Skip to content

Long Case Clocks

Ireland has a rich heritage in clock-making stretching back to the 17th century, but very few examples have survived prior to 1700.

Stylistically, Irish clocks were greatly influenced by the fashions of contemporary London and to a lesser extent, continental Europe.

From the 1750s the Irish Chippendale style appeared. Dials were large and of brass. The cases were made of walnut, yew, mulberry and various other woods, as furniture fashions changed. Clock hoods were initially flat and followed the decoration of contemporary furniture, with corresponding architectural features.

Later in the century swan-neck pediments became popular. As the century progressed, the highly-engraved brass dials became plainer. Since long-case clocks were regarded as status symbols, they followed and reflected changing furniture styles, for instance Rococo, Neo-classical, Regency and Victorian.

Clocks in the Neo-classical style, with painted dials and broken arched pediment were popular between 1780 and 1820. As in other media, Victorian clocks showed a wide range of styles and designs and in the second half of the 19th century Neo-celtic motifs appeared as stylistic features on cases and hoods.

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date

Receive updates on the latest exhibitions