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Bracket Clocks

"Bracket clock" is a term used to refer to a portable pendulum clock, often of English origin, typically a table clock or spring-driven clock. Bracket clocks have been prized by English royal households and worldwide collectors alike.

Early bracket clocks were ebony veneered, followed by ebonized stained versions, while bracket clocks after 1710 had walnut, oak, and mahogany cases. They often feature a handle for easy portability. The style of the bracket clock may vary from minimalist square to arched and flamboyant.

The English bracket clock was built on the design of Dutch pendulum clocks. Early Dutch bracket clocks, known as Haagse clocks, have a velvet-covered rectangular dial and brass chapter ring. French clockmakers in the 17th and 18th centuries used the Dutch pendulum and velvet dial while adding ornate ornamentation. French bracket clocks were made from oak, marble, brass, bronze, and tortoiseshell.

Quick Facts

  • An early 19th century ebonized bracket clock with enamel dial by watchmaker to the Prince of Wales James Tregent sold for $15,130 in 2007 at a Bonham’s auction
  • A 1697, a Thomas Tompion ebony repeating table clock sold at auction for $481,759 at Sotheby’s in 2012
  • A 1677 signed Joseph Knibb table clock of silver-mounted ebony with a carrying handle and winged cherub spandrels sold at auction for $2,036,181 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2012

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