Internet Horology Club 185
grandfather clock dial feet

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November 12, 2015, 19:28
John Moore
grandfather clock dial feet
I have notices that some antique grandfather clocks might have two, three or four dial feet. Can the age and country of manufacture be determined by the number of feet the dial has? I have also heard dial feet referred to as dial posts. I am not sure which is correct.

John W. Moore
November 13, 2015, 01:08
David E. Booth, Jr.
Watches have "dial feet" clocks have "dial posts". The number of posts is no indicator of country or location of origin for clock dials.
BEst indicator of country of origin is the quality and type of decoration in the spandrels and arch, but even that is not an absolute. (In some cases, an expert art historian might disagree, but I would posit that the artwork on a dial merely indicates the background of the person who applied it, and may or may not be where the dial was actually made.)The best way to get a feel for country or region of origin of dials is to study lots of known examples. There are some main features that are usually associated with particular regions, though. Wood dials with curved faces, particularly across the numeral track, for example, are usually associated with German, Austrian and Bavarian clocks made between about 1750 and 1850. This is nbot a hard and fast indicator, though. Some of those dials were made in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and even upstate New York, by Germanic immigrants.
November 13, 2015, 07:37
John Moore
Thanks David. My thinking was that certain clockmakers or areas, by custom, only put a certain number of posts on their dials or during a certain period in history, dials only had 2,3 or 4 posts, ie, English tall case clock dials only had "X" number of feet between 1800 and 1840. Was the number of feet just a personal preference of a given clockmaker? Why don't all tall case clock dials have the same number of feet?