Seth Thomas Wall Gallery Clock, ca. 1922

Value (2006) | $2,500 Retail$2,800 Retail

GUEST:
I brought in a clock that's been in our family for about 80 years. It started out as my wife's grandfather's clock. He worked for a Swedish bank in Rockford, Illinois. He was a building engineer. And it used to be a lobby clock in the bank. And about 20 years after he worked at the bank, they remodeled the bank, and they took the clock down. They were going to discard it. And Grandpa brought it home. And it stayed in his basement for about 30 years, until after he passed away.

APPRAISER:
Uh-huh.

GUEST:
And then it passed on to my wife's mother and on my 50th birthday I received it as a birthday present.

APPRAISER:
Well, this is an American clock, and you're right, it is built specifically for a lobby or a commercial setting. One of the reasons we know that is because it has this marble case. The front facade of this is actually a piece of marble that's about an inch thick. This clock was made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company in Thomaston, Connecticut. The Seth Thomas Clock Company had a long history of making clocks, a very successful company. They made a lot of clocks. Not only for residential settings, but for commercial settings as well. Some of their popular clocks are found in railroad stations, fire stations, school houses. Really a great company, very good quality. This particular type of clock was actually listed in the Seth Thomas clock catalogs in about 1922. So that bank probably bought it brand new and set it up in their lobby at that time. They offered it in two different sizes. This particular one, the 20-inch dial, is the smaller, but they opted to put this extra raised numerals and raised lettering on it. The less expensive way of doing that certainly would be just to paint it. And it's quite unusual to find this format on this type of gallery clock. Certainly gallery clocks are not rare in the American clock collecting world, but the fact that it has a marble dial, and the raised numerals makes it really unusual. You'll also notice it has two winding arbors. Those are to power the clock. This particular example is spring driven, and it probably runs almost 15 days with this particular movement. This clock was sort of a custom order job. And as a result, it would have been really expensive in its day. Do you have any idea of what this clock might be worth today?

GUEST:
About three or four years ago, I was at an estate sale, and I was talking to a dealer, and I was just describing it to him. He said, well, "I'll give you $1,000 sight unseen for it."

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
And I thought, well, it must be worth something more than $1,000. So I wasn't sure.

APPRAISER:
I think today, conservatively in the retail marketplace, a clock like this would probably sell for around $2,500 to $2,800.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Delaney Antique Clocks
West Townsend, MA
Appraised value (2006)
$2,500 Retail$2,800 Retail
Event
Milwaukee, WI (July 29, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Wall Clock

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