18th century specialists
Box House Antiques’ interest in old clocks began almost by accident. In the early 1960s we were trading mainly in domestic antique furniture but were constantly being asked for clocks for sale in the UK (mainly longcase clocks often called 'grandfather clocks' and 'tall case clocks' in the USA). Initially we purchased these in house clearances, but soon bought and sold when and wherever the opportunity arose, and in these modern times also through antiques for sale online. Our first clock (bought for stock over 60 years ago) was a beautiful, untouched, mid-18th century red lacquer English chinoiserie longcase, with a provincially-signed eight day five pillar brass dial movement striking on a bell. The first person to view this l/c clock was a renowned London Interior Decorator, sadly no longer with us, who simultaneously bought a fine London walnut musical longcase clock. We will resist the temptation of disclosing the selling price, always religiously kept confidential (much appreciated by our customers) throughout our 60 plus years of dealing. We usually have antique long-case clocks on offer. A word of caution: many plain pine and oak cased longcases were lacquered in the 20th century and are best avoided by any serious collector. Wall clocks grew in popularity as room sizes became smaller in the later 18th century. Among the most interesting are Act of Parliament clocks also known as Tavern Clocks - originally these were on display in pubs and inns. Parliament in the time of William Pitt introduced a five shilling tax on full-size longcase clocks which the shorter wall clock-case managed to get around, hence their popularity. Five shillings in the 18th century was a significant sum, the equivalent today of £100. Very occasionally you will find a Tavern Clock on offer at here at Box House Antiques so please keep a lookout. These wall clocks usually had large dials, were painted or had chinoiserie decorated short cases. Retail shop prices can often exceed £10,000 for a fine example. In Box House Antiques' varied collection you will mostly find decorative, mahogany and walnut longcase clocks, but don't expect to find many Fromanteel, Tompion, Dent, Graham, Vulliamy, Quare etc... although you never know.
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