Collectible Vintage Clocks (1930-1969)

Collectible Vintage Clocks (1930-1969)

Clocks have come a long way since humans created the originals by marking off the shadows on trees. Now, these staples of home decor not only keep time reliably throughout the day but also can be works of art. Whether they are ornate or simple, staid or silly, contemporary, vintage, or antique, clocks are not only necessary but objects of fascination.

What types are available?

Types of vintage clocks that are available are

  • Wall clock: These include school, industrial, and regulator clocks with traditional circular movement.
  • Lantern clock: These are antiques that used to be carried at night or attached to horse-drawn carriages.
  • Cuckoo and woodchopper vintage clock: Woodchopper clocks differ from cuckoo clocks in that a woodchopper comes out of the door instead of a bird.
  • Shelf or mantel clock: Includes tambour and bracket types. Desk clocks are a subset of these timepieces.
  • Neon clock: These light up with neon when plugged in.
  • Alarm clock: Includes home and those made for travel.
  • Grandfather clock, or long case: Though many are quite large, some are small enough to be desk clocks, and their classic chime is unmistakable.
What materials are antique clocks made of?

These timepieces are made of:

  • Porcelain and other ceramics.
  • Plastic.
  • Glass and stained glass.
  • Metal, including brass, sterling silver, and aluminum.
  • Wood, including walnut, mahogany, and oak.
  • Bakelite, which is a type of plastic that can be brightly colored.
  • Leather and faux leather.
  • Lucite.
  • Quartz
What special features can vintage clocks have?

Special features can include

  • World maps on the dial face.
  • Coins that take the place of numbers.
  • Lighted bases, which look great on any wall.
  • Shapes such as airplanes, rolling pins, ship’s wheels, houses, and starbursts.
  • World clocks that tell the time in other parts of the world.
  • Moving figures. Besides cuckoos and woodsmen, these vintage timepieces can have dancers and playing children.
  • Lamps and night lights.
  • Radios and barometers.
What styles are vintage clocks?
  • Art Deco. This sleek style used Bakelite or shiny metal along with metal accents, often with black and white faces.
  • Modern. Many craftsmen in the era after World War II were dedicated to the idea of form following function, and this also applied to clockmakers. Clocks made in this era were round or square, had Roman or Arabic numerals on the dial face, unadorned cases, and simple hour and minute hands.
  • Victorian. Anniversary clocks were created during this era. They are so named because they only need to be wound once per year. Cuckoo clocks have been around since the 17th century but became more common around the world during the mid-19th century. Antique timepieces made for the mantel also proliferated in this era.
  • Empire era. This era occurred during the reign of Napoleon I. The regulator clock had been invented prior to this period, but here it became more common. It was known for its accuracy.