What Is The Big Deal With Swedish Mora Clocks?

By Jo Lee

There’s something so relaxing about the sonorous tick and chime of a grandfather clock – something we associate with the dark wood houses of our grandparents. Austere and splendid at the same time. The dark wood , brass etched faces, imposing presence, pendulum swing – a doorway into the past. The stuff of Edgar Allen Poe and Sherlock Holmes.

Now that interiors tend toward lighter paler shades in muted beiges or creams, the good old grandfather clock would seemed to have outlived in usefulness in our electric age and have no place in anything other than period homes. The sombre colours and rectangular structures seem at odds with todays more freeflowing zeitgeist as well as the predominantly lower ceilings of modern apartment living.

Well that’s not entirely true.

The Antique Swedish Mora clock from the 1800s blends a wonderful curvacious shape, so different to the traditional English or Continental Clock, with a wonderful array of light swirling colours that so eminently suit today’s interiors.

The traditional mora clock shape is the classic ‘woman’ curve – narrow at the waist and extended at the bust and hips- it’s a very sensuous design and very pleasing to the eye. It looks cool too.

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They originate from Mora in Sweden and it is thought that there were about 50 000 clocks produced during their heyday in the 1800s with the best known signed ‘A A S Mora’.

Mora was originally a farming community but as the villagers fell on hard times they took to making these wonderful clocks with each family specialising in producing just one part of each clock- the hood, the body, front plate, the feet etc.

So no two clocks are ever exactly alike unless you go for a modern reproduction which has none of the ancestry or artistry of an original piece. This is part of their magic. The handmade imperfections and flaking paint finishes of old age.

The heights vary from short 5′ clocks to 7′ + whoppers and they can be very plain if done in country style with just a colour wash finish and plain hood, to incredibly embellished handpainted designs and clockhoods with all sorts of appointments and tiaras on top.

The mechanisms usually have both hourly and 1/2hr chime with twin bells and are controlled with a pair of 18 lb weights like English grandfather clocks with twin winding brackets on the handpainted clock face. They will have 2 hands unlike the earlier baroque style of clock from the 1700s which tended to have single handed mechanisms.

They usually clean up well and with a bit of love and attention work just as well today as they did when they were made.

What most people forget is that it is the regularity of the pendulum swing that powers the clock – you can have a piece in perfect working order that refuses to go because the place in which it stands is not absolutely flat. That’s why you need a clock specialist to set up your clock when it is moved to make sure it stands at the correct angle to allow the pendulum its correct swing plane.

This also explains why many old mora clocks have holes gouged in the back – the only way to stabilise a clock in some situations with wobbly period floors is to bolt to the wall to maintain the correct angle for the pendulum.

Mora clocks make a great visual statement in any room, working just as well in a corridor as in the living room or study. They are a great feature and are a gift that can be passed down to future generations.

About the Author: swedishinteriordesign.co.uk gustavianfurniture.co.uk bespoke-handmade-furniture.co.uk moraclocks.co.uk

Source: isnare.com

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