Art, Home Furnishings, Decorative Arts and More

Gracious Grandfather Clocks

I often walk through our 1850’s barn or auction gallery to get inspiration for a new blog post. Sadly I noticed several beautiful old grandfather clocks lined up like forgotten soldiers against the back wall of the barn. These amazing pieces are elaborately carved of mahogany or other wood, some with intricately handpainted dials or faces and all with wonderful brass pendulum movements.

Though seemingly out of style in todays modern decor, I decided to research the long case clocks or grandfather clocks as they came to be known, to see how they can be used in the way we live today .

Developed around 1670 by an English clockmaker named William Clement and originally called a long case clock. It is a freestanding clock with a weight driven movement. Most grandfather clocks sound the time on each hour, or fraction of an hour and are known as striking clocks. The grandfather clock is supposedly named after “My Grandfather’s Clock”, a song written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work.

From Witt Construction
Saratoga Springs, NY

Today most people use their cell phones to tell the time but these wonderful old timepieces can still serve as the focal point of a highly trafficked hallway or foyer. It is the perfect spot for an antique grandfather clock, as a hallway or foyer serves as the welcoming point for guests to the rest of the house. It also sets the tone of the house, and is the perfect place to display a family heirloom or heirloom you just purchased at auction .


It is also the perfect piece to emphasize a wonderful arched nook or wall recess or just the thing to give a low ceilinged room some height. It is also just the thing to add architectural interest to a room that has little or no moldings or architectural features, while at the same time, adding some old world charm to the decor.

Treat a hallway as you would any other room in the house and develop a theme and decorate to that theme. Such as this wonderfully decorated Spanish Colonial entrance way featuring an 1920’s long case clock from Barker Brothers in Los Angeles gracing the Adamson House in Malibu, California.

  • The Adamson House in Malibu Lagoon State Park, Malibu, California
    The following is a selection of Grandfather clocks that will be offered Saturday, July14th at our On Site Estate Sale in Nahant, Massachusetts at The Devereaux Family Estate at 291 Nahant Road starting at 10:00 Am. Visit our website at for more information.
  • Ridgeway grandfather tall clock with moon phase dial, model 216, circa 1980
    Lot # 8013- July 14th, 2012
Late 18th/early 19th century American tall clock, flame maple, broken arch pediment. Lot-#8113 July 14th, 2012
20th Century Peary United States Marine Corps tall clock with mahogany case- Lot# 8184 July14th, 2012
English Stonehouse, Leeds tall clock, mixed woods, mahogany and oak –
Lot #8283- July 14th, 2012

Perhaps one of these forgotten soldiers will find it’s way into your foyer or hallway !