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Silas Hoadley Grandfather Clock, fully restored (wood movement) Advice on how to sell?

Prof D.

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Jul 1, 2021
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Dear Wood Movement Enthusiasts

I inherited a beautiful Silas Hoadley grandfather clock (wood movement), which I recently had fully restored. It keeps perfect time, is in a lovely, unmarked mahogany case and has a painted face. I am now moving overseas and want to advertise the clock for sale - but this is not my milieu and I don't know where to begin. The number of online dealers is overwhelming.

Can any of you advise me on the best way to proceed?

Advance thanks and kind regards, Prof D.
 

Jerome collector

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Prof D.,
I've never sold a tall case clock, so I'm not speaking from experience. However, one challenge not faced with much smaller shelf and wall clocks is getting the clock to the buyer. You could leave arranging that to the buyer. In other words, the buyer finds a suitable shipper and coordinates having it boxed for transport. If shipping seems like too much to deal with (whether you handle it yourself or have the buyer handle it), then you're looking at a much smaller pool of buyers, essentially within driving distance of your location. Craigslist and eBay are good platforms for selling all sorts of things, even tall case clocks. Both of those require knowledge and work on your part (registering as a user, setting up the listing, coordinating with the buyer, etc.). You could also try your area for an antiques dealer willing to buy the clock from you or a consignment shop that would sell it on your behalf (for a cut of the sales price). One factor to consider if you go the local route is how large (or small) your potential pool of buyers would be, because that may affect how long it takes to sell the clock. If you're willing to share, generally speaking, the part of the country you live in, members might be able to provide thoughts on how easy it would be to sell locally. And, of course, ultimately the condition of the clock will influence the amount of interest. Although you indicate it's fully restored, that can be a negative to some buyers who prefer original condition (even if on the grungy side). If you post some photos of the clock, you might get more feedback on how to go about this. Good luck!
Mike
 

Prof D.

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Dear Mike
Thank you for these thoughts. I think that I can handle professional shipping through the Clock & Watch Shop in New Orleans. They are first-class and did the restoration. So perhaps for the best market I should advertise it online or with an online dealer and offer to ship. However, there seem to be a dozen or so respectable-looking online sites and dealers. Are there one or two that are known to be honest and reliable, or is it pot-luck in your view? I do appreciate your assistance.

Kind regards, Alison
 

Jim DuBois

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It makes little financial sense to ship a 30 hr American-made woodworks tall clock in today's market. Unless, of course, the clock is truly spectacular in some sense. And few fall into that classification.

It sounds like you may have spent a lot of $$$ to "get it restored and running perfectly." That expenditure may not readily translate into additional value in the market today. For example, I picked up a really nice 30 hr WW clock here in Texas at auction 3 months ago. Hardwood case, very graceful case, immaculate, great movement, great dial. It still had a price tag from the shop that owned it. The asking price was $7000. It sold at open auction for one bid, under $500. It was a steal at that price, but it is suggestive of the market today. It was a well-attended auction, a big crowd of antique people, in a big city.
 

Prof D.

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Thank you for forewarning me of the market, Mike. Your illustration of the $7000 clock going for $500 certainly tells a story. I wonder why the market has fallen so much? I suppose that antiques have gone out of fashion - strange to me, as I wouldn't live with anything else.

I saw a similar Silas Handley with painted face, etc on a site sold a couple of years ago for around $16,000....I should not be counting on anything like that, I gather?

I did indeed spend rather a lot having it restored (around $2500, I think). It was special to me, because it came from my mother, but I do not want to try to move it overseas. Thank you again for the head's up!
 

Jim DuBois

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One of our various pundits has asked if I was kidding regarding my note above. Here are the confirmations necessary to verify the auction results and the asking price from the shop/folks who owned it.

As to why prices have fallen so far, it seems mostly a result of the last couple or three generations of our population who have almost no interest in antiques in general, clocks and brown furniture seem to suffer the most so far. Another clock-related market that has suffered considerably is that of the flamboyant grain-painted cases or those with a lot of realistic-looking grain paint.

This first tall-case example has nothing to do with the two clocks from this auction. Just a sample of a clock with paint that brought a lot of money in times now past. The second case is the clock I mentioned selling for actually $350 plus commission. It is cherry cased and in very good condition.

20210305_064955.jpg 20210305_063754 1.jpg IMG_3624.jpg 20210305_083108.jpg img (7).jpg
 
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Prof D.

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Jul 1, 2021
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That is such a beautiful piece - and with the unusual feature of the face featuring A&C's home. I do take your point!
 

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