When it comes to clocks, the ‘grandfather clock’ is truly the granddaddy of them all. It’s an impressive and distinguished long case clock that has certainly stood the test of time. Here is a brief history on the monumental grandfather clock and the modern interiors that give it the respect it deserves.
A Brief History on the Grandfather Clock
While the grandfather clock was first produced in Britain in 1670, its origin lies in a Dutch invention. In 1656 Christian Huygens did away with weights and springs and used a pendulum to improve the reliability of timekeeping. Because the pendulum needed to be long to power the clock—completing one swing per second—the clock required an elongated case and aptly became known as the long case clock.
It was popularly referred to as the ‘grandfather clock’ in 1876 when American songwriter Henry Clay Work wrote a hit song called Grandfather’s Clock. Based on a true story it was about an impeccably reliable long case clock in a North Yorkshire hotel that “stopp’d short—never to go again” when it’s owner died.
Long case clocks offered craftsmen the chance to show-off their skills, and consequently the style, form and decoration of the clocks changed with time. Melding the precision of technology and craftsmanship, the clocks assumed a revered place in households and has changed little today, as these stunning interiors demonstrate.
The grandfather clock today
A long case clock with a swan-neck pediment and moon dial (above the clock face) is an elegant addition to this sophisticated living room. Its dark grain complements the wooden floors and collection of antique furniture.
The tall and elongated form of the grandfather clock fits neatly in to the corner of this living space, adding interest, decoration, and character that is anchored against the wall and floor.
In this rustic and nautical Cape-Cod interior, a blue-washed long case is angled across the corner of the room suiting the laid-back look and feel of the home.
This living space is similarly beachy and relaxed with a light color palette and water view. The grandfather clock is one piece in an ensemble of antique furniture that mixes styles and eras but is united by a rich wood grain.
A dark long case clock is a striking and stylish contrast to the pale walls and furniture in this bedroom. Positioned against the wall it eliminates the need for additional artwork and is the stand-out decorative element in the room.
A grand entrance needs a grand clock, and in this case it’s a grandfather clock. It is perfectly sized and positioned so that the bonnet of the clock, which houses the face and movement, sits above the wainscoting and below the crown moulding, giving each part of the clock a clear and unbroken background.
Grandfather clocks can often be seen under or alongside a staircase, adding interest to a section of wall that may otherwise be ignored. This cream-colored case clock complements the light walls and wooden trim and floors without adding visual weight to the room.
If the grandfather clock has a sense of masculinity, then the Mora clock is its feminine counterpart. While the Mora clock is not technically a grandfather clock, it is a long case clock taking its name from the Swedish town in which they made. Mora clocks have a curvy hourglass form and are often painted in light and pale colors adding a chic and almost sensual touch to a room.
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