Mora Clock, Long Case Clock and Grandfather Clock are three names that are most commonly used to describe a clock that stands on the floor. The Mora clocks was the eighteenth and nineteenth century real fashion and statement furniture that was both found in the wealthy country homes and in the big mansions. Very few of them were used for time telling and instead as decorations, they were a luxury item and the nicer the body and painting the wealthier you were. They were furnishings if you will.
Many clockworks was in fact manufactured in Mora, Dalarna. The clockworks wasn’t manufactured by one craftsman alone, the work was spread out on multiple people who each had a part in the process. For example, some made the cogwheels, others wrought the pendulums and so on. Even the sales was handled by a specific group of people, all experts in their own areas and all working together to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible. They manufactured both complicated clockworks who could tell the date and ran for over a week before you had to rewind them as well as simpler ones, so called “pjätå-klockor” who only for ran 24 hours before you had to rewind them.
The clockwork manufacturing wasn’t just in mora but in other parts of Sweden too, but since Mora had such a big production and their clocks was sold all over the country the people started to associate the clocks with Mora, hence the name Mora clock. It was also common to buy the clockwork from Mora and then let a local craftsman build the case and another to do the painting.
The more money you had the more you could spend on decorations such as carvings on the case or a more detailed paint job. As far as the paintings goes, blue and other light colors were very expensive and only the wealthiest of people could afford it. Red paint was less expensive and is therefor much more common, that applies to all furnitures not just clocks.
There are few pieces of furniture that are so characteristic as the case of a Mora clock. Every part of the country has their own typical stylistic features and painting which makes it easy to today place the case geographically.
The clocks started to pop up in the upperclass homes during the mid-1700s. The clocks were very popular by the end of the 1700s and all the way in to the mid-1800s, not just in the wealthy homes but in the country home as well. After the 1860s the clocks began to drop in popularity and the production slowed and almost came to a stop.