The clock on my Grandmother's piano

My Grandmother owned a nice mantle clock. It sat on top of her upright piano, and Grandmother kept it wound. It ticked away, and bonged the quarter, half, and three-quarter hours, as well as the hours themselves. I well remember staying at Grandma’s house when Mom and Dad went on vacation, and though I was often unable to sleep in an unfamiliar place, I was still able to tell the time by the clock’s bonging of the hours.

Grandmother died, and the clock passed into possession of my aunt (my mother’s sister). Auntie kept the clock going, but reported that one day, it just didn’t work. Still, it sat upon the piano, hands frozen at 3:15.

A couple of years ago, Auntie passed away, and I found that she left the clock to me in her will. It recently arrived; and I put it on my own piano; and to my delight, when it arrived, it was ticking again. Apparently, it just needed a little bit of a jolt to get it working again, which it got in moving, and now it is happily ticking away and bonging the hours from the top of my piano. I have the winding key, and plan to keep it going. It is a treat to see and hear it again.

This is indeed mundane and pointless, but I had to share. It is a beautiful clock, and I am enjoying it.

Wow, thanks so much for that. My parents left me an antique baby buggy from the 1890s. Of course it’s extremely ornate, lots of wicker with a swan on each side. My taste is very contemporary, and the buggy clashes, but I have it in the best window to be seen, and am growing orchids in it.

If the SDMB had a “like” button, I would click it.

Good for you! I had the opportunity to take possession of a large mantel clock from my wife’s grandmother a couple of years ago when she moved out of her house. It was going to be sold but I said I would keep it going and they were happy for it to stay in the family. My wife doesn’t care for the way it looks or sounds, but I love that sort of thing and keep it wound every week, as required. It sits on top of another old family heirloom - a desk made for my great-grandfather, which my grandfather left to me in his will. I doubt either has a great deal of intrinsic value, but I think they are definitely worth preserving as small pieces of family history.

nothing mundane and pointless about a working antique family clock.

My family has an old clock too. It’s a Seth Thomas, two different woods, really pretty, with a little drawer for the wind-up key.

When my daughter was 9 or 10, she asked mom “Can I have it when you die?” Mom laughed and said “Yes, you can have the damn clock”. We call it “the damn clock”. Now she asks me if she can have it.

When she graduated from high schook my grandmother was given, by a cousin, a simple clear glass flower vase, with little blossoms etched on the side.

When I graduated from high school(I’m the oldest grandchild) she gave it to me.

Sixteen years ago, when my cousin’s daughter graduated from high school, (she was my grandmother’s oldest great-grandchild) I gave her the vasx.

I wonder how long it will survive, and be passed on to new generations. I wrote down it’s history, when I gave it up.

When my mother died, my brother and I found a truly hideous china pitcher among her things. There was a paper tag glued to the bottom of it that listed, in what I believe is my great-aunt’s handwriting, the names of all the people who had owned it, starting with my great-great-grandmother and ending with my mother’s name squeezed in at the very bottom. It had obviously been passed down to the youngest daughter in each generation, so my brother felt I should have it (also, it’s too ugly for him to want it). When I brought it home and showed it to my daughters, the older one said to to the younger, “That settles it - it’ll be yours someday!” and I promptly carried on the grand tradition by wrapping it carefully in paper and sealing it in a cardboard box with my younger daughter’s name on it.

I’d much rather have a clock. Congratulations!

Was it taller by half than your grandmother was wide?

I grew up with the family clock sitting on a shelf in the living room of my parents house. The shelf was part of a built-in that had my bedroom closet on the other side, so there’s just a piece of particle board between them. The clock made a loud-ish ticking sound, and a “thunk” every minute, whatever mechanism made the minute hand move all at once every 60 ticks. It was a comforting sound to which I slept for a good portion of my youth.

Right now I have a cheap wall clock that I found by chance and purchased solely because it makes a loud-ish ticking noise that reminds me of that clock. It’s just happenstance that it also matches my decor.

I hope to have that clock one day. Mom knows I want it.

A photo would be nice.

I’d like to see a photo too!

Sorry for the delay; and thanks for reminding me that a photo would be nice.

Have a look.

It’s lovely.

Sweet. Thank you.

That’s a beautiful clock and a sweet story.
I have my grandfather’s pocket watch (it was his father’s before him). When I was still little enough to sit on Grandpa’s lap, I would pull that out of his striped bib overall front pocket to listen to it tick. A few years ago, my dad sent it home with me.

At the time, it no longer kept time, so I took it up to Bowling Green to one of the rare watch repair guys left. I suspected that my late uncle had worked on it at some time (he had been a jeweler) and mentioned it to the proprietor of the shop. When I picked the watch up, he surprised me with a good photo of Uncle Lew’s watchmaker’s mark. Sweet!

I have a 1911 Seth Thomas grandfather’s clock that my grandparents bought for each other as a wedding present in London. It was passed down to my father when my grandparents went into a nursing home and then to me when they moved out of their house to an apartment. It is being refurbished this year to make sure it still will keep working for my son. We also have the wedding portraits of my great great great grandparents who were married in 1824 hanging in our dining room. He looks amazingly like my uncle in certain respects.

Ah, this was my grandmother’s clock, not “My Grandfather’s Clock.”

Ironically, when I was a child taking piano lessons, I played that tune on the piano that the clock now sits upon.

Family continuity…it’s a good thing. In my family the equivalent is three oil paintings passed along from an Uncle, depicting the Chicago lakefront near Oak Park back in the 1930s. I have one and my sisters each have another.

As for your clock, consider taking it in to a clock repair facility (many jewelers do this) for a cleaning and re-oiling. Not a real requirement if it’s running well, but keep it in mind if it falters.

Thanks, ASGuy. I just might do that. It should be wound weekly, but it did falter tonight, after three days since winding. I got it going again with a gentle nudge, but a cleaning and re-oiling wouldn’t hurt. It probably hasn’t had one in fifty years or more.

Thanks again for the advice!