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Mantel clock

  • Place of origin:

    Aberdare (probably, manufactured)

  • Date:

    1930-1940 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Elco (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Compression-moulded phenol formaldehyde ('Bakelite'); cardboard; electrical components

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Electric (synchronous) mantel clock in brown Bakelite case. Cardboard back and original wiring. Attached electrical cord and plug.

Place of Origin

Aberdare (probably, manufactured)


1930-1940 (made)


Elco (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Compression-moulded phenol formaldehyde ('Bakelite'); cardboard; electrical components


Height: 14.6 cm, Width: 20.4 cm, Depth: 6.3 cm

Object history note

Fred Bulmer, a collector based in Leeds, Yorkshire, offered his collection of ‘plastic antiques’ to the V&A in late 1982. The Museum chose to purchase 59 objects from Bulmer the following year (for acquisition papers see MA/1/B3395). The objects were divided among the Museum’s collections according to object type: Furniture and Woodwork taking 26 objects (W.50 to 75-1983), Metalwork 18 objects (M.49 to 66-1984) and Ceramics and Glass 14 objects (C.41 to 54-1984).

Descriptive line

Synchronous mantel clock; brown Bakelite; Elco (designed London, manufactured Aberdare, Glamorgan); 1930s

Production Note

This clock apparently uses a cheap standard mechanism found in many other clocks contemporary to it.


Bakelite; Phenolic; Cardboard; Electrical components


Compression moulding


Household objects; Plastic; Clocks & Watches

Production Type

Mass produced


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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