The dial of a longcase clock is often called it’s face, with good reason, as it is the focal point of the clock, and the part that everybody looks at first, and not just to tell the time. In general, there are 2 main types of dial;

Brass Dials

Up to about 1770 clock dials were made of brass and usually have a silvered chapter ring and cast corner spandrels. The hands are mostly made of steel, and there may be an extra dial for seconds, and a date aperture. The earliest dials were square, but after about 1720, arched dials became fashionable, although square dials continued to be made. Some arched dials may have extra features such as a moon-disc or a rocking automaton in the arch, which will add to their appeal and value.

Painted Dials

Sometimes known as white dials these evolved as a cheaper alternative to brass dials, and were originally made as copies of brass dials, with decorated dial corners to imitate spandrels. As time went on, dials became more colourful, often with pictorial scenes in the arch and corners, and sometimes with rocking automata or a moondial.