Have you ever heard of antique Japanese clocks?
If you haven’t, and you are a fan of antique clocks, then you are missing out on a very intriguing part of the collecting market. Antique Japanese clocks are highly collectable, and some of the rarer ones can be worth quite a bit of money. Japanese clocks differ from European primarily due to an innovation that the Japanese came up with. The innovation involved the lacquering of the iron parts of the clock. This process was slow and very labor intensive, so why would they bother taking this step when building a clock? Simple, it’s because lacquer helped to protect the delicate iron parts, helping to prevent corrosion.
When it comes to collectability there are a few important factors that come into play. First, is the item rare? If it’s not rare, it may still be collectable, but it probably won’t be very valuable. Is it attractive or appealing? Finally, what kind of condition is it in? Typically, collectors prefer items to be in pristine or near pristine condition. Why is this important? Because most of the time, antique Japanese clocks check all three of these boxes.
Antique Japanese clocks are rare, they weren’t mass produced, and the more valuable ones were made with great care and with expensive materials. Antique Japanese clocks are also quite beautiful, comparable to, or depending on who you ask, superior to other antique clocks from the same time period.
The final criteria regarding the collectability of Japanese antique clocks regards their condition. When compared with other clocks form the same time period Japanese clocks hold up very well and are often in better condition. Now granted, there are other factors that come into play. Was the clock cared for? Was it maintained? Was it cleaned and has it been repaired? These are all important factors that contribute to the condition of a clock, and if a clock has been abused it doesn’t matter how well it was made, it’s still going to not be as valuable as a well-maintained clock.
But, with all other factors being equal, Japanese antique clocks are usually in better condition than their counterparts from around the world due to the lacquer coating on their iron parts. This is why that extra step was taken, it shows a dedication to craftsmanship and into building something that is meant to last. Because of this extra step that was taken, many Japanese antique clocks have survived and are working as well today as the day they were first built.