This is not a black and white answer because as the saying goes, “it’s worth whatever price someone is willing to pay for it.”

First of all, if the clock is not an antique or an otherwise desirable model, then the older the clock, the less it is worth. This is typically true by only going back approximately 40 years. Older than that and the clock’s value starts taking an upswing.

Since antique clocks are not our specialty, we are offering a little guidance regarding what to look for when determining the value of a younger clock.

 

1) Does the clock work?

Non working clocks can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Keep this in mind when assessing a value.

 

2) Is the cabinet in good shape?

A damaged cabinet can also be quite expensive to repair, however, simply stripping old varnish and refinishing the cabinet may be possible by the new owner.

 

3) Size?

       Typically, the larger the cabinet, the more valuable the clock. This is mostly true because fans of long        case clocks are impressed with their size so, the bigger the better. We categorize clock sizes in three        groups. Size A) Under 80” tall. Size B) Between 81” to 90” tall. Size C) Over 90” tall.

 

4) Cabinet detail and quality?

       In addition to cabinet size, the detail and quality of the cabinet will be a major component in        determining a clock’s value. Clock cabinets can range from inexpensive pressed wood with thin        veneers and sprayed on stain to exotic hardwoods with carved details and hand-rubbed stains. A large        cabinet with several types of hardwoods, veneers and inlays, along with ornate carvings can be worth        several times more than simple cabinets. The saying, “you get what you pay for” is true in this case.

 

5) Cable Driven or Chain Driven?

There are two principle means to raising and lowering the weights in a modern grandfather clock. These are via cables, which are wound around a spool by means of a crank that is inserted into the clock face. The cable is slowly let-out as the weight drops. The second method is via chains, which are pulled down by hand to raise the weights to their top position. The chain simply moves along a sprocket wheel as the weight drops. The entire length of the chain will always remain visible hanging inside of the cabinet. Cable-driven clocks are considered superior to chain driven-clocks and higher quality clocks will always utilize the cable driven method. A fast way to determine which drive method is inside a clock is to look at the face. A cable driven clock will have holes in the face where the winding crank is to be inserted. These holes will be absent in chain-driven clocks since the chains are pulled by hand.

 

6) Chime Movement?

The “movement” is the actual inner-workings of the clock. This includes the time keeping function as well as the chiming mechanism. When assessing the value of a movement, we simply mean the type of chime installed in a clock. We do not mean the brand of movement as most modern movements come from but a few sources and most of those are located in Germany. These manufacturers all produce reliable movements. There are two principle types of chime movements installed in a modern grandfather clock. These are known as 1) rod chime movement and 2) tubular chime movement. Rod chimes are simply steel rods that resonate within the clock cabinet when struck. The vast majority of modern clocks utilize this type of movement. Tubular chimes are actually tubular bells that hang in the rear of the cabinet and produce a church-bell like sound when struck. Tubular chime movements are considered more valuable as they are very rare in today’s market, therefore are highly desirable to collectors.

 

Value Equation

We have prepared a simple formula to help determine the value of a Grandfather Clock.

What is a Grandfather Clock worth?

Grandfather Clock Specialists

LongCase Clock Company

LongCase

Clock Co.

Lawrenceville, GA

PH (678) 468-3550

 

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