I Want A Mora Clock

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

See this clock? It’s a Mora clock! I want one…BAD! So when Jo from Swedish Interior Design emailed me awhile back asking about wanting to share with my readers about how to choose one, I was all ears {okay eyes, it was an email}. And besides, I bear a Swedish last name so clearly it’s my destiny to eventually have one of these beauties. I’m so glad I get to learn more about them…I thought you might too. I already know which one I want too!

*Disclaimer:  I am not receiving any compensation for this post I just LOVE Mora clocks and one day I will buy one {from Jo!}

I’ll let Jo take it from here:

Choosing a Swedish Mora Clock

The Swedish Mora Clock is a design classic that has a timeless appeal and works in almost every setting. At Swedish Interior Design, we have over 60 antique Swedish Mora clocks for sale and I thought today I’d share some thoughts on what to look for when you choose a Mora.

Everyone loves them for their unique shape and elegant femininity. The movie ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ is often people’s first entry in the timeless world of the Mora Clock. They are now exceedingly rare and there’s a few things to think about if you want to find the right one.

Remember every original Mora clock is a unique piece, handmade by a craftsman or cooperative so the hood size, clockface, belly shape etc. are always subtly or dramatically different on the clocks you will see.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

They are usually made from pine although we have occasionally found some made in oak and on one occasion, a clock whose body was hollowed out from a single tree trunk! They come in heights from 180-250cm and feature all sorts of decorative carvings, embellishments and paint finishes.

In broad terms, you will find Swedish Mora clocks in a number of types:

Different Types of Mora Clocks

1. Country

The country clocks are usually plainer in appearance and feature simpler decoration. They were often given as wedding present in poorer families and would be a prized possession. Generally they will feature simpler hood ornaments or crowns and use less glass (as it was very expensive). We often see Country clocks with no face glass or pendulum viewing port for example. They also tend to have earthier colours and were often decorated in the Swedish Kurbits folk art tradition with browns, ochres, reds and yellows.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

2. Fryksdall

These rare clocks have a pinched waist, expanded bell, scroll decoration on the waist and neck and extravagant hood crowns. They come in a variety of original whites, crèmes and greys and would be found in the homes of the aristocracy and landed gentry.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

3. Bridal

The rarest of mora clocks, often from the Jamtland area, they have the finest and most exuberant level of decoration, applied carvings and paint effect. Some might view them as too showy but they exhibit the finest level of craftsmanship.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

4. City

I use this catch-all phrase to describe Mora clocks that have fine levels of decorative carving or beautiful painted finishes that set them apart from the simpler country clocks.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

When buying a mora, I always suggest that you set aside logic. There will be one clock that emotionally calls to you and that’s the one to choose rather than try to create a checklist of features that you think you want. The clock will be your friend for life. You will name her, talk to her as you walk past and feel her protective presence watching over you. So go with you heart, not your head.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Three Types of Finishes

1. Stripped Wood

In terms of paint finishes, there seem to be three schools of thought. One or two dealers seems to like stripping the clock back to the bare wood and repainting from scratch. Personally I don’t hold with at this approach. I feel that the clock has accumulated a life and a ‘presence’ from its journey and that by stripping it, you take away the ‘feel’ created by its history. By over restoring, if you strip everything away, you are just left with a clock body made of old wood rather than new – making it not much different from a repro one in reality.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

2. Stripped Back To Original Paint

Secondly, we see many clocks that have been ‘scraped back’ to the original paint. This again to my mind is a misnomer. The original paint when new would have been a full flat coat of chalky paint in pristine condition, and the scraped paint ‘effect’ is just that – an interior design effect that has become synonymous with Mora clocks and Gustavian furniture but bears no reality to what the original finish would have looked like.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

3. Left Alone

The third approach, which we prefer at Swedish Interior Design, is to leave the paint as it is wherever possible or if a repaint is required to allow the life of the clock to show through the paint. To let it live and breathe so to speak.

What you do find is that many Mora clocks were repainted in the early 1900s when they were passed onto the next generation – to ‘freshen’ them up so to speak. In these cases, repainting won’t affect the value and where done sensitively really adds to the clock visually.

Clockwork or Electric Mechanism

Final thought on original clockwork or electric mechanism. This may seem an anathema to some but the original clockworks are very ‘country’ rough and ready, compared to the precision mechanisms of English or other European clocks of the period. This does make them rather temperamental and they also only last 5-6 days without rewinding. So most of our clients choose to have an electric battery mechanism installed for convenience. It looks identical to the original and there’s no damage to the clock as the original mechanism is only held on by a small screw plate and you can of course put it back any time you want.

Mora clock www.somuchbetterwithage.com

I hope this brief meander through the world of the Mora Clock will help you choose the right one for you. You can have a look at our current stock of 60 mora clocks here to see all the different types. We ship all over the world so let us know if theres one you like.

Jo Lee, Director of Swedish Interior Design

Email Address: [email protected]

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{Europe’s no 1 destination for antique Swedish Mora clocks and Gustavian, Biedermeier and Art Deco Furniture}

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  1. What a great and informative post. Thanks so much for sharing that. I’m now drooling over everything at the Swedish Interior Design website 🙂

  2. I’ve been wondering about those clocks and have been wanting one because they are so different. Now, I just REALLY GOTTA HAVE one.

    Thank you for sharing this information.

    ~ Lisa from Indiana ~

  3. I currently have two of these beauties and still want more. (I’m a glutton I know.) I’m actually trying to buy enough to give to my kids as future wedding presents (and have one or two for myself), so I’m glad to see that this was often the original intent of these clocks. With that said, I’ve been scouring the internet for more detailed information on these clocks and have yet to find any books in English on the finer points of these clocks. My big focus is on spotting fake/imitation Mora clocks. There are a few dealers in my area selling clocks that they claim are Mora clocks, but I have my doubts. Do you know of any place where I could find out details on this kind of information?? What specifically defines a Mora clock? Thanks, and I love your website. 🙂

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