6 Tips for Finding Your Antique Clock’s Value

February 10, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles

Everyone who’s seen an episode of Antiques Roadshow has dreamt of finding a treasure in their home.

The idea of striking it rich is motivation to clean out your attic, that’s for sure.

As one of America’s most pawned items, antiques can indeed bring a hefty profit. The key is identifying what you have and knowing where to sell it.

Antique clocks are a unique and often lucrative type of antique. How do you know if yours is valuable, though? Try these tips to find your antique clock’s value.

Tips to Find Your Antique Clock’s Value

Just because a clock looks old doesn’t mean it is, and not all antique clocks are valuable either. These tips can shed some light on your clock’s value.

1. Look for a Label or Signature

One of the largest factors in your clock’s value is the manufacturer. Examine it closely for a signature or a label or any kind. If you don’t find one, don’t be discouraged. That doesn’t always mean your clock is low-value.

2. Look for Evidence the Clock is Handmade

Part of the reason antiques are so valuable is that they were built with craftsmanship. There are several ways to tell if your clock is handmade.

The primary sign to look for is a slight irregularity. Curves may not be sculpted as perfect, symmetrical arcs. If your clock has dovetail joints, this is a great place to look for irregularity. In some cases, the clock may use different types of hardware rather than one consistent shape.

3. Find Out What Category Your Clock Fits Into

As you look for your clock’s value, it’s much easier if you can categorize it. There are countless possibilities, from grandfather clocks to longcase clocks to skeleton clocks. It’s worth your time to read up on your clock’s style and find out how to describe it.

4. Look for Signs of Age

While it isn’t an exact science, older antique clocks tend to be worth more than newer ones. Hints about your clock’s age can also help you determine if it’s a true antique.

Look for wear on any moving parts in your clock. Another common indicator is a single slot screw. Look for that telltale “old wood” scent as well.

5. Use Online Pricing Guides

After you have a grasp on your clock’s manufacturer and style, you can look up the value. An online antique clock price guide has thousands of photos and descriptions. When you find your clock on a pricing guide, you can see the value based on how others have sold.

6. Get a Reliable Appraisal

Even if you find a price estimate online, an in-person appraisal is important as well. The appraiser can examine your clock’s quality and give a more accurate value.

In the pawn industry, we’re happy to offer free appraisals. If you do choose to pay for an appraisal, though, use caution. Agree on a fee ahead of time, and make sure it’s a set fee per item. Don’t agree to pay a percentage because the appraiser could inflate the price.

For a paid appraisal, look for someone who is a member of a professional appraisers’ organization. The International Society of Appraisers is a great organization. You can also look for appraisers from the American Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America.

Getting a Fair Price for Your Antique Clock

If you have the right clock, it can be the key to retirement savings, further education, and more. To get a fair value, though, you need to find out your antique clock’s value.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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Avatar for Vivian Black

Vivian Black

October 21, 2019, 11:17 PM

I love your tip about finding the category your antique fits into and how much easier it makes finding the value. My husband and I have an antique clock that we are looking to get appraised in order to sell. We will keep these tips in mind when searching for a professional.

Avatar for Eli Richardson

Eli Richardson

November 26, 2019, 4:33 PM

My brother-in-law has an old furniture clock that wants to sell but doesn’t know how much it is worth. I liked what you said to comprehend the category of the clock. I will recommend him taking it to a repair shop, that way they can fix it and tell him what the value of it is.

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