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The Victorian grandfather clock, or longcase clock, is a free-standing piece of furniture with a pendulum mechanism. Although the design had existed for some time before Victoria came to the throne in 1837, it hadn’t previously been known as a “grandfather clock”. This name came from a song that was popular at the time, about a clock that stopped when its owner died. Throughout the Victorian era, and in previous centuries, the grandfather clock was the most accurate time-keeping device available. Today’s Victorian grandfather clock owners aren’t reliant on them for precision timing, instead choosing them for a sense of antiquity, heritage and grandeur. For inspiration and fresh thinking on grandfather clocks and other antiques, take a look at Vinterior.
Why invest in a Victorian grandfather clock?While reproductions use modern clock mechanisms simply housed in a longcase, a genuine antique Victorian grandfather clock is tall and slim for a practical reason, rather than an aesthetic one. The pendulum mechanism, which creates a near-perfect second-long beat, its anchor mechanism and its swinging weights, must be protected.
The way a grandfather clock looks is influenced both by where and when it was designed. Across the UK there are various clock-making centres and true experts can match a clock to the region or even town where it was made, as well as the decade, at a glance.
The majority of Victorian grandfather clocks are built of woods that were popular across the furniture making trade of the day – walnut, oak, rosewood or mahogany. While white clock faces are most common, the intricately designed brass versions are most sought after.
A classic longcase clock of the era will feature a raised frame around the clock face itself. This may reflect Gothic revival designs, a mid-Victorian look or, less commonly, the Arts & Crafts style. Some have glass fronts to allow sight of the internal mechanism, others have barley stick or ornate finial detailing.
Chosen with a full interiors scheme in mind, the right grandfather clock can introduce a sense of legacy and quality to a modern space. The height itself can be a brilliant way to redirect the eye and add another dimension to your room. In high-ceilinged Victorian or Georgian houses, the clock can work in harmony with other pieces of furniture. In a more pared back, minimalist scheme it can be a star turn, allowing the overall look to support its elegance.
What can a Victorian grandfather clock bring to your home?Right now, interiors enthusiasts are embracing the eclectic look. Mixing incredible antiques with modern luxury items, and blending rustic styles with more polished finishes, this is an excellent way to introduce high quality items from across the decades to your home. A grandfather clock in your living room, kitchen or hallway can become the focal point for your interior design, only adding to your home’s sense of belonging.
Victorian grandfather clocks are a good demonstration of the diversity of products sold here on our online marketplace. Whether you’re looking for an unusual item like this, something less rare, a vintage or modern piece, take the time to explore our listings. With more than a thousand sellers in our network, from around the UK, Vinterior is the best way to source and buy the finest furniture.