Early 20th-Century Tiffany Mantel Clock with Sinclaire Case

Value (2010) | $7,500 Retail$8,000 Retail

Brought in a Tiffany mantel clock. It was from my dad's stepmother's side of the family. And we really don't know how long it was in her family. It's just been passed down and passed down.

And where were they from? Do you know that?

They were from New York. It's on my mantel in my family room in the house. We keep it wound up most of the time. About once a week it will gain a couple minutes, but it keeps pretty good time.

This clock was retailed by Tiffany & Co. in New York City. And they were a retailer of clocks, not a manufacturer of clocks. And the clocks that they sold were primarily of very, very high quality. This particular example has a movement that was manufactured in Boston by the Chelsea Clock Company.


And their selling slogan is "Timekeepers of the Sea," but they also made some very high-grade mantel clock movements that they put in things like this. As a mantel clock, with that type of movement, sold by Tiffany, it's a pretty important piece. But what really makes this clock very, very special is the fact that it's in this glass case. This case is engraved by a company by the name of Sinclair. When he was very, very young, Sinclair moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Corning, which was a glassmaking center at the time. As a young boy, he became very talented in drawing natural objects like you see on this type of design. He goes to work for the Hawkes Glass Company, and it's there that he really starts to learn the skill or the trade of glassmaking. He becomes very interested in engraving glass. And Sinclair went on to form his own company. To find a clock in a glass case like this is very, very unusual. Most of the ones that you find are in Steuben-made cases. This particular one is signed on the back. It has its little trademark. It has this "S" in a wreath.

Oh, okay, I've never noticed that.

So without a doubt, we know that it's a Sinclair case. And this would have been made in the early 20th century. And that falls right into date with the Chelsea clock movement as well. The few that have been found to date have been much, much smaller. Value-wise, a clock like this in a high-retail shop somewhere in a metropolitan city, certainly would sell not so much to a clock collector but to a glass collector, without question, anywhere from $7,500 to $8,000 today.

Oh, okay.

APPRAISER; Even in this economy.

Well, that's very good.

Appraisal Details

Delaney Antique Clocks
West Townsend, MA
Appraised value (2010)
$7,500 Retail$8,000 Retail
Washington, DC (August 21, 2010)
20th Century

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.