The History of Clocks

When you think about home décor do you think of beds, chairs, sofas, and settees? What about your smaller décor? Perhaps you’ll throw some leather bound books on a mantle and a decorative candle on an end table and call it a day. Have you ever looked around a room and thought, “If I add one more tchotchke in here my partner will go bananas but there’s something missing?” There’s one staple piece of home décor that is often overlooked yet totally functional. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you: clocks. Clocks are an often-overlooked yet totally necessary part of any home décor. With the digital age it’s easy to see why traditional timepieces are no longer thought of as necessary but a clock can add so much to a space.

By now you know we love to give you a history lesson in all things décor and the clock is no exception. They are fascinating objects with a very interesting history.  The word clock is derived from the Celtic words clagan  and clocca which means “bell”. The clock is actually one of the earliest human inventions, dating back to approximately 2000 BC in Sumer. The Ancient Egyptians divided the day into two 12-hour periods and used large obelisks to track the sun. There were also devices such as water clocks, which were the earliest alarm clocks. They were large vats that held increasing amounts of water supplied by a cistern. By morning the vessel would have filled up to the brim and contained lead balls which would tumble out onto a copper plate creating a loud clanking sound. This was used at Plato’s academy to awaken the students. The first mechanical clocks employed the verge escapement mechanism with a balance wheel to measure the time. It was used until the pendulum clock was invited in 1656. The invention of the mainspring led to the first pocket watch, which was invented in the 17th century but were not very accurate. The pendulum clock was the most accurate until quartz oscillators were invented, followed by the atomic clocks after World War 2.

Today, clocks add a stylish and functional piece of flair to any décor. At AntiqutiesWeb we have a selection of beautiful timepieces to add to your mantle:


French Art Deco, “Shepherds”. marble, onyx and bronze. manual wind.


Louis XVI style mantel clock bronze fire gilded figures, white marble inlays & parts

If you’re looking for a unique credenza or console then contact AntiquitiesWeb. Our selection of top quality antiques are unique, original, and timelessly beautiful. No matter what kind of antique you’re looking for, AntiquitiesWeb has the piece for you. To see these pieces and more call us at 212-644-4236, contact us, or visit our New York gallery.

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