English Victorian Wall Clock by Alfred James Tye, ca. 1870

Value (2008) | $3,500 Retail$4,000 Retail

This is a clock that I grew up with. My father was in the Air Force, and when I was two years old, he got orders to England, stationed at Upper Heyford, near Oxford. And when they got over there, they realized pretty quick that at that point in time in England, the English were ready to get rid of all of the old and buy new, modern stuff, which, dawned on them, "Hey, we could furnish our house much cheaper with antiques." And as they did that, Mom and Dad got interested in antiques, and Dad specifically got interested in clocks. One dealer that they were dealing with quite a bit came up with this clock, and Dad bought it. The dealer told Dad that it's a pub clock. The striking mechanism in the clock has been removed, and the story was that clocks that hung in the pubs, the owners removed the striking mechanism, because they didn't want the clock sounding or chiming, reminding the customers what time it was, whether or not it was time to go home.


They wanted them to hang around and have a few more pints.

Make a few more sales.

So, it's hung in our house ever since.

Right, well, that's an interesting story. Definitely the strike mechanism has been taken out of it, so maybe it is a true story. But when we think of pub clocks, we generally think of just a circular clock without this big, long drop right here. If you could just picture this dial right here, that's more of a pub type clock that you'd see in England, and they were in railroad stations and in pubs as well. But this one's pretty extraordinary in the sense that it has this real long drop. It has its original dial, and it's signed here "A.J. Tye," which stands for Alfred James Tye, who worked on 67 Summer Row in Birmingham. This gentleman worked, Alfred Tye, from 1868 to 1880 were his working dates. Which is perfect for this clock. It's in the Victorian period. And so everything goes together here. And this is the type of clock that you expect to see behind like a bed-and-breakfast innkeeper's desk. It's just magnificent. It has this great range of motion with a pendulum, this big box that you can see it ticking away. It's a beautiful oak case, and the clock is all oak-- the moldings and the twisted rope columns, even the secondary wood, which is kind of nice.

Is that typical for English clocks?

Usually, pub clocks you'll find they're mahogany, more often than oak. The condition of it is really excellent. It has these twisted-rope columns that almost always get broken over time. It has all of the applied moldings that are in excellent condition. Usually those are knocked off at one point and not reglued. So it's really in great condition. The mechanism that's inside the clock is a fusee. It has a conical shaped drum inside of it that a cord wraps around and makes it behave more like a weight-driven movement. So it's a very accurate timekeeper as a result. This clock would sell for $3,500 to $4,000 in a retail setting.

Wow... wow.

So it's a beautiful clock and I appreciate you bringing it in.

Well, thank you. Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Delaney Antique Clocks
West Townsend, MA
Appraised value (2008)
$3,500 Retail$4,000 Retail
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)

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