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The English Grandfather Clock Tradition

By: Kristy Annely

English clockmakers have been involved in grandfather clock design and construction since the beginning. English grandfather clocks span a period of history that included the reign of Charles II, the Queen Anne period, the Georgian period, and the days of Queen Victoria. In fact, the famous Eastgate Clock was designed to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 80th birthday in 1897.

English grandfather clocks are not the work of a single man. Rather, they exemplify the best in teamwork. Each clock is a testament to a fine collaboration between designers, woodworkers, and silversmiths. Only the finest craftsman in each category worked on the clocks. Together, they created grandfather clocks that were beautiful, functional, and long-lasting.

In early 18th century, English grandfather clocks were made with moon dials. This enabled clock owners to know the moon phase at a glance, in addition to the hour and the minute. More than just a stylish fad, the moon dial was critical to the lifestyle of the day. This feature was helpful to travelers, as they often needed their journeys to coincide with the moon’s phases. Journeys were safer by the light of the moon. Moon phases were also helpful for farmers. Some clocks today still feature a moon dial and lunar calendar.

Today, many antique English grandfather clocks are still in circulation. These valuable clocks are quite popular with collectors. Some popular English grandfather clocks include those by Holmes, Trubshaw, Thomas Cartwright, Thomas Wright, Matthew & Thomas Dutton, Daniel Quare, Allam & Clements, and Thomas Johnson. For a clock of enduring quality and classic beauty, any of these fine examples would be a valuable prize for someone considering the purchase of an English grandfather clock.

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About The Author, Kristy Annely

Grandfather Clocks provides detailed information on antique, contemporary, discount, English, and German grandfather clocks, as well as kits and repair information. For more information go to  and/or visit its sister site at  for related information.
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