5 things to know about Swedish clocks

These “Beauty and the Beast clocks” complement today’s serene spaces
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Swedish clocks
Early-19th-century Swedish clock with carved foliage motifs, $6,000, A. Tyner Antiques, swedish­antiques.biz

Photograph by Adam Belanger, courtesy of A. Tyner Antiques

With their distinctive hourglass shape and pastel palette, Swedish clocks exude a feminine charm. A. Tyner Antiques, located in the Galleries of Peachtree Hills, has become one of the nation’s foremost dealers in these elegant timepieces. “They’re just so happy to look at,” says owner Angie Tyner, who’s been known to ship a hundred at a time back from Scandinavia.

  • Swedish longcase clocks were most popular from the late 18th to the mid-19th centuries, says Tyner. Some early versions had only one hand, which indicated the hour. Most antiques cost $3,000 to $6,000.
  • Generally, movements were produced in small factories and cabinets were made by local carpenters. A clock’s style and decoration frequently indicate its place of origin. Simpler clocks from the town of Mora are perhaps best known. Tyner’s favorites are extra curvy clocks from the Fryksdahl region.
  • Cases were usually painted, often many times over, in the usual Swedish palette of grays, creams, and pale blues. Clocks from the central part of the country were occasionally decorated with painted flowers.
  • Today’s owners sometimes choose to replace the original works with a battery-powered quartz movement so the clocks don’t require winding. Though Swedish clocks chime on the hour, their tones are generally not as elaborate as those of English grandfather clocks.
  • Most clocks were custom orders made by local artisans, so there is little consistency in design. “Every time I buy, I see something unique,” says Tyner.

This article originally appeared in our Winter 2016 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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