Monday, July 11, 2011

Tick Tock

     Let me start off by saying, I am by no means, a Clock collector or a  Clock expert. I am first of all, a lover, of beautiful things. Second, a Interior Designer. Third,  a collector of Antiques. Some of which, happen to be Clocks. In fact, if the truth be known, I might, kinda, hate Clocks. After 50 years in the Antique business, dealing with clock collectors, I refuse to buy a Clock. You could have 300 clocks and that clock collector would find a fault with every one. Not old enough, not the right maker, wrong dial, hands not right and on and on. The only thing I can compare it to is, maybe, green beans. That's right, you heard me, green beans. When I was a child growing up on the farm, we always had a huge garden. All summer I was forced to plant beans, weed beans, pick beans, snap beans and eat beans. I swear we had them 3 meals a day in the summer. My mother was a wonderful country style cook, which meant, throw some ham in the green beans and cook till they turn dark. Not that they were no good, It was just, EVERY DAY. Well, that's exactly how I feel about Antique Clocks. I bought them over and over  again, and again, not the right one. I usually ended up selling them for a loss to get rid of them. Of course, when you reduced the price, they were exactly what they were looking for. So, I hate Clocks, well unless they are beautiful, then I love them.
   The defination of  Clock  is: an instrument used to indicate, keep and co-ordinate time. The word clock is from the Celtic word-clagan-meaning, "bell". And some time going down through the ages we have, "clock." A silent instrument,missing the bell, has become known as a,"timepiece". In general usage today a,"clock", refers to any device for measuring a displaying time.
   The clock is one of the oldest human invention, meeting the need to consistently measure intervals of time, shorter than a day, month or year. The first clock was the Sundial.It was used in Ancient times. It was a  well constructed instrument that could measure local solar time pretty accurate. The problem was it needed the sun to work, so there was no time telling after dark. Candle clocks were the next to come along. A candle burns down and at a  predictable speed and has been used to estimate the passing of time.The Hourglass was a great invention. Fine sand passes through a tiny hole at a constant rate and indicates the passing of  time. The water clock is possibly the oldest time keeper, dating as far back as Egypt. The Greeks and Romans are credited for initially advancing the water clock. Early designs had complex gears which were connected to automation. This was passed down and finally made it's way to Europe. Early mechanical clocks have been recorded as early as the 13th century, however, none have survived. Great developements were achieved in Mid Evil Europe and China.
   To tell the whole history of Clock making would take several books and some one with more patients than me to do the research. Over the years, not only did the clock works improve, but so did the cases and surrounds. They were soon being made from beautiful woods, metals and porcelains. Companies sprang up all over the world making clocks. Some of these companies pared up with others and married the clock works to fine cases. Names like Meissen, Dresden,Serves,Old Paris and  Staffordshire , all made clock cases.

English Black  Marble Mantle Clock with Inlaid Stones ( 1860-1880)

French Bronze Clock under Dome (1820-1840)

Old Paris Porcelain Clock ( 1860-1880)

German Meissen Porcelain Clock (1860-1880)

German Dresden Clock ( 1860- 1880)

   None of my clocks work, If they did, I am sure I would forget to wind them. And I have a problem with noises, so I would not be able to stand the tick, tick, tick!  I don't own a watch, never have. And I am a stickler for being on time.  I bought all my clocks because of there beautiful case and antique value. Never once worried about if they would work. Every time I had a clock for sale, the customer would always ask, does it work? I say, who cares, it is old and beautiful. I am surprised, I have any clocks in, My Old Historic House. But, I actually have 5. Each one chosen for it's special beauty, and the fact that , I  probably bought it to sell, and  no body did.
   I hope you enjoy  my clocks. They don't work, but they sure are beautiful. Come by and see them any time. Take a tour. I promise I will not serve you Green Beans and Sissy Dog-WILL- meet you with a jump and a Kiss. Oh yes, It is 11:15 ,am.

Marble Tazza, One of a Pair, used on each side of mantle clock. They were filled with   animal fat and burned for light. 

Inlaid with semi precious stones.

The clock is in two pieces, the clock and the base.

No porcelain company did better work than the German Messien one. 


Glenda/MidSouth said...

You have some pretty clocks. Thanks for the history lesson. I did not know mechanical clocks dated back that far.

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! Oh, my goodness - what gorgeous clocks! I learned a lot from your post today. I know nothing about clocks but do love to see olden ones like you have! I have one very cherished clock in my home. It's an old Regulator that hangs on the wall and ticks, doesn't chime. It came from my great grandfather to my mother and then she gave it to me. We had it worked on so it would run and the clock fixer upper was all nervous and said it was very old, well, late 1800s and told me it was in the best shape she'd seen for it's age. It ticks up a storm! :)
I would love to tour your beautiful home!! :)
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Richard:
Like you, none of our clocks works and neither of us wears a wristwatch but there all similarity ends. Your clock collection is impressive for the beautiful quality of each one, all very different but with their own special charm. We particularly like the black marble wall clock and its complementing tazzas. Lovely!

lvroftiques said...

Richard as always you have beautiful examples of pretty much everything *winks* The meissen and dresden clocks are making me weak in the knees (You knew they would) And I'm thrilled to pieces that I too have a french bronze clock under dome ($200 on ebay AND it works! Lol!) But like you I couldn't give a hoot if they actually work. It's all about the beauty baby! I once wound every clock I could in my house and it was awful! Sounded like something out of a horror movie haha! So nooooo winding for me.

Thank you Richard for sharing so many of your beautiful collections with us. For an antique lover like me it's such a gift. Loves and hugs to you and Sissy girl. Vanna

Anonymous said...

Your clocks are beautiful Richard! I enjoyed reading about them and I loved your green bean memory!

You know Richard, we bought the swan bench at the big antique mall in Clarksville, the year before we built our house. We knew it would be a fun bench to own and it is.

Barbara F. said...

Richard, I have never seen such beautifully detailed clocks. Your home and store must be really something to see in person. I have always loved Dresden figurines, these clocks are so lovely. Most of my clocks are off by a few minutes but it doesn't bother me one bit, especially since I'm retired. xo

Bill said...

Great eye candy, Richard! I do wear a watch, so I seldom look at a clock to see what time it is. If I had clocks as beautiful as yours, however, I'd look at them all the time!

The only vintage clock I have that has to be wound also chimes and announces the hour. It keeps almost perfect time, but I seldom wind it, because it's in the room with the most-watched television in the house. Naturally it always starts making a racket just as something "important" is being said on TV!

Now that I've seen your "for their beauty" collection, I'll be paying more attention to clocks when I visit antique shops.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

I enjoyed the green bean analogy! My favorite of all these is the bright blue one. I have to admit that I don't have a single clock in my house...I'm rather ashamed. With all the electronics around there is no real "need" for a clock. Sort of sad...maybe I should go get one! Thanks for the inspiration.

Bohemian said...

Some of my most vivid memories of childhood are the Antique Clocks my Parents had. I used to love to hear them all chime and I especially enjoyed the Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks from Germany and the large Black English Clocks with stately columns and Westminster Chimes. However, I never could sleep with a ticking clock in the Bedroom, drives me crazy... *LOL*

Dawn... The Bohemian

xinex said...

I like your clocks, Richard. They're beautiful. I like the Meissen the most...Christine

Pearl said...

Great history lesson and what gorgeous clocks you own. I will never look at a non working clock quite the same again! Thanks Richard

Curtains In My Tree said...

Does anybody really know what time it is ? what's the rest to that song?

All that beauty in one house. I just can't hardley wait to get up the river to visit your house and see you & Sissy also LOL


FrenchGardenHouse said...

Oh my! You have some amazing clocks, Richard. It's difficult to choose a favorite. Thanks for sharing your clock collection with all of us.

Olivia said...

Hi Richard! I agree with you one hundred percent! Who cares if they work, if they are a beautiful piece, love em and use them as art! I guess I am not a real clock collector, I never where a watch and I have one good clock in my home, it is an industrial kitchen clock from the 1930's, thank God it works because I like to be on time too! I am in heaven over the moon for your fancy pretty clocks with all the Victorian drama!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Elegant. The old clocks are simply elegant.


Give me red ribbon to tie in my hair,
Not yellow or purple or green;
But burgundy, chestnut, carmine or rose—
These are the colors with sheen!

Give me red ribbon to tie in my hair,
Not saffron or opal or blue;
But fuchsia, magenta, ruby or blush—
Something of sanguinous hue!

Give me red ribbon to tie in my hair,
Not indigo, azure or grey;
But scarlet, vermilion, dahlia or pink—
Colors like these make my day!

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Narrow Red Alley

Sissysmom said...

Well Richard....I knew enjoyed your blog because you share such great information and you have such a lovely home filled with beautiful antiques and Sissy Dog is so cute. Now I can add another reason - we share the same view on green beans!! When growing up we were very very poor. One year the only thing that grew in our garden was green beans. The church had a "food shower" for us and almost everyone gave us green beans!! That year my Mom canned and canned and canned green beans. There were times that winter that for days and days in a row all we had to eat for three meals a day were green beans!! But as my mother always says at least we didn't go hungry. But to this day I can barely look at a green bean!!

Very lovely clocks!! I only have two in my house, both made by my Grandfather. My Dad keeps them going..if left to me they would not get wound.

Give Sissy Dog a pat on the from me!!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Richard I absolutely love your non-collection of gorgeous clocks. You have extraordinary taste. I just sighed after every picture. You know that sigh of "oh my goodness how fabulous is this?"

Paula of

A Few Pennies said...

Beautiful collection! What do you not have in that fabulous house? Wonderful post as usual, Richard.

andrew1860 said...

Hi Richard I love your gilded French clocks and the Old Paris porcelain one.

charlesalvarez23 said...

Amazing! Clocks are very important to us. I have read the history of your collection and I am really impressed. It would be great if you can have us your readers tour your house, I bet many of us would be love to experience that.=)

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