Clocks in 1985. It is beautiful craftsmanship. From what I understand Pearl was in business for only three years. Their facility burnt down and upon opening up again began making fireplace mantles which I believe they still do today. The clock is in perfect running condition. I have pictures but I don’t see where I can send them.

Provenance

I married couple had the clock made. He passed away in 2008 and I acquired the clock.

$175 - $250 (United States Dollar)
Answered within about 24 hours
Jan 09, 04:39 UTC
By David

Hello Marshall,
Thank you for sending in your Hall clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today
TITLE:
Stained oak with burl walnut highlights, three weight, 8-day time, strike and quarterly chiming, Hall Clock (aka-the Modern grandfather clock), imported German movement, made and sold by the Pearl Clock Company, Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1985.
DESCRIPTION:
Case: Size is not provided so I estimated the height at approximately 79/80”. The Hall clock case is made of stained oak and the hood has a concave molded, broken arch pediment without terminals and centers a grouping of carved ’C’ scrolls between the two arches. The tympanum is decorated with a raised panel of burl walnut. There is an arched cornice at the base of the tympanum above an arched glazed two part trunk door. The door is flanked by full length turned pillars that are segmented by wooden rings. The door is divided into two parts: the upper glazed section overlies the dial while the lower has a rectilinear section of beveled glass allowing one to view the descent of the three brass canister weights and the arc of the pendulum as it swings inside the case. The door has a large rococo bronzed key escutcheon. Below the bottom of the door and the bottom of the side pillars is a short stepped solid base which sits flat to the floor.
DIAL -A brass arched dial with raised Arabic hours in round cartouche form with a closed minute track to the outside. The dial center and the four corner spandrels have brass filigree work all in a floral and foliate design with the dial center having a stylized rosette. There are machine stamped steel Chippendale-style hands. The lunette has a revolving moon with a lunar month in Arabic numerals above it and two hemispheres below with the name ‘Pearl’ in the center.
MOVEMENT: Not Shown but would likely be an imported German made, three train, triple weight driven movement with solid brass plates, of eight day duration with quarterly chiming and full chime and strike on the hour. The solid brass plate movement most likely strikes via a series of hammers on a series of metal rods inside the case (not seen). Levers for chime control are located at the three position on the dial. Three polished brass canister weights power the movement and there is a gridiron pendulum rod with round gilt brass bob, the latter decorated with a polished brass lyre shaped ornament. The movement may have been supplied to Pearl by Hermle (primary supplier), Kienzle, Kieninger or Urgos clock companies in Germany.
CONDITION:
The clock appears to be in very fine condition. I make the assumption it is fully functional today. The case is very well made and has no major damage. The dial has aged nicely and the movement is considered original to this case, genuine and functional. The beveled glass of the trunk door is intact.
HISTORY:
The Pearl Furniture Company aka the Pearl Clock Company was located in Memphis, Tennessee from 1975-1988. Pearl was a furniture company that imported German movements and cased them for their retail furniture outlet. They were one of a number of such furniture companies in the USA that made Hall clocks (Colonial, Herschede, Ridgeway, Howard Miller and Herman miller were other larger companies).
Pearl Enterprises Inc. was one of several American case makers active during the 1980's who cashed in on the "bargain Grandfather clock" trend that began back in the 1960's and died out by 2005. They primarily used Hermle movements. It is said their factory warehouse was ravaged by a fire in early 1988, which would explain the end of their. They never recovered fully and went out of clock business. The client tells me they reopened and made other types of furniture, e.g. mantels.
From the June 1987 Chicago Tribune edition comes this story:
Few household purchases are as unusual, and as emotional, as a grandfather clock. ''It`s roots, heritage,'' says Jim Pearl, president of Pearl Grandfather Clocks. ''People don`t buy one because it`s a decorative accessory. They buy it because of what it represents--a very strong tie to the past.'' With that nostalgic tug, it makes sense that grandfather clock styles have barely budged over the decades. By 1960, the hulking grandfather clock was considered so old-fashioned that sales plunged to almost nothing. ''It was extinct,'' Pearl says. ''It was a dinosaur.'' Slowly, as old-fashioned values began to get bandied about again, the clocks returned. Pearl and Ridgeway came out with their first clocks in the 1960s. Baldwin, a piano company, began making floor clocks just three years ago.
Even the biggest clockmakers trade group has no statistics, but Jim Pearl believes that today about 3 to 4 percent of all American homes have a grandfather clock--a big increase from the early 1960s, he says, when only about 1,000 Americans bought grandfather clocks each year. Pearl still cannot say enough about the emotional appeal of an old-fashioned floor clock. Little did he know that within about a year a fire would destroy his business.
MARKETPLACE:
The over production and the abundance of such Hall clock indicates the fascination the public had with this form of grandfather clock back in the 1970-2000 era. Prices have dropped significantly as tastes have generally changed and turned away from these large hall clocks. Today they sell at auction in the three figure range, not four figure and certainly not five figures.
PEARL HALL CLOCK COMPARABLES:
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/75150086_pearl-constitution-bicentenial-tall-case-clock (sold for $200 in 2019)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/66824884_pearl-clocks-co-tall-case-clock (sold for $325 in 2018)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/65870099_pearl-clocks-co-tall-case-clock (sold for $20 in 2018)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/63025896_pearl-westminster-chimes-grandfather-clock (SOLD FOR $150 IN 2018)
PRICING:
I believe that if you were to offer this clock at auction the fair market price range would be from $175-$250 with retail values being somewhat higher than that. I hope that helps you with your appraisal and your understanding of the clock and its place in the history of 20th century furniture companies. I wish the price would have been more substantial for you, but I am only the messenger. Thank you again for choosing mearto.com for the appraisal.
My best,
David

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