There are really very few “things” I dream of having in life. But if someone asked me that question – “what ‘thing’ would you most like to have?”, I would probably say a mora clock. Mora clocks are Swedish and derived their name from the town of Mora, located in the province of Dalarna in Sweden.
It is “farm country” out there, or was in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when production was at its peak for these types of clocks. For extra money, the families in this community would each have a specific part of the clock they “specialized” in. Each part of these clocks were a work of art, not just the beautiful cases usually painted with milk-paint. Often, the clocks came without cases, so consumers would buy the parts of the clock and then have a case made for them. Apparently, there are many types of this “long case” clock, and Swedes get a little irritated that westerners adopted only the name “mora”. But when you look at the list of other names for this type of clock – Morin, Västmanland, Värmland, Norrbotten and Jämtland – you quickly see why we just use the word “Mora”.
Most often, you see these lovely clocks featured in rooms with gustavian style furniture and accessories.
While this is pretty, and I do enjoy looking at it, I prefer a style that is a bit more eclectic, with some splashes of color. The Mora here is perfectly happy next to a tolix stool and a trio of classic Eiffel base side chairs.
While this Mora looks at home with this fun turquoise hue and western art. The natural wood color here is different, too. You normally see these clocks painted in a dry-brush shabby chic way in pastel colors.
I especially like seeing mora clocks in kitchens and eating areas. It is a bit more unexpected, you see them much more in living rooms and entryways.
If you are lucky enough to go to Brimfield (Massachusetts) or Round Top (Texas), you can check out this artist, Jeffree Turney, of Lone Ranger Antiques. This guy has a rough life – he lives in Sweden five months of the year collecting Swedish antiques from estate auctions. He then travels back to Hollywood, Florida, where he works the rest of the year. If his finds are in rough shape, he brings them back to life, though he says he occasionally finds things in great condition and sells them as is.
These clocks have been stripped and are ready to be brought back to their original beauty.
These clocks are gorgeous, you can see on his site he has several for sale. My favorite? How can I pick just one?
This one is amazing, it has a unique shape.
There’s no doubt, they’re incredible, and I love them. I’m sure you can guess why we all can’t go get one tomorrow. They are pricey. Most will run you 3K and upwards. The more ornate, the more $$$. Occasionally, they will come up on Ebay, though they still sell for quite a bit of money, or if you live in the Chicago area and have $4,000 laying around, you can snatch up this one on CraigsList.
So what to do? I did find this photo which I thought was a fun idea to dress up the side of a cabinet. I don’t think I would like this flat on a wall so much, but I think it’s a neat texture to an otherwise boring side of a piece of furniture. This could be a future DIY?
You could get a mora clock wall sticker available here. P.S. It has a time-keeping mechanism!
I dream of the day when I will walk into Goodwill or the Salvation Army on one of my treasure hunts and see a mora clock there next to a pair of Dorothy Draper chests. Hey, I can dream! But until then, I did snatch this little guy up on Ebay recently. Yup, meet my mora clock. He’s sixteen inches tall.
He’s handpainted, and even has the original Swedish stickers on the back.
For now, he happily resides on the mantle in my living room.