1900 Grandmother Tall Clock
Appraised Value: $5,500 - $6,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:03)
GUEST: I brought in a small clock. Don't know too much about it. I've been told it might be a grandmother clock, but that's really all I know.
APPRAISER: And you remember this as a child, it came from your family?
GUEST: It did, it came from my great-aunt, and then was passed down to my mother, and then to me.
APPRAISER: And where was your great-aunt from?
GUEST: She was from Louisiana.
APPRAISER: So you think it might have been in Louisiana for a number of years?
GUEST: Probably, but I don't really know, to be honest. Well, since she got it, certainly.
APPRAISER: Well, what you did bring in is actually called a grandmother's clock. And one of the interesting things about a clock like this is that the term "grandmother's clock" is often misused. The term "grandmother's clock" doesn't become popular until about 1876 when Henry Clay wrote the song, "My Grandfather's Clock."
APPRAISER: Prior to that, tall clocks, hall clocks, long case clocks were called by those names. And because of the popularity of the song, "My Grandfather's Clock," the name changed.
APPRAISER: So when this clock was made, the department stores that were selling these clocks and the companies that were making them were looking for a tag name in order to sell a smaller version. And everybody's grandmother is a little smaller than their grandfather, and as a result, that name stuck. Now, when they made small clocks in the first period, in the 1790s to the 1800s, they're actually called dwarf clocks. This one is of extremely nice quality. The carvings on it are reminiscent of what was being done in Liverpool, England, in the 1790s, where you have this brickwork at the bottom and it's repeated here on the waist. And then you have those wonderful moldings underneath. The four columns that are fluted, the wonderful carved chimney plinths, and the finials really make this a very good example. This would have been a much more expensive model than what was generally offered by some of the more common outlets. And it makes sense that it was sold at a really metropolitan city like New Orleans. This clock was probably made sometime around 1900 and features a movement that was made in England, spring-driven, and it actually has what's called a quarter striking movement in that it keeps time for eight days.
APPRAISER: Strikes the hour on the hour and it also strikes what's called the Westminster sequence.
GUEST: Are the works original to the clock?
APPRAISER: They are original and the dial's original to the works. Because the clock's not signed, I can't tell you specifically who made it. But because of the quality in which the mechanism is made, we can assume that it was probably made by the Elliott Firm in London, and they were known for making very good, very high quality movements. And that would also carry through to the very high quality case.
APPRAISER: This clock in a finer retail shop today, made around 1900, would probably sell for around $5,500 to $6,000.
GUEST: Wow, that's great.
APPRAISER: Isn't that great?
GUEST: Thank you very much!
APPRAISER: It's just such a beautiful clock. It really is.
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