Choosing the Right Mantel Clock

It is very important to be aware of the options whenever planning to buy a mantel clock. Extremely popular in the 18th and the 19th centuries, they were relatively inexpensive. These timepieces are meant to be placed on a person's mantel- thus the name. However, this does not mean that Westminster chiming mantel clocks have to be placed on the mantel; in fact, they can be placed anywhere around the house.

Considered to be quite fashionable, these clocks enhance the interior décor of a house.

The following information is a must for anyone wishing to buy one.

The Types

There are numerous types of these timepieces available that can improve the appearance of any home. The type should be selected based on the home décor, the clock size, and the budget.

Besides this, the features of this timepiece must also need to be considered. The person buying it also needs to choose from battery-operated ones and those that need to be wound up.

Wind Up

Wind up versions usually need to be wound at least once a week. There are however, certain models that only require to be wound every fortnight. A manual switch is often included in such a timepiece that enables a person to switch off the chiming feature. Some also come equipped with an automatic night silencer feature.

Battery Operated

These are newer inventions. Battery operated versions come with a number of features, including alarm functions. While this is indeed a modern version of the clock, the design can be based on antique décor. The sound these models produce is of a very high quality but somewhat different from wind up versions.

Materials

Mantel clocks are made from a variety of materials, and this has a huge impact on not only the overall quality of the device, but also its price. Some of the materials used to create them are as follows:

Wood

Old mantel pieces were mostly made out of oak and cherry tree, and were placed on the mantle shelf often above an 'open' fire; over a period of time this caused the oil within the clock to 'dry out' and the clock stopped functioning. The material may have solid pieces or it may have been developed from wooden paneling. Traditionally, these are the ones that were made in the Americas were painted, engraved, and came fitted with a metal such as brass.

Porcelain

Some of the above types of clocks, are made out of porcelain and it is very common to see various designs and paintings on them. Renowned clock makers have for years created porcelain timepieces with attractive designs.

Precious Metals or Stone

Previously, some clocks were made of silver and gold and were extremely expensive. Slate and marble are the most popular stones used to create them. These, however, are heavy but showcase an intriguing appearance.

Modern Style

As compared to the antique counterparts, modern style clocks possess a lot of additional features. Many of today's versions are designed (in appearance) to mimic antique models; however, they feature all the modern features including alarms and other features of modern day watches.