Dating clock

Given the larger area of dial to be decorated the dial painters went to town, the corner paintings became little masterpieces in their own right, and the decoration spread from the corner right up the side of the dial circle, to meet the next corner painting, and so on.

Most of these clocks have an arched dial, and the artist painted in a large scene, often a biblical illustration, or a country scene, a nautical scene, a ruined abbey, or something ordered specially by the customer.

Village life was very conservative, and the people living in villages at this time still had no real need of "to the minute" time.

From around 1730 (all these figures are approximate all the way through this article) the brass dial clock was made all over England in ever-increasing numbers, and the dials became more ornate as time went on, especially on the eight-day clocks.

Decoration consisted of spandrels painted on in gold paint in the four corners, (probably to resemble the cast brass spandrels fitted to brass dials.) Sometimes a swag of flowers or similar was painted on the dial face, but again very sparingly and restrained.

The hands were made of steel, very fine, often blued or blacked and not exactly matching.

Still the same lantern clock movement inside, but without the expensive brass body.

dating clock-22dating clock-36dating clock-21

The new painted dial was cheaper and easier to produce and easier to read by the poor light available at night, so the brass dial was dropped from production over a very brief period, for our purposes it is fair to say that no brass dial clock was made in the big clock making centres after 1780.

Now we come to the later clocks, of around 1830 to 1880.

In the North of England after 1830 grandfather clocks gradually got bigger and bigger, until by the end of the period some of them were huge - - - the dials were often fifteen inches wide and the clocks were eight feet tall, sometimes nine feet or more.

The missing numbers were often replaced with little symbols, often looking like stars.

At this time also it became fashionable to use Arabic numerals for the hours instead of Roman numerals.

Leave a Reply