Clock Repair Ltd




Precision Horological Instrument Makers & Horologists



 Call Us Now On  0800 211 8925 



How To Date Painted Dial Longcase & Grandfather Clocks

They are basically three style periods of painted clock dials however these are to be used as approximate guides as there are some exception that are known.

Period one 1770-1800

Period two 1800-1830

Period three 1830-1870

Period one 

Dials date from approximately 1770 to about 1800 and look

 similar to this example.



The key indicators to this period are as follows:

The hour numerals are Roman from I to XII.

The minute numerals if shown are Arabic in divisions of five.

Simple corner decoration.

 Period Two 

Dials date from approximately 1800 to about 1830 and look

similar to this example.


The key indicators to this period are as follows:

The Hour numerals more likely in Arabic rather than roman.

Dials usually have more geometric shapes, shells, and patterns in the corners.

The minute numerals in Arabic in divisions of fifteen started to be introduced.

Dials generally become more colourful.


Period Three

Dials date from approximately 1830 toabout 1870 and look

 similar to this example.




The key indicators to this period are as follows:

Minute numbering has phased out.

Hour numerals have reverted back to Roman.

Corner decoration more often are colour scenes.

Arch paintings to do with personal interests with matching corners had also become common.

Dial Makers

Painted longcase and grandfather clock dials are found in many different sizes and styles, English clock dials are generally square or arched top, usually makers did apply their name to the dials of clocks they made, however Painted dial do deteriorate over time with sunlight, fires, and smoking, detail fades and can be rubbed away with cleaning and making it difficult to identify a maker.

With Help from improving forensic technology and careful restoration techniques it is usually possible to identify information missing from a painted dial so they can be restored to their original condition using originally used materials carried out by an experienced qualified restorer.

A dial makers name is often stamped on the reverse of the dial or cast into the false plate which is the dial fixing plate that is mounted on the movement, this name should not be confused with the clockmakers name as usually clock makers did not make painted dials they were purchased from dial makers.

It is possible to have two makers names stamped on a dial this occurred when one maker took over the unused stock of another dial maker.

For any restoration work on your antique clock including cabinet work, French polishing, lacquers and hand waxing, movements and dials please or just advice please call us on 0800 211 8925.


Clock &Watchmaker Research Service

clock maker history

We provide information on clock and watch makers, the information we can provide is not guaranteed to be all there is to know about the maker, but it is a summary of all the information found in research, that is updated regularly.

The charge for this service is £5.99. If you wish to order a clock or watchmaker research report please click the "Buy Now" button below. You will then be asked to proceed and submit your makers name and payment.

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clock repairs manchester 

Once your payment has been made an email with your report will be sent to your email address within 48 hrs.