Dating longcase clocks
Longcase clocks were traditionally made with two types of movement - eight-day and 30-hour.
A small number of clocks with deluxe long-duration movements were able to run for a month or more without recourse to winding.
The clock market is multi-faceted and the price range is huge.
The top end is typically occupied by so-called Golden Age clocks by celebrated makers from the late 17th and the first half of the 18th century.
These range from the simplest estate-made pine case and painted tin dial, to Boulle marquetry and silvered brass.
But both will typically reflect the fashions of the time and provide a clue to date. On a national scale this can be seen in the differences between circular dial clocks made in early 19th century Scotland, the potbellied Comtoise clocks from the Franche-Comté region of France and the white-painted Bornholm and Mora clocks from Scandinavia.
As the market for provincially-made clocks has grown (naturally many people wish to own a clock from their locality) specialist publications have been written on a range of British clockmaking centres.
These are typically accompanied by information regarding otherwise obscure local clockmakers - from detailed analysis of surviving examples of their work to the simplest of genealogical data.
One important distinction is the duration of the movement.
dial makers name is often stamped on the reverse of the dial or cast into the false plate which is the dial fixing plate that is mounted on the movement, this name should not be confused with the clockmakers name as usually clock makers did not make painted dials they were purchased from dial makers.
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Painted longcase and grandfather clock dials are found in many different sizes and styles, English clock dials are generally square or arched top, usually makers did apply their name to the dials of clocks they made, however Painted dial do deteriorate over time with sunlight, fires, and smoking, detail fades and can be rubbed away with cleaning and making it difficult to identify a maker.
With Help from improving forensic technology and careful restoration techniques it is usually possible to identify information missing from a painted dial so they can be restored to their original condition using originally used materials carried out by an experienced qualified restorer.