The Most Beautiful Ugly Clock I've Ever Seen

by Patricia
(Jeffersonville, IN, USA)

Gilbert Figurine Clock

Gilbert Figurine Clock

This Gilbert figurine clock now resides with me, as I am the only child in the family that didn't think it was ridiculously gawdy! My Mom knew I would take good care of it, and give it due justice.

Throughout the years it has been displayed, followed our family through 30 years of moving around various army bases in Europe....and STILL I have the original key.

I only know that it was given to my Grandparents by a wealthy woman in town, either as an anniversary gift, or a wedding gift. No one is living that knows the facts. Grandma & Grandpa both died at age 81 in 1961.

I love this clock, and when I had to put Mama into an assisted living facility, I brought it home and it actually ran, with accurate time, for a day or so. I've not been able to get it to do so since, but would rather not try, at the risk of damaging the inner workings.

Enjoy the picture of this beautiful, ugly clock, and let me know if anyone can identify it, or place it in a better time frame.


Comments for The Most Beautiful Ugly Clock I've Ever Seen

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"Ugly Clock"
by: Alwyn (Australia)

I agree with your comments, except that it is ugly! I think that it is definitely made in France although I have seen similar clocks made by Ansonia.

You don't mention the fact that it has a Brocot escapement and a Brocot suspension. Both designed and patented by Brocot in France.

Figural Mantel Clocks
by: Bill

Thank you for the post, Patricia.

These figural clock styles were first made in France in the late 1700's. They were imported to the United States and became very popular in the homes of the wealthy.

Naturally, when the American clock companies saw this popularity, they started making them. The very earliest of these (showing up in the 1860's) used 8-day, spring driven, square movements that were already used in other American mantel clocks.

Later, these were mostly replaced with round 8-day movements.

They never were as popular as the wood mantel clocks of the day, so they are much harder to find today.

I agree with your 'ugly' comment, but that's just my opinion. But since they are hard to find in good condition today, they command a nice price. I've seen them go at auction as high as $1000.00. Some of the rarer, top-of-the-line models bring much, much more.

Production of figural clocks in America tapered off after 1910, and ended a few years later.

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