the antique clock that finally came home

by | Apr 16, 2021 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds, Living Room, My House | 31 comments

This story starts all the way back in November of 2018 when we visited Jeff’s family in North Carolina for Thanksgiving.  I went to a beautiful local shop (The Mercantile in Knightdale, NC) to do a milk paint demo while I was there.  This shop has amazing vendors and I wanted to buy so many things!  I ended up buying just a few small things, but I took photographs of the displays and pieces I loved the most, including this antique clock.  It was priced well, but we were in my mother-in-law’s Camry, so we wouldn’t be able to get it home.  So, I appreciated it and then left it for someone else to buy.

The Mercantile, Knightdale, NC | Antique Clock | Miss Mustard Seed

I posted about the clock here on my blog and when I got back home to Minnesota, I received a text from my dad letting me know he had bought it for me!  Now, my dad is so sweet and generous, but this is not normally what he does when I swoon over something on my blog!  There was just something about this clock.  One of the sweet vendors at the store, Kim of In Sweet Time, delivered it to my in-law’s house, and my in-laws agreed to store it in their house until our next visit.

It ended up becoming a semi-permanent fixture in their front hall because we didn’t come to pick it up until a couple of weeks ago!

The clock was in excellent hands, though, and benefited from the long visit with the grandparents.  Mike, my father-in-law, is a clock enthusiast and he was all over this clock!  He has so many beautiful antique clocks in their home and he has restored a few beautiful antique clocks I’ve bought in the past.  He enjoys hopping on forums to talk clocks with other enthusiasts and this was a new clock to research.  He assessed the clock, tinkered with it, and made suggestions to me about restoring it to working order.  He even kept an eye on eBay for an original face to replace the one with missing paint and for a pendulum.

The fathers in our family really put a lot of love into this clock and I feel that every time I look at it, now that it’s hanging in our living room.

blue and white living room | antique clock | miss mustard seed

Hanging it might seem like an odd choice, but this clock was actually made to be hung or to sit on the floor!  Sitting on the floor, though, it felt a little short in relation to our 9′ ceilings, so I decided to hang it.

hanging a heavy antique clock | miss mustard seed

It’s a very heavy clock, so we used a cleat to support the weight and to allow it to hang over the chair rail.  A lower block holds the clock level.  The cleat is drilled into a stud, so it’s secure.

hanging a heavy antique clock | miss mustard seed

We have a little more room to raise the clock on the cleat, so I think we’ll probably do that.  It’s still feeling a touch low to me in relation to the other artwork in this room.

blue and white living room | antique clock | miss mustard seed

It’s just a beautiful clock and one that Mike said is quite valuable.  It will cost at least $300 to get a pendulum (they’re rare) plus some more on a clock expert to get it running again, but I might do that at some point.  As odd as it sounds, I didn’t love it as a clock.  I loved it for the patina on the case, those pretty Roman numerals, the little peek at the brass gears, and the beveled glass.  I loved it as a piece of art.  Getting it to work would be a bonus, but I’m happy with it as it is.

antique clock face | miss mustard seed

I am going to give the case a good rubdown with some Hemp Oil to bring out the richness of the wood even more, but I just couldn’t wait to hang it!  After over two years of waiting, it’s nice to have it home.

Thank you, Dads!


  1. Babs

    We have clocks that are 40 years old and have just have them repaired and reconditioned. We had a heck of a time just finding someone to work on them as the two clock people we had used before have both retired. We did manage to track someone down with the help of our local jeweler. He did a great job and they are both ticking along…both Grandfather and schoolhouse are up to speed now. It took a long time to get the parts and it wasn’t cheap. It would have been cheaper to buy a new schoolhouse clock but ours was an anniversary gift so it had special meaning to us. Clock repair, like cursive writing, seems to be a lost art.

    • Evelyn

      Would you or Jeff be able to build a pedestal for the clock so it would not be floating on the wall? It is a beautiful clock. I have a good clock repair guy in Houston but that doesn’t do you any good! He repaired a tall case Pennsylvania clock which we inherited from my husband’s great aunt.

  2. Kathleen Crigler

    Loving this old clock!! Quite a beautiful addition to your home!!

  3. Linda

    I cherish an old green marble mantle clock of my grandmother’s when visiting my parent’s home. It doesn’t work either, but something about it’s shape and age just catches my eye! I agree with your characterization, these old clocks are art indeed!

  4. Cindy W

    Marian, Your clock and its story are beautiful and I can appreciate the beauty of it you admire. In your pictures, one of the things I admire is that linen and blue plaid upholstered chair. Did you once do a post on that, or could you again? I have a chair similar that I would love to get redone and would use yours as inspiration for my upholstery company. I just love it! Thanks!

  5. Donna T

    I had a wall clock exactly like the one you had hanging in that spot before. It broke after many years. We took it to the clock shop for a repair and the price was that of a new clock. I was crushed so gave it away to a guy who said he wanted it and had a friend who might fix it for him. He fixed it for $25! I really don’t want it back but feel it is away from home too. I hope it is happy. It chimed in our house for many years. I hope he winds it.

  6. Nan, Odessa, DE

    Like,you, I so appreciate the be ad dutiful wood. The object doesn’t have to work. Just looking as t beautiful wood makes me smile!

  7. Janet in Kansas City

    Such a beautiful clock, and I really like knowing that it doesn’t have to be working to be loved.

  8. Jane

    I just love the story on your beautiful clock!

  9. sandi m

    Love, love, love the clock. While I have several clocks collected many years ago, one of my favs is a “grandaughter” clock. It doesn’t work and not sure if it is even fixable, but it stands proudly on my stairs landing.

    Great idea to hang yours on the wall – don’t need to worry about hitting it when cleaning the floor.
    Sadly, the art of fixing antique clocks is becoming scarce.

  10. Dana

    That’s a beautiful story.
    These are the treasured possessions that make a house a loving home.

  11. Deb

    I saw a Bakelite clock from the 1930’s that reminded me of my grandparents and my husband purchased it for my birthday. It ran great for 2 years and then died. My sweet husband, after a futile search for a new motor, ordered a modern battery operated motor and installed it. Now it has no cord and can move anywhere in the house. Is it authentic? Well, no but it was gifted and repaired with love. Priceless!

    • Babs

      I had thought of doing just that to one of my clocks but, in the end, decided to do a major overhaul. I thought it was a good solution to a problem.

    • Lawrence Dale Kinsey Jr.

      Well I absolutely love antique clocks. It is a passion with me so I can really appreciate your beautiful large clock. I collect antique clocks having nearly 200 of them, with clocks on display in every room of my home. I do a complete restoration with mine having a gentleman who can repair the movements while I restore the cases. I have clocks dating back to the early 1800’s. Antique clocks are just beautiful works of art giving us a glimpse into another bygone day….

  12. MaryS

    Marian, it is stunning!! You have great “dads”!!

    But I was wondering since you have 9′ ceilings, did you consider hanging it above the wainscoting? It looks like it would fill the space but not be too large. No matter… it’s still a gorgeous piece!

    • Marian Parsons

      I think it would just barely fit above the chair rail, but it wouldn’t look very balanced, in my opinion, if hung that high. I am going to raise it a bit, but I like it fill the wall more like a piece of furniture.

  13. PJ

    Oh my goodness, I have tears in my eyes. Your story reminded me of the many times my dear dad helped me out with a fix-up project. I miss his wisdom and good advice. You are blessed to have these dads in your life.

  14. Casey

    Beautiful clock. And I agree….it needs to hang higher on the wall, for sure.


    Wonderful Dads! Beautiful story! Lovely old clock! I know you will treasure this for many years to come. So happy that you were able to get your clock home to enjoy!

  16. Marylisa

    I love that you hung this clock. The hanger in the back of the clock looks like it was meant to be on a wall. Great piece and the love of “the dads” makes it very special!

  17. Addie

    Way to go…DADS!!!! Beautiful clock. Looks nice in that spot.

    I was wondering, when you went to hang your new “Boy” picture was it difficult to stick that nail into the mural? I don’t think I could have done that. It does look nice in there too. The mural it just soooooooo lovely, perfect and grand!!!
    Your dining room is one of my favorite rooms in your home.

  18. Debbie

    I so understand the attraction to the clock based on the patina, etc. I have one that sits on my mantle that has never worked in the 35+ years I’ve had it. It was given to me by my aunt who bought it at an antiques shop because of the very same thing….patina.

    I agree that the clock needs to be hung higher….but I’d probably have to hang it above the chair rail! It’s a beautiful clock, and now you’ve added your own sweet story to the one it already had.

  19. SueA

    I have an old “banjo” clock that hung in my grandmother’s house since the 50’s and probably her mother’s house before that. It was converted to a plug-in style at some point but when I got it, the curved glass was broken and the workings didn’t work. My clock guy found perfect replacement glass and converted it to battery operated. Gasp, sacrilege. But it is a beautiful reminder of that gracious lady, my dear grandmother.
    Boy those were the days, right? When every bit of useful equipment was an opportunity to create a work of art.

  20. anne

    Love this story … especially that you know what you see to appreciate!

  21. Alexandra Benedict

    What a beautiful find. I can see why you were swooning over it. I could stare at that for hours while sipping tea and reading a good book. Congratulations on brining it home.

  22. Ann C

    I have a sign by my old clocks that I no longer wind. It says:
    “Even a clock that doesn’t work is correct twice a day!”

  23. Kathie B

    I remember your original post about this clock and have often wondered what happened to it. I’m so pleased it’s made it’s way home. It reminded me of a friend who used a small inheritance to purchase a long case clock. Her siblings used theirs to buy a car and bed. Although she worried that it wasn’t a practical use of her inheritance, 40 years later, she still has the clock but the car and bed are long gone. Every day it brings her precious memories and it is to be passed on to her daughter. I’m sure your clock will always remind you of the love of your dads.

  24. Jen

    Beautiful clock and wonderful story. My grandfather owned a jewelry store and watch/clock repair bus In Pennsylvania. After my grandfather passed away my grandmother ran the jewelry store. When my father was home from college, and then seminary, he would go to homes to reset and balance the pendulums. When I was a child and we were home for visits my grandmother would have a list and I would travel with my father while he would visit the homes and adjust the clocks. He would show people how to do it but they preferred him to do it. Sometimes there would be a note on the door for him to just go in. How our world has changed. Your post brought back old memories. Enjoy your clock!

  25. Donna Doble-Brown

    Marian. . . She sure is a stunner and I am with you, I love her as it. Just beautiful 💚

  26. Kristin and Ken Gjertsen

    I inherited a clock that has been in my mother’s family for 140 years. It has been passed down through generations, been “modernized” from a pendulum and weights version when it was first purchased to an 1870s transition to a winding mechanism. Clock has spent time in many different homes, glass front was once broken when a child stood on the clock and I remember my mother crying, but it was soon repaired with new glass, and at least two times 30 years apart the clock’s innards have been deep cleaned and adjusted by a skilled clockmaker. I love the ticking sound and chimes because it reminds me of long gone but deeply loved family members. I hope your family enjoys your clock as much as we do ours.

  27. Sharon Rexroad

    i googled “clockmaker minneapolis” and discovered there are several folks in the twin cities that might be able to help you find your pendulum and related parts. what a fun journey you will have with her (i think it’s a her because she’s so pretty and you need another feminine spirit in your house full of men and men-to-be). there’s also a minnesota clockmakers guild!



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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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