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What Should I Consider When Buying a Grandmother Clock?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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When buying a grandmother clock, you should consider the size of the space you want to place. These are smaller clocks than the grandfather type. You should also keep in mind that most grandmother clocks are made of light- to medium-colored wood. There are many different grandmother clock styles, from plain to ornate, so you'll need to choose one that best fits your room and personal style.

A grandmother clock is a better choice for small spaces than the more well-known grandfather version. Grandmother clocks are shorter, so they can be the ideal free-standing clock for homes with lower or sloped ceilings. As the name implies, these clocks generally tend to have a more feminine look to them than the grandfather clock.

Many grandmother clocks feature floral or scalloped patterns carved into their light-colored wood. The edges around the clock's face may have wood-turned posts with ornate finials, or top pieces. The wood casing around the clock may be rounded or squared. The face of a grandmother clock may be embossed with delicate patterns; the embellishment may continue on the metal pendulum.

If your room is delicate and feminine in feeling, an ornate style of grandmother clock may work best. If your decor is less detailed, choose from the plainer, yet elegant styles. Some grandmother clocks are modern in design and look like a round wall clock on top of a tall, narrow stand. The pendulum may be closed inside a wood base that also has storage areas. These modern styles fit in well with contemporary interior designs.

An especially elegant, stylish type of grandmother clock is the banjo. From the finial-topped circular face, the clock curves outward to resemble the rounded musical instrument called the banjo. As the roundness of a banjo style grandmother clock is stretched out, it looks almost pear-shaped. The clock then narrows at the base.

If you prefer a more traditional grandmother clock, there are many styles with rectangular cases and pendulums that show through a glass or open base. The middle sections of traditional grandmother clocks are usually a little narrower than the upper and lower sections which tend to be of equal width. Light oak, yew and pine are common woods used for the traditional grandmother style, although some of these clocks are made from dark wood such as mahogany.

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