Types of Grandfather Clocks Tops – Swans Neck, Bonnet, Flat or Round Styles

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Many buyers of grandfather clocks, whether looking for grandfather clocks discounts, sales, or those for whom money is no object, ask about what the basic styles and choices are for the top part of any grandfather clocks. In our experience, and whether one is talking about antique grandfather clocks or the vintage or new floor clocks (another term frequently used more or less synonomously for grandfather clocks), the style of the tops generally fall into one of four categories.

This is as true for Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks as it is for antique grandfather clocks made by skilled craftsmen since grandfather clocks first started being made back in 1650.

We would break them down into the following four categories:

1. Split Pediment Grandfather Clock Top – also frequently referred to as a Swans Neck top, and are generally associated with the more traditional looking grandfather clocks. Below is an example of a grandfather clock with a Split Pediment:

Example of Grandfather Clock with Split Pediment Top Traditional Grandfather Clock with Swan’s Neck or Split Pediment Top

2. Bonnet Topped Grandfather Clock – generally a grandfather clock with a decorative top centerpiece, and can be on top of a traditional grandfather clock design, or one with a contemporary clock look, and some that may look a little bit of each. Below are examples of two Bonnet Topped Grandfather Clocks:

Traditional Bonnet Top Grandfather Clock Traditional Grandfather Clock with Bonnet Top

Bonnet Topped Contemporary Grandfather Clock Contemporary Grandfather Clock with Bonnet Top

3. Flat Top Grandfather Clock – description pretty much speaks for itself, and can be the top of either a Contemporary Grandfather Clock or a Traditional Grandfather Clock.

Contemporary Flat Top Grandfather Clock Flat Top Contemporary Grandfather Clock

Traditional Flat Top Grandfather ClockTraditional Flat Top Grandfather Clock

4. Round Top Grandfather Clock – which can be either a contemporary or more traditional look for a grandfather clock, and can be more of a full circle sitting on a base or a half-circle more integrated with the design of the clock. Examples of some different styles are shown below, including one which, while having a rounded top, has another feature which clearly sets it apart from the clock.

Grandfather Clock with Round Top Number One

Circular Round Top Grandfather Clock – Example 1

Circular Round Top Slim Grandfather Clock - Example 2

Slim Circular Grandfather or Grandmother Clock – Example 2

Contemporary Circular Grandfather Clock - Example 3

Rounded Top Grandfather Clock – Example 3

Circular Top Grandfather Clock with a Twist - A Spike

Circular Top Grandfather Clock with a Twist – a Spike – Example 4

The limits of the designs of grandfather clocks are only limited by the imagination of the artisans and craftspeople, not to mention incorporationg the mechanisms and dials, and there are likely dozens of examples that would not fit neatly into any one or even more of the above categories. Grandfather Clocks have the personality of their makers and designers, and to the tastes and influences of cultures, artists of different periods, the consumers – from old-time aristocrats to larger markets of consumers. Clocks have PERSONALITY!™

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  13. Jess says:

    I would love to get a grandfather clock but they are just too expensive and to be honest I probably don’t have the room. One day though!