Benjamin Ward Chamber Clock, ca. 1780
Appraised Value: $9,000 - $12,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:49)
GUEST: In 1964, we lived in London for a year. And we bought that at the Chelsea Antique Show.
APPRAISER: This is a bracket clock, which is a clock that had a bracket, that is, a shelf, that it stood on. And this one is about 200, maybe 250 years old. And I think the term for a clock like this is more properly a "chamber clock" or a "room clock" or a "table clock." This was meant to be used as a handle to carry it about the house. If you were a gentleman living in a house in London, where this was made about 1780, and you had enough money to buy one clock, that was doing pretty well. So, at night it wasn't unusual to lift this up and carry the clock upstairs. On the back, with the clock running, the pendulum has a very wide arc. So it doesn't have to be level to keep running. Notice also engraving all over the backplate. This clock's in pretty good condition because, if you notice, it has the original crown-wheel escapement, which is a gear that rotates and has the top shaped like a king's crown. And many times those escapements have been replaced. So, portability was the sales feature of this clock. Another thing it would do is it would strike if you wanted it to, but maybe you had it by your bedside and wanted to put it on silence so it wouldn't strike; and you could do that. But when it strikes, it had a nice, loud, meaningful, shrill bell. (ringing slowly) And also a calendar so you knew what the date was. This clock was made by a maker named Benjamin Ward of London. And although I wasn't able to find anything about Mr. Ward, I'm sure that the signature is authentic. And I'm also sure that this very nicely reflects the Georgian style of clock making, where you had the bell top and the four original finials on it. I believe that there was a little something up here which is missing, because there's holes there. But otherwise, it's in good condition. In 1964, how much did you pay?
GUEST: Three hundred and fifty pounds.
APPRAISER: That probably was no more than about $1,000. I think that at a retail level, this would bring something in the neighborhood of $9,000 to $12,000. So it has, in fact, increased in value. Quite a lot.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.