The classic Mora Clock is a type of floor clock (or longcase clock) with a unique shape and soft colors. It was a tradition in some Swedish families to gather around the Mora Clock on Sunday mornings while it was wound and readied for the week ahead.
Nowadays, the curvy body and the timeworn clock face of a Mora Clock have become a rare and attractive finding for collectors. It is an iconic decorating piece for so many different decor styles, such as the French, Gustavian, Cottage, and Farmhouse decorating styles.
Originally, the production of Mora Clocks started in the late 18th century in, and got their name from, the town of Mora in Dalarna province, Sweden. This happened when a large number of the Mora population fled to Stockholm during several years of drought in the Mora area. In Stockholm, people from Mora were able to learn clock making and when they returned to Mora, they used these skills in a local craft based industry.
The production of Mora Clock was split between different families and each family would "specialize" by making one or more of the parts required. For example, one family would craft the clock’s case, another family would work on the clock mechanism and after the clock was assembled, the clock was ordered and painted to the owner's own needs by another family. This cooperative manufacture allowed the families to produce up to 1000 clocks per year.
The Mora clocks were produced through most of the 19th and approximately 50,000 Mora Clocks were made during the period until the American and German clocks were imported to Sweden. The increased competition of mass production with the new styles and cheaper prices put Mora Clocks production out of business.
A huge variety of styles exists for Mora Clocks as the cases were custom painted for each client. Moreover, there are regional differences of Mora Clocks styles within Sweden. Even though the clocks were made in the same basic shape, the style of the Mora Clocks from the North of Sweden is different from the one that was made in the South of Sweden.
Despite the regional differences, there are some similarities for the Mora Clocks. The Mora Clocks for wealthier clients had elaborate ornate carvings and hand painted details while the Mora clocks in country style had simpler details and were painted in only one or two colors. Additionally, the common shape of the Mora Clocks was based on the figure eight, or rounded female form. But each Mora Clock bears the personality of the creator.
The paint colors depended on the preference of the original owner which explains the variety of Mora Clocks finishes. Often, the original clocks were repainted once they were passed down to the next generation. In addition to the variety of different paint colors and carved detailing that can be found on Mora Clocks, the patterns also varied greatly from floral and scenic paint patterns to chinoise, heavily gilded and with ornamentations.
Another important part of the Mora Clock is its face. The face of the Mora Clocks is inclined to have curved rounded glass. The clockmakers used to put their initials on the clock face as well as the name of the village where the Mora Clock was created and assembled. Krang Anders Andersson of Ostner was one of the most famous clockmakers who signed the Mora Clocks that he made with ‘AAS Mora’.
The original Mora Clocks have an eight day movement that need to be wounded every week and either two striking bells or a spiral wire gong. The pendulum and the weights of the Mora Clock are made of cast iron and similar to the clock’s face, covered with a rounded glass which allows to see the swinging pendulum.
Nowadays, a significant amount of Mora Clock’s original mechanisms were replaced with the modern movement as it is difficult to find parts for replacement. To see the mechanism, an additional side window on the hood of the clock was added but only for a limited number of Mora Clocks due to the scarcity of glass in Sweden.
Because of the age of the Mora Clocks and specific location where they were made, they are very rare to find and can be quite expensive. That is why various clock manufacturers have a reproduction of the Mora Clocks. Howard Miller Clock Company introduced a few reproductions of the Mora Clocks that are very well made and capture the authentic Mora look. These reproductions use modern movements to power the clock.
Howard Miller Anastasia Floor Clock is designed to resemble a Swedish Mora clock from the 1800s and has plenty of antique detailing. This timepiece has a removable crown for two elegant looks. The clock is painted in a beautiful chippy, timeworn Aged Linen finish but also available in Aged Gray finish and Aged Auburn finish. The pendulum bob and weight shells have an aged nickel finish for an antique style.
Howard Miller Nashua Floor Clock has the look of a Mora clock, with antique brass-finish details including a pendulum and Heirloom Nameplate. This Mora-style clock has a Worn Black finish for the look of a well-loved heirloom, along with an antique brass pendulum that is visible through a glass-covered cutout on the front door. It’s beautiful, and perfect for getting the look without spending all your savings.
Howard Miller Arendal Floor Clock is a clock influenced by Scandinavian design. The natural wood color of Tuscany Cherry finish makes this clock different since normally you see Mora Clocks painted in a dry-brush shabby chic way in pastel colors. Special details of this clock include a convex glass crystal on the hinged top door, decorative carved accents, and a turned urn finial. Aged to match the era, the antiqued dial offers Roman numerals, black serpentine hands, and a separate track for counting seconds.
Howard Miller Diana Floor Clock is a mora style clock that features a hinged top door framed with decorative overlays and complementing a detailed removable crown. Carved leaf design accents are paired with a heavily carved leaf design in the lower door. Standing over 7 feet tall, it makes quite the statement!
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