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What is a clock worth

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OH makes a good point, "The asking price is completely bonkers" in topic "Another eBay Longcase"

Therefore I have opened this topic.

What is a clock worth? These are a few things I feel affect the price of a clock.

Age, means nothing to the value in real terms.

Condition, has a bearing depending on maker.

Marriage, good for parts.

Repairs, has the clock been repaired properly.

Collectable, has a market, however has to be in very good condition for a real collector to buy.

Rarity, has a big influence.

Maker, this is what you should look at first.

For me it is like paintings, does not matter how old it is, it is the signature at the bottom that dictates the price.

Feel free to add anymore you think affect what you buy, I also think these would flow through to the watch guys on here.    

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I would suggest originality has an impact on the value. I’ve seen the discussions where you , O h and others pick apart a clock stating it had this replaced or that changing and the value has been knocked. Good repairs are one thing but replacement parts for non original or the marriage of bits from other works seems to ruin the value.

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I dont deal in clocks, so as someone who collects on a modest budget and only quite recently, I have a preference for German clocks and carriage clocks prices vary widely main factors being with Ting Tangs is case style the more elaborate the higher the price, my main aim is to buy a clock as original as possible at the cheapest price possible. Condition is very important to me only in that I am quite willing to buy a very tatty looking clock cheap because this after all is a hobby to me, I am not interested in buying restored, good condition examples, because what would be left for me to do there is no fun in that.

I try to Keep any purchases sub £100.00 but sometimes I do splurge a little I have in the last year bought Two triple fusee clocks I paid £450.00 for a Edwardian Winterhalder striking on 5 gongs and a Victorian triple fusee for £650.00 both in Good condition but requiring a modest amount of work.

Ebay is a good place to buy for me I find that I can cut through the chaff and spot a good buy, but like all selling platforms it is full of cloud cuckoo land prices, its up to the seller to set the price and the market to decide if that is a price worth paying.

I do attend auctions on a regular basis and follow results online, I find that quite a few of the dealers will buy a item do nothing and try and sell, I have lost count of the number of times I have seen a clock sell in a auction house and be listed the same or following day on ebay.

I really do think at the moment that Brexit is having a effect on prices, there is too much uncertainty about at the moment in the U.K and this is reflecting in prices it is a good time to buy.

Another thing that I find effects prices greatly on Ebay is a collection only auctions will not do any where near as well as a seller who is willing to post , I am quite willing to have a day out and travel 100 miles to collect a clock from a seller but the vast majority of buyers are not, this weekend I will be travelling to Sunderland to collect a Winterhalder clock I bought the other day, I shall on my way call in at any antique centers along the way and enjoy doing so.

If it came down to what a clock is worth to me how do you break it down on a personal level, I enjoy taking them apart repairing what I can and restoring the cases and have something to show for it at the end of the day, it is a distraction from every day life and enjoyable and that to me is worth more than the monetary value of what I buy.



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Reading the "Sold" listings on E-bay is often quite an eye opener regarding the prices that actually sold, rather than the "Rare vintage, you got to buy it now" value, that some ever hopefuls ask.



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I used to advise a reputable Antique shop when it came to buying clocks. As Long case clocks seam to take priority on the forum I will keep to that.  The first thing I would look for was its originality in movement and case, certainly the type of wood or woods used and condition. An example a good Mahogany case with good colour is better than an Oak case. A case made of rare wood is better than the previous. A brass dial is better than a White dial (painted dial)

Is the movement original to the case? If it is a marriage, leave it alone. Some dealers will say it was married around 150 years ago and is acceptable, I do not agree because it is not original. Any work on the movement has to be good the less the better, don’t bother with altered movements. Look at the case careful to see if it has been altered. Many cases have been shortened, many years ago the clock would be standing on a stone floor and it would get wet from damp and regular floor washing, the damp or rotting wood would be sawn off. Always look at the bottom of the case. Marks inside the case can help, such as rubbing on the inside of the back, is it in line with the pendulum. Bottom inside ledge for the door are there rubbing marks due to the weights constantly going up and down and catching on the ledge, do they fit to the shape of the weights, if so that is a sign of originality. What about the hinges of the door, extremely old cases they will be fixed by nails not screws, nails back then were nothing like we use today. The same goes for the lock for the door. Any part that has modern screws be aware.  Brass dials fit directly to the movement and normally by four pillars. White dial or painted dials have what is called a false plate between the back of the dial and the movement, if not then there is something amiss. Even the glass can tell you something, if it has blemishes and is thicker in places it is telling you it is very old and could be as old as the clock or it has been replaced a very long time ago. Look at the way the glass has been fixed. Hands are most important with experience you can tell if the hands are, correct with the period of the dial. An example if the clock has a seconds hand and the clock dates back to the early 1700 century the hand will be plain and small. The pillars of the clock pay an important part you can date the movement by their design.  The clock maker depending who he is will play a huge part when it comes to value, It is experience as to how much the clock is worth and its demand.

This is just a small part of how you determine the value of a Long case clock. I hope you find it useful

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