Q: Years ago we bought a grandfather clock from a friend whose ceiling was not high enough for the clock. The clock is marked “Royal Furniture, Grand Rapids.” Can you tell us something about the maker and age of our clock?
A: Royal Furniture Co. was in business in Grand Rapids, Mich., from 1892 to 1931. But the company’s ownership changed in 1919, and the new owner’s name, Robert W. Irwin, was added to Royal’s marks that year. So your clock was made between 1892 and 1919. Royal made high-quality furniture, including grandfather clock cases, but the internal clock mechanism was made by another company, probably the Charles Jacques Clock Co. of New York City. Charles Jacques was known to supply some grandfather clockworks to Royal.