Father Time ranks up there with Mother Nature as an iconic image with much imagery and emotion surrounding each term. Father Time and grandfather clocks have always gone together in the mind of this writer when thinking about time and tempo One of the more interesting antique grandfather clocks we have is actually a roughly 5 foot tall grandmother clock that we date confidently back to the French Renaissance in the 1700s. Interestingly, it has some features that even modern day grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks do not have, and that we have never seen on another grandmother or grandfather clock.
One of the most interesting elements is that the clock has a brass dial or plate and has a most interesting depiction of Father Time holding a schyhte etched into the plate, we guess with some sophisticated method using an acid of some kind. The Grim Reaper imagery and iconic images have become almost synonymous with Father Time. We view Father Time as more of a natural force of nature, while with all of the associated grief, pains, suffering, death, rebirth, and ups and down, is a natural force, as opposed to the Grim Reaper, who is just plain evil!
The features on the antique grandmother clocks that are unique included a winding hole that automatically locks after each winding, so no dust or dirt can get inside the mechanical movement. The movement has nested bells and a cord on the side that one can pull anytime of the day or night, and the grandmother clock’s will gong or ring the bells for the hour on one bell, and then strike the bells for the quarter hour. This repeater function is seen on many of the highest end pocket watches, bracket clocks or mantle clocks, and wall clocks. It’s extremely rare to see it on a grandmother clock or grandfather clock. When one realizes that when this clock was made there was no such thing as running electricity, and this grandmother clock’s owner, perhaps during the French Revolution, would go to the lock with lit candle, in its antique candle tray, and pull the string in the middle of the night, or any time during the day for that matter, to find out what time it is.
We plan on offering this antique grandmother clock with the Father Time design and the repeating function, and the ultra cool locking winding hole sometime in the next 6 months. We are confident that this small grandfather clock, standing only about 5 feet tall, is genuinely from the 18th century in France. It is in great overall shape, though certain aspects of the clocks appearance will belie the fact that it is not a more modern clock.
Back to Father Time. We will share the image of Father Time on this mini grandfather clock or antique grandmother clock, but below we share some other images of Father Time that we find fascinating as part of both the study of horology and when thinking about grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and time generally.
Take a look at these images of Father Time and let us know what you think.
The first is actually a three dimensional Toby Mug of Father Time made in a Limited Edition by Royal Doulton. Father Time is actually holding a clock in his arms, or a pocket watch depending upon your interpretation, and a walking stick, or a schythe depending upon your interpretation. On his back he is carrying a sand timer or hourglass, just in case you have any doubt about who this gentleman is:
When thinking about time and grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantle clocks, here is another depiction of Father Time:
Do you like the Father Time imagery? Would it make you more or less likely to purchase a new or antique grandfather clocks if they had an image of Father Time. We would like to know. Let us know your thoughts any time and all the time.