Antique clocks are one of the most coveted items by collectors, especially those who are into antique items. The art of clock making has had a long history. Even in the earlier centuries, it is a recognized skill. Clocks also showcase technological and mechanical expertise of its maker. This adds to the value of these clocks, even after decades or centuries since they were made.
The value of antique clocks ranges depending on the style and age of the clocks. However, all antique clocks are of a certain value – it is up to you to evaluate what type of clock you have and what its market value is. Read on in the antique clock price guide and you will find out how you can determine the value of your clock and what factors you must consider.
What type of clock is it? When talking about antique clocks, you will find that there is more than one type available. The type of clock that you have will heavily impact how the item is valued. Over several centuries, the manufacture of antique clocks happened at a steady pace resulting in a variety of styles and types. To determine the value of your clock, you must begin by understanding the different types of antique clock:
Other types of antique clocks not mentioned above include advertising clocks, anniversary clocks, retro clocks, skeleton clocks, kitchen clocks, and antique marine chronometers.
The type of mechanism on your antique clock will significantly determine its value. In particular, the complexity and construction is what is looked into by expert appraisers. The presence of the three “trains” is what appraisers would look for when evaluating the cost of antique clocks. These “trains” are the time, melody, and strike.
There is also a significant difference in value with antique clocks that are wound daily versus the ones that are known as eight-day clocks. The latter is considerably higher in value.
Another common factor to consider when checking an antique clock for its value is its originality. For example, appraisers will look for signs if a particular clock is an original production. On the other hand, any type of reproduction of older antique styles is not as valuable as the ones that are manufactured in the 19th century. One of the first things you need to know if you have an antique clock is to determine if it is original or a reproduction.
Moreover, the value of a clock also decreases when it contains non-original parts. It does not just refer to the clock as a whole but the parts are also taken into account.
There are several forms of identification in an antique clock that would determine its maker and the period in which it was manufactured. If you own one, you should look for these labels and trademarks. You will find them in the face, mechanism, or the case of the clock. If your antique clock is unmarked, it might be difficult to value them as there is no point of reference for the appraiser. On the other hand, if you have these stamps and trademarks present in your antique clock, you stand a chance of selling them at a higher value.
The working condition of an antique clock is first thing that potential buyers see. Hence, you will be able to get a higher appraisal on clocks that are in good condition. However, antique clocks that are unaltered or all-original bring higher value. It is therefore ideal to keep the genuine case, finish, and decorative elements of an antique clock.
Is there a significant story (preferably something with a historical value) to your antique clock? Does it have a unique story or previous ownership that would give it more value? It will provide an important selling point that will make your antique clock more value aside from the intrinsic value of the clock itself.
Antique clocks are not manufactured the same way that modern clocks are. Hence, they need some level of maintenance. Cleaning the exterior of the clock can be easily done at home. You must simply wipe and polish the exterior of the clock.
However, when it comes to the movement and case, you need to know the proper procedure. To clean the clock movement, it must be completely disassembled so that the individual parts could be cleaned thoroughly. It is best left to the professionals as each part is interconnected. If you damage just one part, you can damage the entire clock.
As for cleaning the case, you must use only high quality wax. Make sure that it is also recommended for the type of case on your antique clock. If you use a cleaning product that is too harsh, it could damage the finish. When the finish is damaged, the clock could lose its value.
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Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.