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    Ansonia Swinger Clock

    Appraised Value:

    $4,200 - $4,800

    Appraised on: July 16, 2005

    Appraised in: Houston, Texas

    Appraised by: Gordon Converse

    Category: Clocks & Watches

    Episode Info: Houston, Hour 3 (#1006)

    Originally Aired: February 13, 2006

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    Value Range: $4,200 - $4,800

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    Appraisal Video: (3:00)


    Appraised By:

    Gordon Converse
    Clocks & Watches

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: Well, it was given to my mother by her uncle, so my great-uncle, back in 1930. He got it from a clock dealer out in Berkeley, California. It's been passed down from one generation to another and I'll eventually give it to my children.

    APPRAISER: There are two basic kinds of swinger clocks. One is French made and the others were American made. This one is an American-made swinger clock made by Ansonia of New York.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: Now, Ansonia made clocks as early as 1854, but this particular piece wasn't made probably until the 1890s at the earliest. This is the upper-end model. The surface is nice, and as you can see, it runs very nicely as well. Many times the social and intellectual concepts of the day are reflected in the objects that they had, and in this case, we're talking the Victorian era. This swinger clock reflected, I think, what was a fascination with things mechanical. This was called a "mystery clock" by some people.

    GUEST: I thought I've heard that before.

    APPRAISER: If we take the clock off its fulcrum-- and I'm going to remove the back-- you can see that in the back here is a short little pendulum and a mechanism. Here's proof that it's an Ansonia, because it's so stamped right there and that's their trademark. And the pendulum stays to the opposite side of the swing, and every time it swings from one side to the other it gives a little kick and that little kick is enough to keep the clock running. So that's the mystery explained.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: The Ansonia Company was particularly well known and famous because of their castings. They did wonderful castings that somehow caught people's imagination. People seem to like Ansonia clocks not because of their clocks so much as their castings and their fascinating sculptural qualities. Do you have a notion as to its value?

    GUEST: Absolutely not. I don't even know what my great-uncle paid for it back in the '30s. I couldn't even venture to guess.

    APPRAISER: Generally the larger they are, the more they bring. Of course, the condition is important, and also actually the European ones are usually worth a little more than the American ones, for some reason. Uh, but this one here is in very good shape. It's one of the larger models. It's all original and in running order. I'd have to say that it's probably worth somewhere in the area of $4,200, $4,800.

    GUEST: That's great. That's wonderful. Thank you.

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