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Footprints In Antiquity And Timepieces

Jan 24, 2008
History is not only found in the moldy pages of history books, in the halls of great museums or in the pillars of citadel ruins. No, you can find traces to history in the most unexpected places. Perhaps, in an old desk covered in bills and papers that date years back. Or perhaps in a classic painting (even a reproduction), that hangs obscurely against the wall of a dimly lit hallway in your house. It could be so many things. Take a closer look and these items will speak to you and soon you will learn that there is more to antiques that what they seem at first glance.

The term 'antique' is derived from the Latin word "antiquus" that is translated to mean "old". Just by word Etymology, we can surmise what an antique really is. In all simplicity, it is something old; something that has survived through the ages, something that has stood as silent witness to the events that have effectively changed the world and all in it. This is probably the main reason why people are drawn to gather and collect antique pieces.

Somehow an antique table, dresser, book, jewelry and others provides them with a look into how things were in the past. Owning an antique does not only mean owning a piece of time and history. It is also viewed as investment. The older the piece is and the better shape it is in, the handsomer its price will be. Antiques can be found everywhere, from specialty shops to auction houses and most of the time they are handed down as heirlooms - pieces that have been a part of the family or a part of its heart for ages.

Perhaps one of the more famous pieces of antiquity are antique timepieces. From golden pocket watches, ancient marble sundials to stately grandfather clocks that stand in attention against a great wall. It was the Egyptians who were first to grasp the concept of time. They were the first to build sundials. Sundials are timepieces that were made to tell time by using the movement of the great sun god's chariot over the horizon.

During the Middle Ages, Tower clocks stood above towns and served to be a gentle dictating hand over the actions of the people of the towns and cities that it shadows. As clocks progressed, we saw the development of the mechanical timepiece. The first styles of it lacked the pendulum which was developed only in the latter half of the 14th century and it was in the 17th century that clocks started to have hands that were made to tell the time.

Auction houses usually features antique clocks from desktop size to grandfather clocks.
Some famous displays include a Louis XV Boulle bracket clock, with an auction price at $56,000. A carved column shelf clock created by Mark Leavenworth was auctioned at $53,900 and another finely crafted shelf clock made by Asa Munger went for $57,750. But the all time record high was on October 2000, for an 18th century mahogany American tallcase clock which fetch $611,000 at Christies Auction house.
About the Author
Benedict Hunter writes articles for Driscolls Antique Furniture and Beemoved Local Removal Company
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