Authentication and anything you can tell me

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Psyche524, Mar 31, 2018.

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  1. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    The names Bullingford, Champion, Edmonds, Fairplay, Fondling, Goldsmith, Hicks are all examples of non-existant makers, as is the rather earlier Tarts.

    These were all a reflection of the very high international reputation of English watchmaking from the early 17th to the end of the 19th centuries, and the lack of any effective legal sanctions against such fakery.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  2. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Yes there's no disputing the fact that fakes were made
     
  3. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    I just wonder if the large scale fakery started later, maybe when the Swiss started making crude machine made pieces.
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Fakes have been made as long as items of value have been made, and when watches and clocks were first made they were incredibly valuable.There are plenty of copies of English verge watches from the early 18th century.
     
  5. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Yes, I guess the point I was trying to make,. is that there's a very limited amount of fakes you can physically make by hand. So numbers would be far less than when they started churning them out with machines.. From what I understand the Swiss brand wasn't too bad until they started using machinery. So I'm not convinced that every or even most watchmakers in Switzerland were making knockoffs.
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I certainly wasn't attempting to corroborate your point, fakes/copies were made in large numbers in the 18th century or there would not be so many left today.

    Branding, as such, is a later thing. The actual makers here were very much anonymous as they were in Switzerland I believe. The signatures are those of the retailers or finishers, the people the customers went to in order to buy a watch.

    Some of those names would be well known as clockmakers, or gold or silversmiths.

    Once a name is established them others will see that as a way of increasing value. Many of the fakes we see are extremely well done, and the quality would stand on its own without a false identity attached, it is often a shame something was spoiled with a false signature.

    I'm sure the customers were not fooled, they were buying into status. Much as a 30 hour longcase buyr would specify false winding holes so that they could fool the casual observer into thinking they had bought an 8 day.
     
  7. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Often the Swiss style watches such as these of Cooper do not have a street address, simply London or Liverpool as appropriate, whereas the authentic English made examples have the correct address which can be authenticated by the trade directories of the period. Prior to working in Calthorpe Street Cooper was based at 4 Duncan Place in 1835. In 2013 a watch was sold by Freemans in USA with that address and, as far as I am able to determine, with London hallmarks for 1835/36. Unfortunately, the description in their archive does not include any information of the mechanism. I suspect some serious research of auction house records in the USA would uncover further examples of Cooper's earlier output with the correct addresses. The significance of address is discussed here

    I had a vague memory of a court action involving T F Cooper and his descendants. A search of this site reveals reference to a court action taken against a merchant importing Swiss watches already engraved with Cooper's name see here.

    John
     
  8. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Chris, post 10 where I posted photos for you to look at!!! Regards Ray
     
  9. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Hi Ray, yes I had a good look at that, but can’t find a date. I think that everyone is content that Cooper has authentic watches kicking around after 1846 (that’s the earliest example that I’ve found). I’m keen to see an automatic one between 1819 and 1846. Nobody’s seen one, just loads of fakes!
     
  10. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Not automatic, authentic
     
  11. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    You won't find a date; (very rare on movements) but I am pretty sure that the movement was made before 1846! Graham will have an idea when Ruby Duplex movements stopped being made:???: Regards Ray
     
  12. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    There's a 1844 pocket chronometer on David Penney's site and if you search you will find the 1835 example I refer to above.

    John
     
  13. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    I know those that have been contributing/following this discussion will probably disagree. But I think there’s a good chance that some of the other mechanisms with Coopers name attached are his earlier work. Unless somebody can show me an early career piece like the one on #10, they’re the only watches that anyone on here has seen associated with Cooper spanning some 29 years
     
  14. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    *27 years ugh
     
  15. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Sorry 27 was a correction of my maths, hadn’t seen your post. But that still leaves a 25 year gap
     
  16. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Yes, the mechanism is key
     
  17. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Anyway, how do I go about getting a rough valuation off of you guys?
     
  18. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    For interests sake, does anybody think that I may be right?
     
  19. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Not really sure why I keep doing searches for you ... but here is an example of a verge with the King William Street address - where Cooper was based in 1838.

    John
     
  20. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Very interesting indeed. That does look like it may be one of the early new mechanism. Very ornate, it’s as if he’s transitioning from the style of the one I posted to the plain one in later years
     
  21. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    That serial number is 1875
     
  22. novicetimekeeper

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    Have you looked at verge watches and their history at all?

    I ask because your connection between that and the one you showed us originally is simply bizarre.

    Oh and the answer to your question is no, nobody believes your theory. You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink, I've seen this style of thread before almost word for word. The last one was by a chap called gshep who had the same theory about Tobias watches. The one before that was also about TF Cooper.

    It's going to go round in circles because you just won't accept that those watches were not made in England.
     
  23. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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  24. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Ok fair enough, but please tell me. How do you know?
     
  25. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    If the serial number is ineligible, it’s 1565
     
  26. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    I am not sure if this post is going anywhere. Bye Regards Ray
     
  27. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    What use is a serial number if the maker of the case and/or the movement is unknown? Do you think there's a large database somewhere in the cloud with every watch ever made in it?

    You've found a watch with a Swiss movement in it and a cuvette fraudulently signed for a good London maker who had nothing to do with its creation or marketing. The script on the cuvette and the movement itself are both absolutely typical of their country of origin, and no amount of backwards logic, speculation or theorising is going to alter those two facts.

    If you're into horses, look at an Irish Draft next to a Thoroughbred, or a New Forest next to a Welsh Cob, and you immediately see the differences in conformation and action; if you aren't, then they're all just big animals. It's the same with watches, years of study and experience have led to an understanding which doesn't come out of a quick Google search.

    If you want to proceed with your researches, may I suggest that you first read as much as you can on the English watch, the social environment in which it was made, the way the trade was organised and the English hallmarking system, and look at as many genuine examples as you can. Only when you have a sound understanding of English watchmaking and its products in the late 18th and 19th centuries can you begin to appreciate the significant differences between English and Swiss work which have been illustrated in the various posts to your thread. If you'd like some pointers for a reading list, both books and online, we'll be happy to make suggestions.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  28. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    #78 Psyche524, Apr 1, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2018
    I found this in the pocket watch museum

    F318E20E-1876-421D-B931-6D7716FB821E.png 495DDEC6-EAE1-43FD-AAA3-92BE16AC7328.png
     
  29. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    Do you know anything about this museum or the veracity of its descriptions?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  30. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    I’ll email them Tomorrow and ask how this claim has been verified
     
  31. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    Before you do that, have a look at the descriptions of a few of the other items, try items 25, 26, 27 or 34 for starters and let us know what you see there.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  32. Omexa

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    It is a Swiss Lever with what looks to be a Club foot escapement. Some of the best Museums have no idea of what they have got; when it is donated they just take what is told them by the Donor. Regards Ray
     
  33. novicetimekeeper

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  34. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    I think the answer to that is no. It’s not that people here aren’t open to new evidence, as you will see on other threads. It’s just that when you are presenting no evidence. Instead saying the equivalent of “I think this watch, which has a name engraved on it, was made by a famous English maker” and ignoring the chorus of those who have more knowledge than you who point out, repeatedly, why your belief is wrong. But arguing fact against belief usually fails, so like others I’ll give up on this thread now.
     
  35. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Hopefully you will take the great passion you have for this particular watch and use this experience as a learning
    moment . Step back from this particular watch and take some time and look through the threads in this section of the forum.
    Many of the threads start with someone asking about a particular watch and the thread evolves
    into descriptions of when the watches were made, their historical context, the lineage of the
    the watchmakers family, how they were made, and how they function etc. Read the descriptions, look at the photos of the movements and as said above
    you will become familiar with what you are looking at. And then one of these days soon you will post a watch that you have found that
    others will find very interesting and you will join in a conversation with them about the particular watch.
    Yes it's frustrating hearing that something you thought was an exciting find isn't exactly what you
    thought it was. If you continue collecting and learning you will find watches that meet your criteria
    because you will know what you are looking for, and you will be excited about them too.

    Rob
     
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  36. Tom McIntyre

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    85 posts about nothing in 5 hours may be a record.

    Why does anyone think these elaborate Swiss fakes are earlier than the 1850's. There is nothing there that indicates that to me.

    T. F. Cooper became very famous in the U.S. when one of his duplexes was used to navigate a ship for most of the voyage from the UK to the United States in the mid 19th century. I believe that event got Cooper quite a bit of press and inspired that portion of the Swiss fake industry that focused on the U.S. market to ramp up these watches. Most are rather simpler designs because Americans were not really interested in the fancy ones.

    The real Cooper duplexes were really popular here as well. Most of those are the 3/4 plate designs. The full plate designs are more interesting but do not look as nice as the 3/4 plates. . There were several in the Bradley Ross collection that sold at R. O. Schmitt a few months ago. look at the October 2017 sale. Online Auction Listings & Past Sales Archive Search - R. O. Schmitt Fine Arts

    Here is the one I have kept for my own collection. It is in an American case as many (or most) were.

    Back.jpg CapOutside.jpg Cuvette.jpg Dial.jpg Face.jpg Front.jpg FrontInside.jpg InnerBackInside.jpg Movement.jpg MovementEdge.jpg
     
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  37. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    That is indeed a very nice Pocket Watch Tom. Regards Ray
     
  38. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Lovely watch!
     
  39. John Matthews

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    Rather unfair & inaccurate comment. The thread might be described as repetitive and at times frustrating, but surely not about nothing. As a result it caused me to research a maker with whom previously I only had passing acquaintance. For me it culminating in identifying and acquiring a genuine Cooper duplex movement with jewelled impulse. I benefited from this thread and I appreciate the tenacity of the original author (while not agreeing with him) and all those who herein contributed to my knowledge. I include my thanks to Tom for posting a complete set of photographs of his watch as the link elsewhere on the forum no longer points to an active site.

    John
     
  40. Tom McIntyre

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    I meant that remark as mostly tongue in cheek. The discussion stopped being about the original artifact fairly quickly and became more about "how does one know" which is a worthwhile topic.

    The awco.org web site will be back some day when I can scratch together some more time. :(
     
  41. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Evening all, just wondering if you thought this was real or fake?
     
  42. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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  43. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    OK, have a look at the five areas arrowed here:

    D8B0E18C-1593-45FA-8A9B-96FCA34A63E9_edit.jpg

    Red: This is the tail of the lever, (it is a detached lever), with the pallets attached and laid out as a tangent to the escape wheel. Notice the curled shape.

    Black: This is the aforesaid escape wheel. Notice the long teeth with blunt ends, known as club-tooth.

    Green: This is the mainspring ratchet mechanism which prevents the spring from unwinding as soon as it's wound up. Notice the 'T' shaped plate holding it together.

    Orange: This is the hairspring stud, where the spring is attached to the fixed support which also holds the top pivot of the balance wheel. (The other end of the spring is attached to the centre of the balance wheel shaft, (the 'balance staff'). Notice the apparent lack of any way of securing it, it's just a press fit.

    Blue: This is the balance wheel with a rim made of two different metals, usually steel on the inside and brass on the outside, and more specifically there's a small cut in the rim near each spoke. This arrangement of a bimetallic rim should allow the rim to bend in at higher temperatures, hence speeding it up, and out at lower temperatures, hence slowing it down, to compensate for the unfortunate tendency of the hairspring to lose its elasticity as it warms up. For this to work the cut must go right through the rim, but notice that these cuts don't do that, they're just there to look as though the balance is fully compensated for temperature.

    All these features taken together are characteristic of Swiss movements from the middle of the 19th century. The style of the engraving of the signature is also in Swiss style; compare with genuine Coopers, or indeed most other good quality English movements.

    Hope this answers your question as to whether this is a fake!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  44. Psyche524

    Psyche524 Registered User

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    Thanks Graham
     

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