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.