Q: My husband inherited a French mantel clock from his father. It’s made of what looks like black marble with bronze columns and is shaped like a Greek building. Its face is porcelain. The mark on the back is a circle with the words “Medaille d’Argent” and “Vincenti & Cie 1855.” The clock is 16 1/2 inches tall by 15 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/4 inches deep. It’s very heavy. Please tell us how to figure out how old it is and what it’s worth.
A: Vincenti & Cie (Vincenti & Co.) was a Paris clockmaker founded before 1834 by Jean Vincenti. It went out of business in about 1870. The mark on your clock indicates that the company won a silver medal (“medaille d’argent) at the 1855 Universal Exposition in Paris—which means your clock was made after 1855. Vincenti & Cie clocks sell for a wide range of prices, from the low hundreds into the tens of thousands. An expert has to look at your clock in person and can estimate its age by its works. The clock’s case and weight make us think it could be quite valuable if it works or can be easily made to work.