French Champlevé Mantel Clock

Value (2014) | $2,500 Retail$3,000 Retail

I have a mantel clock that I purchased from a family friend. We bought about seven or eight clocks from her for approximately $400. This was one of them. I think it's the most beautiful. I know that it was made in Paris. There's a stamp on the back. But besides that, I don't have any more information on it.

This clock is actually of French origin. It's really a result of a few very big companies making these circular movements, and oftentimes, the movements aren't actually signed. They're signed "Made in France," like this one is. The reality is that they were sold to people who case their own clocks or styles. It's a very unusual clock in the fact that it is a brass case that has this champlevé decoration. Now, champlevé is a process of enamel where they put enamel that's divided by brass. And all this little detail work here is really nicely done. And it's an up dial in that it has this wonderful floral decoration on the inside of the time ring. The standard ones are just plain white, and it makes it a little bit more interesting to have that decoration. And then the fittings on the clock would have been a little bit extra in terms of pricing the clock out originally. It has these wonderful feet, and it's not unusual for clocks to be up on feet, but the fact that these are in the form of an animal paw meant that they spent a little extra time casting it. The fact that it has fully turned columns that are decorated that are inset into the case, all little details that make it a special example. So we have a clock made about 1900, probably for a metropolitan market like Chicago or New York or St. Louis. You have any idea of what it's worth?

I was hoping to at least make my money back on the clock. I was guessing maybe $500.

Well, I think you'll be happy to learn that if this clock, with a little bit of cleaning up and servicing the movement, you were to find it in an antiques shop or a clock shop in Chicago, you probably would expect to spend somewhere around $2,500 to $3,000 for it.

That's great. That's a pretty good buy. It's beautiful.

Appraisal Details

Delaney Antique Clocks
West Townsend, MA
Appraised value (2014)
$2,500 Retail$3,000 Retail
Chicago, IL (July 26, 2014)
Brass , Enamel

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.