How to Buy An Antique Clock

When it comes to buying antique clocks, making the right decision is everything. From the year, type, and condition of the clock to the seller, carefully progressing through the steps is crucial to making the right purchase.

The first step is to research the authenticity of the model by looking at the clock maker, age of the model, and history of the piece. Look for distinguishing features that will differentiate the clock from a duplicate. Knowing the history of the piece also helps to establish the price you should be looking for.

If the there is a disparity between the seller’s price and the market value, consider ordering an appraisal for the piece to determine its authenticity. In addition to an appraisal, consulting with an auction house is another useful way to determine if the piece is authentic.

When examining the clock, the first step is to inspect the wood case. Look for defects in the finish, warped, split or gouged wood, and damaged molding. Don’t forget to check the inside of the clock as well by going through the front door or other access panels.

After performing the initial visual inspection, it’s time to look at the internal mechanism of the clock. This not only includes checking for broken parts, but past repairs as well. Great places to start are the pendulum, pendulum bob, weights, glass condition, pulleys and cables. Check the dial glass and try to determine if it’s been replaced, if so, the dial mask may have gaps that could cause the dial glass to fall out.

Now that you know about the clock, consider the seller. It’s one thing to purchase a clock from a reputable antique dealer or store or an auction house, but quite another to answer and ad in the paper. If buying from the local classifieds or craigslist, always meet the seller in person and discuss the piece. Depending on the seller, inquire about a return policy and other guarantees.

Last but not least, consult with a local watch and clock repair shop regarding the cost of needed repairs. In addition, ask them about common faults with the piece and how much those will cost to repair in the future, should they occur.