Antique mantel clocks are a great centerpiece on any den or living room, and there are many antique mantel clocks that would make an attractive addition. Before you go off imagining how the mantel over your fireplace will look with a nice antique clock, though, you need to understand the basics of taking care of antique clocks, so you do not wind up wasting your money on a clock that might get damaged due to improper care.
First, the term antique mantel clock is actually a clear case of misunderstanding how antique clocks should be treated. For example, the Bulova Chadbourne Chiming Mantel Clock is presented as a great add-on to any mantel. But before you decide to place your clock over the fireplace, you need to know that antique clocks are highly sensitive to extreme temperatures. This includes both heat and cold, as you risk damaging the way the clock runs. This means that you should consider placing the desk clock on places other than right over the fireplace, where it will definitely get subjected to much heat. The same goes for places in the kitchen such as near an oven, a stove, or even a radiator. You should also avoid placing it in areas where there is a cold draft from the window, particularly if you live in a place with very cold winters.
Of course, if you only have an antique-looking clock to place over the mantel, like the River City Clocks Radio-Controlled Tambour Mantel Clock with Oak Finish, it may be a whole different story, as these modern clocks are more resistant to extreme temperatures. If not, it would be better to keep your mantel clock inside a glass display cabinet or on a tabletop away from the fireplace.
Next, learn how to wind your antique clock. An antique mantel clock typically requires winding with a snugly-fitting key. When you wind your clock, as soon as you meet up with resistance, you can stop winding. It would also be a good idea to do your winding at relatively fixed times day after day.
Now, mantel clocks hardly come with a pendulum, given how it functions largely as a desk clock, so you do not have to worry about how pendulums work. But just in case you wind up with a mantel clock that comes with a pendulum, such as the Bulova Allerton Antique Mantel Clock, you will need to understand how the swinging of the pendulum is affected by its balance. As such, whenever you move your clock, be sure to remove the pendulum or at least keep it in place with a clip or scrunched up paper.
Another thing to consider about maintaining your antique mantel clocks is to keep good care of the wood finish. For antique clocks, the wood finish is part of what gives it value. It would be a wise idea to think of the wood finish of your clock just like the way you would any fine piece of wooden furniture in your home. This means you will keep it as dust-free as possible. You can use a soft brush to dust it clean on a regular basis. Polishes are not usually necessary, and may even cause damage to the finish of antique clocks with wooden cases, as it may get into some of the crevices. If you do need to get rid of thicker dust or grime, you can use a soft cloth dampened with a cleanser, and just make sure you wipe it dry.
A good thing to think about when you want to collect antique clocks, whether for the mantel or hanging on walls, is to get in touch with professional clockmakers. This is because you will need their expertise in oiling and checking your clocks on a regular basis. If an antique clock is not well-oiled, it may soon start to be defective in operation. For example, some antique clocks would stop working when the weather gets unusually cold, and the start working again when the weather gets warmer. This is a clear sign of problems with the oiling of the clock, and if you are faced with such an experience, it is best to have a professional clockmaker do the fixing for you.
Overall, having antique mantel clocks is a fun learning experience, and will make for a great add-on to any drab room.