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American Clocks

The history of American clocks begins in colonial New England in the late 1700s. The first American clocks were made by hand one at a time and were mostly tall clocks or grandfather clocks.Thomas Harland, a skilled English clockmaker who settled in Connecticut, trained Eli Terry, who founded the first American clock factory around 1800.

Eli Terry, along with Seth Thomas and Silas Hoadley, applied water-powered machinery to clockmaking. This led to the timepiece industry’s introduction to the Industrial Revolution. Factories began to mass produce clocks with interchangeable parts, a technique that became known as the American system of manufacturing.

Some American clockmakers who made a lasting impression were the Willard family of Massachusetts, Elias Ingraham and Company, and the Ansonia Company. Contemporary New York design company Tiffany and Co. was founded in 1837, representing a departure from European opulence to the new American style. By 1867, Tiffany and Co. was a major competitor in the world of silver, fine jewels, and classic timepieces. Tiffany clocks are sold in more than 200 stores worldwide.


Quick Facts

  • A Simon Willard 1805 Banjo clock sold for $7,380 at Skinner of Boston in 2015
  • An E. Ingraham rosewood Spectacle shelf clock with painted zinc dial in Roman numerals sold for $7,703 at Skinner in 2009
  • An 1880 Tiffany gilt brass and enamel carriage clock featuring Corinthian columns, porcelain dial, and Arabic numerals sold for $4,920 at Skinner Auctions in 2015

Recommended Items at Auction

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Clock with (5) Morgan Silver and (1) Peace Dollars
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Clock with (5) Morgan Silver and (1) Peace Dollars
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$503 Bids
Aaron Willard Banjo Clock
Jun 22, 6:30 PM EDT
Aaron Willard Banjo Clock
by Gary R. Wallace Auctioneers Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$602 Bids
Macomb Calendar Clock Co.
May 31, 12:00 PM EDT
Macomb Calendar Clock Co.
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $700- $1,000
$3752 Bids
E. HOWARD BRASS MARINE CLOCK W/ 10" DIAL
Jun 12, 9:00 AM EDT
E. HOWARD BRASS MARINE CLOCK W/ 10" DIAL
by Morphy Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5001 Bid
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New Haven Co. Banjo clock
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
New Haven Co. Banjo clock
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $30- $50
$151 Bid
LOT OF 2: TIFFANY STUDIOS ZODIAC PATTERN LETTER RACK & DESK CLOCK
Jun 11, 9:00 AM EDT
LOT OF 2: TIFFANY STUDIOS ZODIAC PATTERN LETTER RACK & DESK CLOCK
by Morphy Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5001 Bid
HOWARD MILLER KEY WIND CLOCK
Jun 03, 6:00 PM EDT
HOWARD MILLER KEY WIND CLOCK
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Walnut Ithaca Double Dial Calendar Clock
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Walnut Ithaca Double Dial Calendar Clock
by Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC
Est: $800- $1,200
$251 Bid
Fancy Pressed Carved and Painted Kitchen Clock by Waterbury
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Fancy Pressed Carved and Painted Kitchen Clock by Waterbury
by Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC
Est: $75- $100
$251 Bid
Bigelow Kennard & Co. Mahogany Bracket Clock
Jun 02, 11:00 AM EDT
Bigelow Kennard & Co. Mahogany Bracket Clock
by Amero Auctions
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$7001 Bid
WALTHAM MARINE 8 DAY CHRONOMETER
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
WALTHAM MARINE 8 DAY CHRONOMETER
by Gray's Auctioneers
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
TIFFANY CARRIAGE CLOCK
Jun 09, 10:30 AM EDT
TIFFANY CARRIAGE CLOCK
by Farrin's country Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Hamilton Clock LOT 696
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
Hamilton Clock LOT 696
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Time Mfg Co Lippinzaner Horse Clock
Jun 01, 10:00 AM MST
Time Mfg Co Lippinzaner Horse Clock
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
E. INGRAHAM FIGURE-8 CLOCK
Jun 12, 9:00 AM EDT
E. INGRAHAM FIGURE-8 CLOCK
by Morphy Auctions
Est: $600- $1,200
$3000 Bids
GILBERT STAR BRAND SHOES DESK CLOCK
Jun 12, 9:00 AM EDT
GILBERT STAR BRAND SHOES DESK CLOCK
by Morphy Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
MISCOE ORANGE DRY ELECTRIC CLOCK
Jun 15, 10:00 AM EDT
MISCOE ORANGE DRY ELECTRIC CLOCK
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Vintage Sessions Banjo Style Wall Clock with Eagle Finial
Jun 01, 9:00 AM EDT
Vintage Sessions Banjo Style Wall Clock with Eagle Finial
by Dana J. Tharp Auctions
Est: $25- $75
$100 Bids
Pressed Carved Kitchen Clock by Ansonia
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Pressed Carved Kitchen Clock by Ansonia
by Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC
Est: $100- $200
$250 Bids
WALTHAM
May 28, 3:00 PM CEST
WALTHAM
by International Art Sale Italy
Est: €250- €350
€2500 Bids
Chauncey Boardman Steeple Clock
May 31, 12:00 PM EDT
Chauncey Boardman Steeple Clock
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Miniature Seth Thomas & Chauncy Jerome Ogee
May 31, 12:00 PM EDT
Miniature Seth Thomas & Chauncy Jerome Ogee
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
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Seth Thomas Vintage Banjo Style Clock
Jun 05, 6:00 PM EDT
Seth Thomas Vintage Banjo Style Clock
by Market Auctions Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Clocks


Cottone Auctions

Cottone Auctions

Morphy Auctions

Morphy Auctions

Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC

Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC

Akiba Galleries

Akiba Galleries