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  1. #16

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture.

    I found the first hallmark on the back of a Ehrhardt cased example from 1886 and I have the same mark on an 1887 example. So despite a different maker's mark apparently being registered in 1880, it appears that there was an overlap of use of the earlier mark. The second example is of the 1880 mark on a 1888 case. The alternative, more likely explanation, is that Priestley recorded the registration date as 1880 rather than 1888 - as implied by Graham

    John
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 04.jpg   04.jpg  
    Last edited by John Matthews; 04-02-2017 at 04:55 PM.

  2. #17
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: John Matthews)

    Hi John,

    Thanks for posting these two examples, I think this answers Domi's questions pretty conclusively.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  3. #18

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: John Matthews)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Matthews View Post
    I found the first hallmark on the back of a Ehrhardt cased example from 1886 and I have the same mark on an 1887 example. So despite a different maker's mark apparently being registered in 1880, it appears that there was an overlap of use of the earlier mark. The second example is of the 1880 mark on a 1888 case. The alternative, more likely explanation, is that Priestley recorded the registration date as 1880 rather than 1888 - as implied by Graham

    John
    Great piece of detective work, John

    It does reinforce the point that Graham often makes - we should never treat any of our basic reference sources as infallible. We need to look at the watch as a whole, and when our common sense and out eyes tell us one thing, and the basic sources tell us another, then the former must hold sway!

    On the wider subject of makers' marks, I have found numerous examples of a particular maker's mark being registered only in one city, but being used in another - for example a mark registered only in London being used on a case assayed in Chester. This may be just an omission in Priestley, or a vagary of Chester records, but I have always assumed that any assay office was willing to accept a maker's mark registered in another office.
    Martin Rosen

  4. #19

    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: MartyR)

    Quote Originally Posted by MartyR View Post
    On the wider subject of makers' marks, I have found numerous examples of a particular maker's mark being registered only in one city, but being used in another - for example a mark registered only in London being used on a case assayed in Chester. This may be just an omission in Priestley, or a vagary of Chester records, but I have always assumed that any assay office was willing to accept a maker's mark registered in another office.
    Martin - Yes, I agree that it is not uncommon to find maker's marks recorded by Priestley for one office, being used in another. Your assumption 'that any assay office was willing to accept a maker's mark registered in another office.' for me, challenges my (our?) understanding of the exact process of assaying watch cases: specifically, who applied maker's marks and when. During the C19th, at least, I believe that the maker's punches had to be registered at the individual assay office and an impression recorded. Indeed Priestley describes the records for Chester on lead and copper plates in some detail.

    The question for which I have never found a definitive answer, is 'who actually made the impression on the watch cases and when was it done?' While it is possible that all of the marks were applied at the assay office if they held all the maker's punches, to me, it seems more likely that the maker's marks would be applied by the maker, before submission to the assay office. This would provide a simple explanation for what is commonly observed regarding marks apparently registered at one office being used elsewhere. I assume that the office and date stamps etc. have always been applied at the assay office, but if the makers did sometimes apply their marks, I suppose it is equally possible that they could have been applied after assay, although to me this seems less likely.

    Previously, I researched the significance of German & Swiss hallmarking and the associated practices (http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?138553) and found the conclusions challenged commonly held beliefs. I would very much like to better understand the official and the actual process in the UK and whether it varied between offices, over time and possibly from maker to maker. If a definitive reference exists - please let me know.

    John

  5. #20
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: WE marked pocket watch .. trying to find date of manufacture. (By: John Matthews)

    Hi John,

    I think Philip Priestley would be a good person to ask about this line of research.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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