The History Of The Mora Clock

Many Mora clock faces are found marked with "A A S "—theese are the initials of Krång Anders Andersson (1727-1799) of Östnor, traditionally thought of as one of the first clockmakers in Mora area. The initials first appeared on a clock faced dated around 1792.

Mora clocks began as the product of a cooperative effort to support the income of farming families in the Mora region that had been hit by poor harvests and each cooperative member would specialise in making a clock part - the hood, case, door, plinths etc.

Thats why every clock you find is so unique - its the result of several artistic visions all working together. We believe that in total about 40,000 mora clocks may have been made at the height of their manufacture and as longcase clocks were very popular in that period in Sweden, most Swedish houses would have had them especially when they were given as wedding presents in poorer families.

You find the clocks also incorporated in other furniture such as cuboards, drawers, chiffoniers, armoires and even beds!

Originally developed from the French Rococo and earlier Baroque styles of France, the mora clock shape with its classic Earth Goddess pregnant belly really caught on and as clocks began to be made across Sweden, the name 'Mora Clock' became synonymous with the shape as opposed to just the region from which the earliest examples originated.

Usually made from local pine or very rarely oak, they were decorated in a variety of colours from the traditional reds, ochres and yellows of the kurbits tradition through plain whites and greys to very ornate trompe l'oeil painted scenes and decoration.

The mechanisms in mora clocks are extremely basic and rather rough and ready - they give modern clock repairers a real headache! They can work fine nice cleaned repaired and set up but they are not reliable as English clocks of the period would be as they do not feature the same sophisticated workings.

The set up balances the swing plane of the pendulum against the inertia of the mechanism, the position of the body resting on the floor and the 2 weights suspended from the mechanism.

How were mora clocks constructed?

clock workings

Most 1800s mora clocks were made either by individual craftsmen or cooperatives from local pine.

The back panel would generally run the full height of the clock made up from pine planks glued together and the sides would be bent into place to create the wonderful curvaceous shape that mora clocks are renowned for.

The door on the body front was either hinged or in the case of country clocks held in place by 2 small wooden pins and may or may not have contained a glass window.

The bentwood hood usually had a hinged ring containing the glass but occasionally we do so the glass face set striaght into the wood of the hood. The hood itself often had ornamentation on the top and sometimes even side glass so you can see the inner workings of the mechanism.

The bottom plinth panel woul dbe glued or pinned to the front and sides at the bottom of the clock and the waist skirting and also the skirt detail under the edge of the hood would also be pinned in place - so NEVER lift a mora clock by any of its skirts!

The pine was usually painted or wood stained but very rarely we see a mora clock constructed from other woods including oak and birch. The most unusual clock we ever had was one where the body was a one piece log that had been hollowed out so you could see the curve of the wood inside and the adz marks from where it was hollowed out.