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  1. #1
    Registered user. pocketwatch16's Avatar
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    Default Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland?

    My father recently gave me a pocketwatch which belonged to my grandfather, I am not knowledgable about watches so I do not know the size, movement, jewels, etc... But I am fascinated by antiques so i wanted to do some research on the watch. I am not able to find any real info on this brand or Maker.
    It is a Silver pocketwatch with the name JAS. MANGAN - 3 Patrick St - Cork.
    There are 3 Marker's marks when you open the back cover and when you lift up the movement. 1. 'Lion with a rasied paw" 2. "Anchor" 3. "O". I was hoping that someone can tell me the meaning of these. I believe that the "Lion with raised paw" refers to the Quality of the Silver, meaning that it is sterling, but not sure what the "Anchor" or "O' mean?
    There is a serial number under the Maker's Marks that looks like "82618". There is a "W.E" under that and a small "3". Can anyone please tell me what these mark's mean as well?
    When I searched this name and address I was not able to find much info on the brand or maker. The only this I was able to discover was that James Mangan was a renowned Cork Jeweller & Clockmaker from 1856-1894 and that in 1851 he installed the Tower Clock in the Quad of University College in Cork, Ireland.
    I was hoping that someone in this forum might be able to help me with some more info on this watchmaker. Also since Mangan produced watching from 1856-1894, could someone please tell me perhaps what decade this watch is from? Did he produce many watches throughout this time? Are there many still in existence? What is the reputation of watches produced in Cork? Would they be considered very good quality? Also, does this brand have any value in today's market or to a collector?
    Thank you in advance for reading this post and for any info you can provide.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: pocketwatch16)

    Hi there and welcome to the forum.

    In respect of the CASE, it would appear to have British Hallmarks and this is where this site http://www.925-1000.com/british_marks.html will be of use to you. The anchor seems to indicate that it was assayed at the Birmingham office and that the case is sterling silver.
    If you scroll down the page of the link I gave you to the Birmingham part, then click on the Birmingham date letters link, the new page will have a chart of date letters at the top right. Click on that and match your letter "O" to the one on the chart to find the date. I would do it for you but when I click on the relevant picture to enlarge it, the picture becomes a bit blurred.

    W.E. by the way is the case makers mark and you will hopefully find information on that maker in the link above.
    Oh and before I forget, as a general rule, serial numbers on cases are usually of no use in dating a watch.

    Bear in mind, this is only relation to your case not the movement itself. The movement will need further investigation which I hope fellow members who are far more knowledgable than I, will be able to help you with.

    Once again, welcome to the forum.

    Regards

    David

    PS. Valuations are a no no in this part of the forum. You would have to go to "What's this watch worth" part of the forum and, I believe, pay a subscription in order to get replies on the value of the watch.
    Last edited by DJH584; 08-11-2013 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: pocketwatch16)

    Hi there. Welcome to the boards.

    You are correct about the hallmarks. The lion is the British mark for sterling silver. The anchor is the mark for the Birmingham Assay office and the "O" in the shield would be the date mark. The photo is a little fuzzy to make out but I'm thinking it's 1869. The year mark changes according to the font of the letter and the shape of the cartouche that it's in.

    The "W. E" would be the makers mark. There are several registered with the Birmingham Assayer close tot he period, but not quite. I think a more experienced member will have better luck making a positive ID on this case maker.

    When you open it up, on the back of the watch movement, what you are seeing is a dust cover. It is secured with a tiny latch, that is that blued steel spring that goes like halfway around the top. You'll notice looking closely it will slide clock-wise just a tad and then the cover should lift strait off.
    Under there you will find the balance wheel and probably some more inscriptions that may be important to identifying it. some pictures of that would be great if you can post them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: shinytickythings)

    Loomes Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World has one entry
    Mangan James Cork (Ireland )1824-c1900
    From what I can see of the hallmark I would say it is 1888
    The website DJH584 mentions is very usefull I use it a lot

  5. #5
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: shinytickythings)

    Hi,

    If the date letter is an "o" then the date is 1888, and Shiny is quite right about the assay office being Birmingham. However, the most likely case maker with a "W.E" mark is William Ehrhardt (Watch & Case Maker) in Birmingham, but this style of mark, (with no surrounding "frame" or "cartouche"), was registered in 1867 but superseded by a different style in 1880. This makes me wonder whether the letter is in fact a "d", for 1878, rather than an "o" for 1888. (Information from Philip Priestley's book on English Casemakers).

    Ehrhardts could well have made the movement as well as the case if it is by them. The name on the dial is that of the retailer, which was extremely common at this time; it's estimated that around 90% of English watches from the 19th century weren't signed by their makers.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: shinytickythings)

    Thank you David & Shinytickythings! Your info is greatly appreciated. Also thank you for telling me how to take off the dust cover. I've attached photos of the movement. On the underneath of the dust cover is a small word "FURNEAUX". While, on the movement itself is in a elegant script "Jas. Mangan" and "3 Patrick St" to the right of the name. On the top of the movement above the winding mechanism is inscribed 'CORK" and the serial number "82618" which matches the serial number inside the sterling case.
    So again I thank you all for your help with the Mark identification, but do either of you have any info on the watchmaker himself? Is this a well-respected brand and quailty item? Does Cork have a reputation for good watches?Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: DJH584)

    Thank you for that website it really came in handy.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: gmorse)

    Oh! Thanks Graham and Les. I mistakenly was looking at the London marks. My year is definitely not right.

    Though I'm not convinced it's 1888 either. What I see for Birmingham-1888 should be in a round cartouche. While the font looks right, that cartouche looks distinctly more like a shield. The picture could be better. It's hard to make out what the shape of the bottom is but the top looks quite flat. The "O" to me looks squared and calligraphic, but not entirely Gothic. For the letter itself I could see 1888 or 1878. But that looks more like a shield that round or oval. Maybe it's the angle. I think better pictures are in order.

    I was looking at William Ehrhardt for the case maker but the list I have shows him as 1874-1889 and then with like three other listings that appear to be the same man and then William Ehrhardt Ltd. but it's not entirely clear.
    I figured you would be better able to make sense of it. Thanks Graham.

    All the best,
    S

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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: pocketwatch16)

    Hi,

    Your watch wasn't made in Cork, but most likely in Birmingham. Companies like Ehrhardt would supply jewellers with watches fully signed on the dial and movement with any desired name as part of the deal. Serial numbers are unfortunately of little use now, as the ledgers are long gone in the vast majority of cases. As far as I can see, it's a seven jewel lever movement of middling quality, in quite decent condition.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: pocketwatch16)

    Thank you Graham!
    You have me thinking that upon a second look perhaps it is a "D" and not an "O". In my opinion it could be either one. I was able to take the dust cover off and the movment is signed "Jas. Mangan. Cork". I uploaded pictures. Therefore, the movement wasn't made by the case maker William Ehrhardt, but the serial number on the movement made by Mangan matches the serial number on the case made by Ehrhardt. Is that common? Does that mean that they specifically collaborated on the piece?
    Thank you,
    Anthony

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: gmorse)

    Graham, I'm wondering if they were still making under-sprung balances with that balance cock late as 1878 or 88?
    I know the British like the tried and true and were slow to change to new tech, but isn't that about like using a 30 year old computer today?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: pocketwatch16)

    The shape of the cartouche is definately not oval. It is the shape of a shield.

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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: shinytickythings)

    Hi Shiny,

    The shield shapes for the date letter and the lion can be rather variable, but the only one which has to match exactly is the one on the maker's mark, which is why I'm unsure of the date, as I said earlier. Multiple makers with the same initials could be registered at the same time, and since marks have to be unique, the style, font, and surrounding cartouche are the only way of distinguishing them. The 1880 mark for Ehrhardt in Priestley is an oval cartouche, so unless Priestley's information is wrong, (pretty unlikely but not impossible), the dates don't match up for 1888.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: pocketwatch16)

    Hi Anthony,

    Quote Originally Posted by pocketwatch16 View Post
    ... movment is signed "Jas. Mangan. Cork". I uploaded pictures. Therefore, the movement wasn't made by the case maker William Ehrhardt, but the serial number on the movement made by Mangan matches the serial number on the case made by Ehrhardt. Is that common? Does that mean that they specifically collaborated on the piece?
    Mangan didn't make the movement, he just sold it! It was probably made by Ehrhardt in Birmingham. Their collaboration extended to no more than Mangan ordering a batch of watches with the signatures which you see, as a wholesale transaction from Ehrhardt.

    Regards,

    Graham
    Last edited by gmorse; 08-11-2013 at 03:33 PM.

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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    Default Re: Help with info about an Antique watch & watchmaker MANGAN from Cork, Ireland? (RE: shinytickythings)

    Hi Shiny,

    Quote Originally Posted by shinytickythings View Post
    Graham, I'm wondering if they were still making under-sprung balances with that balance cock late as 1878 or 88?
    I know the British like the tried and true and were slow to change to new tech, but isn't that about like using a 30 year old computer today?
    Yes, pretty much the same! This example is a very modest quality, and they could still sell well enough, so why change? The trade and its customers were extremely conservative; for instance pair-cases were still being made at the very end of the C19th.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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