Meiji Clock Company
Meiji (pronounced “My Gee”) Clock Company was located in Nagoya, Japan. An affiliate of New York’s Ansonia Clock Company, Meiji was founded in 1895 in order to produce Ansonia style movements for clocks destined for the Far Eastern market. The Meiji Clock Company quickly progressed into clock production.
The Meiji Clock Company was among the last to manufacture mechanical clocks in Japan. It's logo was an M and overlapping C enclosed in a diamond with small arcs in the corners. They made many different styles of clocks through the years.
Meiji produced a number of animated, Cuckoo and novelty clocks featuring moving parts, which still appeal to collectors.
Identifying Japanese clock numbers
There are four broad classifications:
- Roman letters (Axx-Zxx)
- Japanese (Kanji) characters (JCHxx)
- Living organisms (ANMxx), and
- Drawings of objects and shapes (OBJ).
- Except for Roman letters, each classification is arranged assigned with numbers loosely based on accession.
- For Roman letters, use either the initial letter of the name or select the letter that appears FIRST in the alphabet.
- Since logos do not always appear in exactly the same way and might fit different classifications, the process might require searching several locations.
Collectors favour novelty clocks with moving parts.
Meiji clocks are difficult to date by style as they were commonly manufactured to look like antique clocks.
Bakelite may be a clue as to a clocks age - it was patented in the 1930s.
Trade marks can be found on tin clock faces.
A clock in excellent condition will sell for much more than the same clock in average or poor condition. An unrestored or unaltered, all-original, clock with its original case finish; a clock which has its maker’s label or signature intact; a clock with its original glass and decorative elements; a well-preserved, clean, working movement – all can increase the value of a clock considerably. Depending on your collecting goals, you may want to pay less for something in fair condition or more for something in excellent condition.
A Meiji occupied Japan 1940s key wind wall clock brought $70 at Vero Beach Auction in October 2012.
Vintage Meiji 8-day wall clock, 8-day pendulum movement with strike on the hour and half, beautiful carved wood case with bronze bust on finial, 29.5" x 17", runs and keeps time: $100 at Empire Estates & Auctions LLC in June 2012
A Meiji Box Regulator Clock sold for $50 at Phoebus Auction Gallery in 2009.
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