Collectible Shelf & Mantel Clocks (Pre-1930)

Be Right on Time With Collectible Pre-1930 Collectible Shelf Mantel Clocks

While French mantel clocks were first made in the 1600s, most contained brass workings, making them too expensive for most residents. It was not until the anchor escapement, pendulum, and rack-and-snail striking methods were invented that mantel clocks started being found in most homes. If you are thinking about collecting mantel clocks, read on to learn more about the affordable pre-1930 mantel shelf clocks available for collectors on eBay.

What are some features of an antique mantel clock?

A mantel clock movement is comprised of the inner workings, including its escapement. There may also be chimes that play music that can be set to play a sound every 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Alternatively, there may be a bell that produces a gong sound and it may be set to go off every 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Housings hold everything together, and they are usually constructed of wood, glass, porcelain, or a metal like aluminum or nickel. The face tells the time and it is commonly either metal or wood with Roman or Arabic numbers.

What types of collectible mantel clocks are available?

There are many different styles of antique mantel clock including:

  • Adamantine Mantle Clocks: This type has a rectangular housing constructed of adamantine veneer that was developed by the Celluloid Manufacturing Company of New York City in 1880.
  • Tambour Mantel Clock: Also called "Napoleons Hat," "camelback," or "humpback," these examples made by various manufacturers starting in about 1900 have a graceful curve in their middle.
  • Steeple clocks: This style was made starting in about 1840 by various manufacturers. It featured at least two wooden spirals on the sides reminiscent of church steeples.
  • Beehive clocks: Made from about 1840 to 1900, this style has sides that sweep upward, reminiscent of a beehive.
  • Ogee Mantel Clocks: This style features "S" curves in the housing. While many companies made them, those constructed during the Civil War by Seth Thomas are some of the most well-known.
  • Ansonia Porcelain Clocks: Elaborate hand-painted scenes on porcelain housing make these a favorite of many collectors. Those prized by collectors usually have workings by the Royal Bonn Company and are assembled by the Ansonia Clock Company.
  • Simon Willard Lighthouse Clocks: After finding success with his banjo and shelf clocks, Simon Willard made these shaped like a lighthouse, and they became the first alarm clocks made in America.
<What brands of collectible shelf mantel clocks are for sale on eBay?

If youre a collector, you can find a variety of brands that mad pre-1939 mantel shelf clocks available. Some brands may include:

  • Seth Thomas
  • Gilbert
  • Sessions
  • Ingraham
  • Waterbury
  • New Haven
  • Welch