1860~ James HODDELL & Co single roller fusee in 18K BALDWIN & CO convertible case

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by John Matthews, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    This addition to my collection was purchased because of the case, not the movement – a first for me. Neither do I normally purchase watches in gold cases, but this case is special.

    20190619 002.jpg 20190619 003.jpg

    This watch has a Coventry single roller movement cased in a rare American patented convertible case and dates from ~1860. Unfortunately, it is devoid of provenance. However, the serial number of the movement is stamped on the case in such a manner, that makes me infer that it was cased by Baldwin & Co. in Newark and the movement was probably imported into America, shortly before or during the Civil War. The hands appear to me to be American in style and although they may not be original, one might infer that this indicates that the watch was at some time in America. I have read that cases of this design are known that contain European movements as well as American and I assume they were all cased by Baldwin and Co in America, but I would like that confirmed, if anyone can. My understanding is that English movements housed in Baldwin cases are extremely rare as it is the only example known to David Penney.

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    The three quarter key wound fusee movement, mounted in the 'sidewinder' position, has a perfect white dial with a sunken second subsidiary. It carries the name of the movement maker, James Hoddell & Co, 15 Northampton Square London, in an elegant typeface. The hands, I do not believe to be original as all three, appear to me to be too short. I do not think that they detract from the appearance of the dial. The watch is working strongly and was purchased serviced. I have not dismantled it and I have no information as to whether there are any maker's marks. The movement is jewelled to the third with the balance capped; I infer 15 jewels in total. The movement is engraved as the dial and in addition carries the serial number #13433.

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    Although the address on the dial and movement is Northampton Square in Clerkenwell, James Hoddell's manufacturing base was Coventry. Born in Herefordshire, close to the Welsh border in ~1810. His wife, Ann was Welsh and they moved to Coventry, sometime before the 1841 census. That records him as being a watch manufacturer living in Albion Street with his wife and a newly born son, Cope. By the 1851 census they had moved to Craven Street, Chapel Fields, Coventry and he had 38 in his employment. In the mid 1850s the name changed to James Hoddell & Co. On 3 March, 1876 a maker's mark of JH over CH in a 4 leaf clover cartouche was registered with the London assay office. At that time the company was listed as James Hoddell & Cope Hoddell (father and son), trading at Chapel Fields, Coventry, 9 Hertford Place, Coventry and 15 Northampton Square, Clerkenwell. They are known to have 'made' chronometers and an undated serial number, #4320, is listed in Mercer. James died in 1889 and in the same year the company was declared bankrupt, but they appear to have continued trading. In 1899, the business was taken over by Henry Cope Hodell, the son of Cope, and the business was renamed Henry Hoddell & Co.

    It is known that watches made by Hoddell & Co were imported into America by Louis Strite Fellows and Schell who were in operation in the Civil War. They are listed as importers in a New York directory of 1858/59.

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    By 1862 the entry is followed by watches …

    upload_2019-6-19_15-0-39.png

    They are not present in the 1872 directory, although there are a number of 'Fellows' listed in that district operating as jewellers.

    There is a very interesting Hoddell movement, in a case marked L.S. F. & S ,that was presented to Commander P Morrison, a Union Army Officer, which has been discussed here Civil War "Presentation Watch" Brev. Brig. General Pitcairn Morrison .

    In one of the references I found this

    'It is interesting to note that James Hoddell & Co. watches were imported to the USA by Fellows & Schell and that one of their watches was used as the model for the Wadsworth watches made by Newark Watch Co. in 1864'.​

    I believe the the Newark Wadsworth models were stem wound with a patent in 1866, but I haven't found a photograph of an example. Can anyone explain this association and provide a photograph of a Wadsworth movement?

    Together with photographs of the watch I attach a copy of the patent which dates from 13 April 1858. The design was submitted by Elihu Bliss of Newark and it was assigned to Baldwin & Co. also of Newark. Some background on Baldwin & Co by Clint Geller and Jerry Treiman can be found here .Baldwin & Co.

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    [​IMG]

    John
     

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  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  3. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    John,

    I absolutely love this watch and I love your post! I have owned two Howard keywinds in original Baldwin reversible cases, and I believe either the earliest or the second earliest known surviving Howard movement is in a "B. & Co." case as well, though not a reversible. (If I had my notes handy, which I don't, I could be more definitive.) I used to own Howard SN 132 in a Baldwin reversible case with matching SN. My other Howard in a Baldwin reversible case was a first run nickel third series with Mershon's regulator. I have seen a few other Howard keywinds in reversible cases, though not many, as well as a Waltham Model 1857 and a Model 1859. Given the large number of Swiss watches entering the US in the 1860's - 226,000 in 1865 alone! - I would be surprised if there weren't other extant examples of foreign movements in Baldwin reversible cases.

    I would be in ecstasy if I could find a watch with a reversible case like yours, whether American or foreign, with a Civil War provenance. I have a Swiss movement in a gold American case with an extra rear lid designed to hold a picture, which was presented to the colonel of the 14th KY Infantry by his men in 1863. (After his promotion, General Gallup then presented the watch to his son in 1873.) The watch and the man are discussed in my new book. The other provenance watch I have with an unusual case is a gold 20 Size Waltham with a split push piece and lift springs on both lids. That watch was presented to an Assistant Quartermaster, a captain, at Camp Butler in Springfield IL. Captain Eddy had previously served in the 95th Illinois Infantry. I have never seen a Civil War provenance watch with a reversible case, but I am convinced that one must exist.
     
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  4. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    PL has pointed me to this post - 1860's Fusee in 18KT CONVERTIBLE case , runs fine, would like input!

    This is also a English movement in a convertible case - Mr Johnson of Liverpool no less.

    The watch also has a patent recorded in 1858 , but June 13 exactly 2 months later than the Baldwin patent. The patent in the name of Durand Carter & Co. I am not familiar with these American case makers - but in a search I discovered a reference to James Madison Durand with this history ...
    • Apprenticed about 1826 to TAYLOR & BALDWIN in Newark NJ
    • He was a partner in 1845-1850 with Isaac Baldwin in Newark NJ as BALDWIN & DURAND, watchcase manufacturers and engravers, listed in Pierson's 1850 City Directory at 6 Franklin Street.
    • He was a partner circa 1850 with John Annin in Newark NJ as DURAND & ANNIN, watch case manufacturers with a shop at 36 Walnut Street.
    • He worked in 1820-1880 as a silversmith, jeweler, and engraver in Newark NJ as DURAND & Co.
    • He appeared on the 1880 census taken at Newark NJ, listed as a jewelry manufacturer.
    No mention of Carter - but this appears to be a link between a Durand family member and Isaac Baldwin. Which Durand was in partnership with Carter?

    It seems to me that there must be a story here .... can anyone explain?

    John
     
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  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Having performed further searches, I have not been able to explicitly establish the forenames of the Carter and Durand in the partnership. However I have found a possible answer. Aaron Carter was also apprentice with Taylor & Baldwin at the same time as James Madison Durand
    • Apprenticed in 1832-1838 to TAYLOR & BALDWIN in Newark NJ
    • He worked in 1839-1841 as a jeweller in Newark NJ as a journeyman in the factory of his old masters.
    • He worked in 1841-1900 as a jeweller in Newark NJ
    So I assume Durand Carter & Co was a partnership between James Madison Durand and Aaron Carter
    I also looked up Elihu Bliss, said to be the inventor of the reversible case, who in the earlier patent assigned it to Baldwin & Co.
    • He worked circa 1840-1880 as a jeweller in Newark NJ
    • Listed in the 1840 city directory at 381 Broad Street.
    • He appeared on the 1870 census taken at Newark NJ, listed as a manufacturing jeweller.
    • He appeared on the 1880 census taken at Newark NJ, listed as a manufacturing jeweller
    Here are the addresses of the 'players' in some relevant trade directories …

    1857
    Baldwin & Co., jewellers, 170 Broadway (Elihu Bliss a partner?)
    Durand Carter & Co., jewellery, 13 John​

    1860
    Baldwin & Co., jewellers, 170 Broadway (Elihu Bliss a partner?)
    Durand Carter & Co., jewellers, 9 Maiden Lane​

    1862
    Baldwin, Edward A, jeweller 5 Maiden Lane (Isaac Baldwin's nephew?)
    Baldwin & Co.- not listed
    Durand Carter & Co., jewellers, 9 Maiden Lane​

    1872
    Baldwin, Edward A, jeweller 3 Bond (Isaac Baldwin's nephew?)
    Baldwin & Co.- not listed
    Durand & Co., jewellers, 9 Maiden Lane​

    I did not find a listing for Elihu Bliss in any of the directories.

    I note that the Baldwin & Co. watch has no marks to indicate who retailed the watch. Is it reasonable to infer that it was retailed from their premises in Broadway? In contrast the Durand Carter & Co., housing the Johnson movement, is stamped with 'G C Allen' a jeweller based at 415 Broadway in 1860.

    John
     
  6. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    I am guessing that Baldwin & Co. retailed many, and perhaps even most of their own watches. I say this because casemakers' marks on watches sold by other firms are not usually as prominent or elaborate. A retailer usually wouldn't want to give a mere supplier so much prominence on a sales item, unless he thought it would sell the item for him. He would be more interested in promoting his own brand.
     
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  7. PapaLouies

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    #7 PapaLouies, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Hi John,
    Information on the DURAND CARTER & Co. watch case 17438.
    Patent Number: US20554A.
    Inventor: J.M. Durand.
    Patent Date: Jun 15, 1858.
    Inventor: James M. Durand.
    Witnesses: James I. Carter and Henry Durand.

    SILVERSMITHS & RELATED CRAFTSMEN.
    American Silversmiths.
    Index of Jewelers:
    Durand, James Madison (1813-1895).
    Durand, Henry (1835-1880).

    TROW'S New York City Directory Compiled by: H. WILSON.
    For the year ending May1, 1859.
    Listings for 1858/59.
    Page 29: Allen Geo. C. watches, 11 Wall, h 130 Madison av.
    Page 146: Carter James J. Jeweler, 9 Maiden la, h. Newark.
    Page 238: Durand Henry, Jeweler, 9 Maiden la, h. Newark.
    Durand James M. Jeweler, 9 Maiden la, h. Newark.
    Durand Carter & Co. Jewelers, 9 Maiden la.

    Regards, PL
     
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  8. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    PL - my thanks for this and the message.

    It appears i have the Durand correct but not Carter. The same address for all three is convincing. I wonder if the family link was made at Taylor & Baldwin via Aaron - I suspect the two Carter's are related. Here are snips from the trade directories and I attach a copy of the patent so that the two can be compared.

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    upload_2019-6-26_19-33-56.png

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    I haven't had chance to compare the two patents - but Durand provided the better diagram!

    upload_2019-6-26_19-43-34.png

    John
     

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  9. PapaLouies

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    Doggett's N.Y. City Directory 1845 & 1846.
    Baldwin & Co. (of Newark) jewelry, 6 Maiden lane.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la.

    Doggett's N.Y. City Directory 1846 & 1847.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9. Maiden la. h. Brooklyn.

    Doggett's N.Y. City Directory 1847 & 1848.
    Baldwin Isaac, jewelry, 6 Maiden lane, h. Newark.
    BALDWIN SAMUEL, importer of watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelry, 6 Maiden lane.
    Taylor James R., watches, 9 Maiden la. h. Brooklyn.

    Doggett's N.Y. City Directory 1848-49.
    Baldwin George C. watches, 170 B.way, h. 18W. 14th.
    Baldwin Horace E. jewelry, 6 Maiden lane and New Orleans.
    Baldwin Isaac jeweler, 6 Maiden lane, h. Newark.
    BALDWIN SAMUEL, importer of watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin Wickliffe E. jewelry, 6 Maiden la. h. Newark.
    Baldwin H.E. & Co. jewelry, 6 Maiden la. and New Orleans.
    BALDWIN & CO. jewelry, 6 Maiden la.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la. h. Brooklyn.

    Doggett's N.Y. City Directory 1849-1850.
    Baldwin George C. watches, 170 B.way, h. 18W. 14th.
    BALDWIN SAMUEL, importer of watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin Wickliffe E. jewelry, 6 Maiden la. h. Newark.
    Baldwin H.E. & Co. jewelry, 6 Maiden la.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelry, 6 Maiden la.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la. h. Brooklyn.

    Doggett's N.Y. City Directory 1850-1851.
    Baldwin Geo. C. watches, 170 B.way, h. 18W. 14th.
    Baldwin Samuel, importer of watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin H.E. & Co. jewelry, 170 Broadway.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden lane, h. 182 Henry Brooklyn.

    Trow's N.Y. City Directory 1853/54.
    Allen George C. watches, 11 Wall, h. 267 W. 21st.
    Baldwin Isaac, jeweler, 170 Broadway, h. Newark.
    Baldwin Samuel, importer of watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark.
    Baldwin Wickliffe E. jewlr. 170 Broadway, h. Newark.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelry, 170 Broadway.
    Taylor James R. imp. 9 Maiden la. h. 182 Henry Brooklyn.

    Trow's N.Y. City Directory 1855/56.
    Allen George C. watches, 11 Wall, h. 267 W. 21st.
    BALDWIN SAMUEL, imp. 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin William S. acct. 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelers, 170 Broadway.
    Durand James jeweler, 13 John, h. Newark N.J.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la. h. 182 Henry Brooklyn.

    Trow's N.Y. City Directory 1856/57.
    Allen George C. watches, 11 Wall, h. 77 Madison av.
    BALDWIN SAMUEL, watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin Wickliffe E. jeweler, 170 Broadway, h. Newark N.J.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelers, 170 Broadway.
    Durand James M. jeweler, 13 John, h. Newark.
    Durand Carter & Co. jewelry, 13 John.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la. h. Brooklyn.

    Trow's N.Y. City Directory 1857/58.
    Allen George C. watches, 11 Wall, h.77 Madison av.
    Baldwin Sam. watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark.
    Baldwin Wickliffe E. jeweler, 170 Broadway, h. Newark.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelers, 170 Broadway.
    Carter James J. jeweler, 13 John.
    Durand James M. jeweler, 13 John, h. Newark.
    Durand, Carter & Co. jewelers, 13 John.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la. h. 182 Henry Brooklyn.

    Trow's N.Y. City Directory 1858/59.
    Allen George C. watches, 11 Wall, h.130 Madison av.
    Baldwin Samuel watches, 170 Broadway, h. Newark.
    Baldwin Wickliffe E. jeweler, 170 Broadway, h. Newark.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelry, 170 Broadway.
    Carter James J. jeweler, 9 Maiden la. h. Newark.
    Durand James M. jeweler, 9 Maiden la. h. Newark.
    Durand, Carter & Co. jewelers, 9 Maiden la.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la. h. 182 Henry Brooklyn.

    Trow's N.Y. City Directory 1859/60.
    Allen George C. jeweler, 415 B.way, h. 180 Madison av.
    Baldwin Samuel jeweler, 170 B.way, h. N.J.
    Baldwin Wickliffe jeweler 170 B.way, h, N.J.
    Baldwin & Co. jewelers, 170 B.way.
    Carter James J. jeweler, 9 Maiden la. h. Newark.
    Durand Henry jeweler, 9 Maiden la. h. Newark.
    Durand James M. jeweler, 9 Maiden la. h. Newark.
    Durand, Carter & Co. jewelers, 9 Maiden la.
    Taylor James R. watches, 9 Maiden la. h. 182 Henry Brooklyn.

    Hope this will be of some help. Regards, PL
     
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  10. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    PL - thank-you for this listing.

    It is a very useful reference for anyone researching these cases and the relationships/partnerships between the various patentees, makers and retailers.

    John
     
  11. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I have just compared the Bliss & Durand patents. In doing so I was left with the impression that there was a competitive edge between the patentees.

    This is my understanding of the patents (please correct if necessary) ...

    The Bliss patent assigned to Baldwin, implies that previously the inner case, holding the body of the watch, was not fixed to the outer case (see Watson patent below). To change to the alternative configuration, the inner case was removed from the outer and rotated. In this arrangement the pendant was attached to the inner case and the relative orientation of the pendant and dial is fixed. The Bliss patent consists of three elements. Firstly, the inner and outer cases are connected and pivoted along a diameter through the pendant. Secondly, the ability to rotate the the body of the watch in the plane parallel to the face - so that the position of the dial with respect to the pendant can be changed, Thirdly, a push button operating through the pendant to open the cover.

    The patent describes the inner case ...

    consists of a ring formed in two parts, and provided with a close metallic back, and an open frame for holding the glass, or as they are termed in the trade open and closed bezels.

    The patent proceeds to describe how the inner ring is grooved into which the outer ring fits, thereby the inner ring, holding the body, may be rotated (through 90 degrees) to provide alternative positions of the dial in the hunter and open face configuration.

    The process of reversing the watch is described so ...

    On reversing the body of the watch the open and closed bezels are opened and the body of the watch reversed by the pendant, after which, the body of the watch is turned within the outer ring of the inner case, in order to bring the figure 12 of the dial either opposite or at right angles with the pendant as required for the open face or hunting watch. The closing of the bezels of the outer case retain the body of the watch in position.
    I have not attempted to test whether it is possible to rotate the body of my watch within the outer ring of the inner case, but as it is stamped with the appropriate patent it should be possible.

    The Durand patent sets out a number of defects to be overcome ...

    In the construction of what are termed magic watch cases, as heretofore practiced, there are several defects which render them objectionable, among the more prominent of which may be mentioned that of being required to have both bezels opened before the inner case could be turned round:-having two pivoted points;-and not affording a sufficient support of the inner in the outer case which causes said inner case to spring open, the bezels, or prevent them from closing on the outer case with certainty and neatness.

    I have to admit that I have not found that the defects described are a feature of the Bliss design and I think that the advantage of only having to open one of the bezels (C or D in Durand's diagrams) is of minimal benefit. However, in the Durand design having a single pivot positioned midway between IV & V means that when the body is rotated the position of XII is at the pendant for the open face configuration and rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise when used as a hunter (sidewinder position). There is no need to separately rotate the body as described in the Bliss patent. This seems to me to be a most useful feature. However, having never handled an example, I do wonder whether a single pivot would be as resilient as a double pivot. Personally, I would have favoured retaining two pivots (adding a second between X & XI) and accept that it would be necessary to open both bezels.

    In one of the final paragraphs Durand declares ...

    So long as the inner case is hinged and pivoted to the outer one, for the purpose specified, I should deem it my invention.
    A sign of the competitive edge?

    Finally, the Bliss patent (Reissued 23 November 1858 #628) refers to an earlier English patent of John F Watson - I do not have a copy of the English patent - but there is what I assume is the American equivalent (Reissued 17 August 1858 #587) which is assigned to W E Baldwin & E Bliss of Newark (copy attached). I note that the Durand patent just has the single date of 15 June 1858.


    [​IMG]


    John

     

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  12. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    John, it occurred to me that you watch might have an additional latch between the inner and outer rings of the pivoting member. I was surprised when my button in the pendant that originally was opening the "front" cover also worked to hold the innermost bit from rotating. I wonder if it possible that pressing on the same button in your case would let it rotate in the groove as described in the patent.

    If you rotate the inner and outer to 90 deg, then you could use your thumb on the button with two fingers of the same hand on either side of the inner piece and then use the other hand to rotate the inner element in the plane of its ring.
     
  13. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Tom - Thanks for the suggestion. I have tried the approach you suggest, but unfortunately, without any success.

    I have decided that I need to remove the movement from the case, before proceeding. I am concerned that if I continue, without doing so, I risk the possibility causing damage. With the movement out of the way I will have greater access to investigate. I am rather busy at the moment, but it is on my to do list.

    John
     
  14. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Good luck! I am looking forward to hearing what you learn.
     

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