DESIGN DICTIONARY: Mora Clock
If you are going to walk the walk, you should talk the talk
What is a Mora clock?
MORA CLOCK: a Swedish tall case clock known for its sexy hourglass shape and typical rich patina.
The Mora clock is named after the town in central Sweden where it was made in the 18th and 19th centuries. It often shares the pale grey, whites and blues of other Scandinavian furniture, colors chosen because they reflect candlelight light well during the long Swedish evenings. Some Mora clocks, however, are painted with folk art designs, called "kurbits."
Today, any tall case Swedish clock having an hourglass form is called a Mora clock, even later reproductions.
So why did the people of the town of Mora turn to clockmaking?
When the rural community of Mora was hit hard in the 1700s by bad harvests, its people had to find a way to survive. Other Scandinavian communities were making clocks after a Dutch scientist, Christian Huygens (cribbing from Galileo's sketches), developed the pendulum clock in 1656. The people from Mora decided to follow their example. Soon a cottage industry developed where each family in the town of Mora made a different clock part, such as the pendulums, the faces, the brass mechanics, etc. Sometimes the parts where shipped to a buyer who had the case made locally, which explains the variety in case shapes.
What to look for if you want a good antique.
The very best antique Mora clocks bear the initials AAS on the face. The initials stand for the first Mora clockmaker, Krang Anders Andersson. His oldest known clock dates to 1792. Of course, as is common, there have been forgeries, so it is important to check for other documentary evidence of Andersson's work.
If you want a Mora clock for yourself, the largest selection is found in the United Kingdom at a firm known as Swedish Interior Design. Mora Clock UK also provides ample information on collecting the clocks.