Grand Grandfather Clocks

Timely Pieces of Art

For a look that's classic, regal, elegant, antique, and majestic, it might be time to invest in a grandfather clock! Many home owners don't realize that accessories such as wall hangings and wall art can make a dramatic decorative statement, and that a wide range of clocks fall into the category of interior design and décor. Indeed, while grandfather clocks may appear dated or vintage, they are in fact on the upper end of the vogue scale when it comes to classic contemporary décor.

Grandfather Clock Nuts and Bolts

Also known as tall-case clocks, floor clocks, and long-case clocks, grandfather clocks are comprised of a clock face, a pendulum, and weights, encased in a free-standing wooden base. Grandfather clocks are typically very tall, reaching heights of 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters). Although made today from a variety of wood types, the original grandfather clocks were crafted from oak or mahogany, giving them that majestic, regal, and rich look.

The wooden part of the clock surrounding the clock face (known as the hood or bonnet) is ornately carved, often with spindles. However it is the swinging pendulum inside the clock that not only keeps the clock running smoothly and accurately, but captures the eye of the beholder with its mesmerizing swagger and swing. Pendulums may swing once every two seconds, once every second, or twice each second.

Charming Chimes

Not only are grandfather clocks striking to the eye, but they make an audible fashion statement as well. Grandfather clocks are "striking clocks," which means they chime each time a new hour or a portion of an hour strikes. While antique grandfather clocks sound only chimes, modern-day grandfather clocks may produce musical bell sounds or reeds that sound like an organ.

However while chimes may be charming, buyers must be prepared to live with the daily sounds of their floor clock, and are therefore advised to make sure the clock purchased produces a sound they enjoy.

Practical Clock Considerations

Grandfather clocks have an imposing presence that may or may not blend with existing décor. They are also very tall, so the room chosen must be able to accommodate their height.

There are two types of grandfather clocks to consider: True antiques and reproductions. While antique grandfather clocks add a unique ambience, they must be wound by hand as often as every 30 hours, or in the case of some designs every eight days. Their reproduction counterparts, on the other hand, typically operate by battery and contain modern circuitry and clock works.

Price is the often the biggest practical consideration when it comes to investing in grandfather clocks. These classics are expensive, and home owners will have to carefully consider their budget before investing in these time keepers. If now is not the right time to splurge on a grandfather clock, buyers might want to consider a smaller mantel clock instead.