Couple Inherits Gorgeous Handcarved Antique Gingerbread Clock

The clock at Gem City Home has a significant history that spans generations.

Lauren Thomann is an antique dealer, freelance writer, and editor with 16 years of experience and a B.A. in English and Linguistics. She specializes in antiques (mainly Victorian through Mid-Century), antique jewelry, old house renovations, and lifestyle and home-related content.
Antique hand carved clock
Credit: @gemcityhome

At the heart of @gemcityhome, Brittany and her husband, Kyle, cherish a unique family heirloom—an antique gingerbread clock. This isn’t just any old parlor clock; it’s a handmade testament to generations of resilience and continuity.

How It All Started

The clock’s story began in the late 19th century with Kyle’s great-great-grandfather, who participated in the Oklahoma land rush of 1889. Notably, he insisted he was not one of the “Sooners” who claimed land before they were legally allowed. This man, known for his craftsmanship and ingenuity, constructed the wooden box to house the clock sometime before relocating to Oklahoma.

His son, born around the turn of the twentieth century, inherited his father’s pioneering spirit and his affinity for craftsmanship. After taking up woodworking, he carved the wooden clock box his father crafted, adding his personal touch to the heirloom. The carving was no simple feat. Given the intricate design of the clock, it’s likely that Kyle’s great-grandfather spent several weeks to months carefully carving it with his woodworking tools.

Three Generations of Engineers

Kyle’s great-grandfather was drafted for World War I. However, he turned to mechanical engineering when the war ended before his training was finished. He balanced his career with his woodworking hobby and left behind an engineering textbook filled with notes from the 1920s. As a third-generation engineer, Kyle cherishes the textbook, seeing it as a sentimental connection to his family’s engineering legacy.

Passing on the Heirlooms

Over the years, the clock and the textbook have been passed down from generation to generation. Kyle’s grandfather was in the Navy and inherited the clock when his father died. Recently, Kyle’s dad brought the clock over early because he felt it belonged in a house almost as old as it.

The clock was passed down with its original bottle of oil.

The gingerbread clock remains an important heirloom in this family, with roots dating back to the Oklahoma land rush of 1889. For Brittany and Kyle, it’s a tangible piece of their family history and one they intend to carry forward.

Heirloom Value

Antique gingerbread clocks are valued collectibles with prices reflecting their age, condition, and design intricacy. Generally, their sales prices range from around $100 to over $700. However, the provenance of the clock at Gem City Home, steeped in unique family history and sentimental value, renders it priceless.

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