The longcase clock, also known as the grandfather clock after
the popular Victorian song, was the product of two pan-European
horological breakthroughs of the late 1650s - the application of
the pendulum clock and the invention of the so-called anchor
First used in clockmaking by the Dutchman Christiaan Huygens in
1656, the pendulum made for near frictionless time-keeping, while
it was the anchor mechanism (probably invented around the same time
by British scientist Robert Hooke) reduced the swing and improved
The need to protect the movement within a high case to house the
heavy drive weights, and soon afterwards a long pendulum that beat
once every second, led to a style of clock that remained popular
for more than two centuries.
From the ATG Archive
14 January 2012
In clock collecting, the gold standard of original condition can be a difficult one to meet. Clocks almost always needing repairs or replacement parts to keep functioning day in, day out for centuries.
04 January 2010
The demand for golden age English clocks has been on something of a high for several years now and shows little sign of abating.
09 January 2008
The emergence of a significant new discovery is a guaranteed crowd-puller in any sector of the art and antiques market.
ATG Site Search
03 May 2013
Twenty-something UK regional auctioneers and four container loads of Western antiques en route to south-east China. What could possibly go wrong?
26 July 2012
Among the clocks sold in London this summer, there were some of the glitziest and most expensive timekeepers to go under the hammer in recent times, many of them made for the Chinese market.
28 February 2013
It was not the oak case that made this George III eight-day longcase clock such an attractive lot at Batemans of Stamford – it was the movement and face which bore the magic name of Thomas Ogden of Halifax.
16 February 2009
Positive news from Dreweatts' clocks sale at Donnington Priory, Newbury on February 10 which posted a 92 per cent selling rate.
01 October 2012
The technological breakthrough of a clock which could keep accurate time to within one second every month was an unheard-of feat in 1727.
13 January 2009
Overall sales figures for art and antiques salerooms outside London were largely down for 2008 – but most ended a difficult year with better than expected results. For a table of the provincial salerooms' totals click here.