What is a European Swedish antique mora clock? What is the history behind mora clocks? And where to purchase an antique or reproduction mora clock? These are the questions I searched the first time I laid eyes on a long case grandfather style mora clock and after years of dreaming of having one I am excited to be adding it to our home.
Last week we went on a journey across the country to pick up an antique mora clock. We traveled from Florida to Michigan through snow and fields of farmland but I am getting ahead of myself.
Let's rewind to where it all began and answer some of the questions you may have about European Swedish antique mora clocks.
What is an antique Mora Clock?
A mora clock is a longcase clock that sits on the floor like a grandfather clock. But a mora clock is unique in that it has a female form shape.
With a distinctive carved base and round top, the gentle curves of the unique shape is the hallmark of the Scandinavian clock. But in addition to their beautiful design, these Swedish clocks have a history of overcoming obstacles that is beautiful too.
The History of Mora Clocks
The antique Swedish mora clock was crafted in the late 1700s through 1850 in the town of Mora. The original Mora clocks were born from necessity during hard times. Because of a drought, the villagers sought out another way to make ends meet and put food on the table. So they learned the art of clock making.
What a great example of adapting to changing circumstances.
In some ways, you might say they were the first assembly line business. When a person wanted to purchase a clock they would seek out the clockmaker, painter, woodworker, and so on. Once they chose each person then each piece of the clock would be made and passed on to the next craftsman until it was complete.
So the face of the mora clock, clock body and clock works were crafted individually.
The Production of Mora Clocks
The production of mora clocks was individualized. This is why no two mora clocks are alike. The decorative elements may depend on the type of mora clock. Some clocks are called city clocks because of their lovely chinoiserie design while others are called country clocks because of their simplicity.
Mora clocks may be decorated in beautiful folk art. Most of the time these clocks were purchased for a bride so many are called bridal clocks. What a wonderful wedding presents!
Generally, a bridal mora clock is simplistic and the original paint color was yellow, orange, green, blue, or white. Because these timepieces were necessary to families they were handed down from one generation to the other. Some ancestors would paint the clock to match their decor which is why many have layers of paint.
One of the features of mora clock faces is what makes it special. The only way you can identify the artist who made the clock is by the initials on the clock's face. My clock has A. A. Ln on it. Wish I knew who that was. The beautiful face of my clock left no other clues.
Around the mid-1800s factory-made clocks started affecting the mora clock industry. So that is why you see the history timeline stop there. But thankfully over 50,000 mora clocks were made during that short time and there are many left in Europe for antique lovers to purchase.
Where to Buy an antique Swedish Mora Clock?
So where do you find these longcase clocks? If you live in America I would look at Etsy and eBay or do a search on Google. There are more mora clock options in the UK but add in the shipping from abroad if you go that approach. A great place to shop in the UK is White and Faded.
Update: As of April 2023 here is an updated list of the best places to look for antique mora clocks.
Shop antique mora clocks:
Where to Buy Reproduction Mora Clocks?
Depending on your price range, a reproduction mora clock may be a good option. You'll also find a huge variety of styles and variety of colors. There are so many beautiful reproduction mora clocks on the internet to purchase. Amazon and Etsy options like this longcase clock and this wall mora clock. Antique Farmhouse has mora clocks too along with many other beautiful clocks.
So now that you know a little about the history and where to purchase one for yourself let's talk about how to decorate with a mora clock and what encouraged us to buy one.
Shop reproduction mora clocks:
European Swedish Mora Clock
Now back to how our mora clock found its home at Summerhill.
My husband and I have been blessed with antiques that have been handed down from generation to generation. We both love history and old architecture so all these antiques have a happy place in our home.
One day while looking at old vintage decorations on Instagram I saw an antique mora clock. I became curious and wanted to know more. After finding out what it is called I knew it would fit in beautifully in our home decor so I started shopping and found they are not so easy to come by in America.
Next, I searched reproductions and found a few I loved. For years this one reproduction sat in my Amazon wish list but for some reason, I could never click to buy it and no one in the family got it for me for Christmas.
Fast forward to the first of February and I heard through Liz Marie Galvin on Instagram that a shipment of antique mora clocks had arrived in America. So after measuring my car and home I made a purchase and that is where we began this story.
A store in England called White and Faded had been collecting antique mora clocks for over a year and shipped a container to Michigan for Liz to sell in her shop called The Found Cottage. What a treasure of antiques and decorations but the sweetest pieces were the mora clocks.
At this time, March 2022, there is one mora clock still available to purchase but rumor has it that they are considering collecting and shipping more in the future. So keep your eyes open.
When we brought home our mora clock the first thing I did was give it a good cleaning. I inherited some spider webs and dust so I took my blower and dusted it on the inside.
While doing that I discovered what looks like the original paint. On the bottom was a light blue-green color. Can you imagine the painter who first painted this? It's like seeing into a window in time.
Next, we took my drafting horse-hair brush and gently removed layers of dust from the clock mechanism. Look at the gears in the clock. The original mechanisms are elegant in their simplicity. Isn't that fascinating!
Once we cleaned and inspected everything it was time to bring it inside. I had three places I considered for the clock but for now, it has found its home between the dining room and living room. I figure at Christmas we will move it to the entryway or by the television. It will be fun to style it in different places during the year.
Then we placed it against the wall we gently sat the clock on the top and placed the hood around it.
But it didn't seem to be standing straight so we took a level and leveled it by placing a piece of wood behind it using double-sided tape. Depending on the age of the mora clock and condition of your mora clock case, you may need to make a few adjustments as well.
Now our mora clock has a home in our farmhouse style house. I almost feel like my interior design was meant for a Swedish clock. I have had many people tell me that my interior design would fit in Sweden. Even a person I met from Sweden at a conference. There may be more Swedish antiques in my future.
After going through this experience you might be asking was it worth it and I am still happy I brought an antique mora clock into my home. The answer is yes. It fits into my decor beautifully giving it character and a vintage farmhouse look. I love my antique clock!
Like Anne of Green Gables, I have always had lots of imagination and antique furniture is filled with imagination. I love how this mora clock has my personal story now as well as its journey to America from White and Faded. But who knows where it began and the first people who inhabited it. I like to think my antique clock has a rich and beautiful history from the village of Mora in the south of Sweden.
That is the fun part of owning a mora clock. There are a variety of mora clocks, both antique and reproduction, that can fit your decor. If you choose to purchase an antique clock and find one in good condition, it will become a statement piece to enjoy for years to come. If you love clocks, check out my 9 Large Wall Clock Decor Ideas to Liven up your Home post and learn more about decorating with clocks.
Now it is your turn. Do you love antiques? Do you know any more history about mora clocks? I would love to know.