Barwise spring detent fusee movement #8026

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by John Matthews, Nov 22, 2019.

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  1. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I purchased this spring detent non-working movement a year ago. The chain was broken: however, the movement would run when the train was put under pressure. The purchase had an element of risk, but I decided, after taking advice, it was a risk worth taking. It has recently been serviced and repaired. Fortunately, no unforeseen major problems were encountered. The work undertaken included, repairing the broken fusee chain, fitting a new mainspring, re- working the upper fusee pivot, remodelling the minute hand and making a new second hand.

    It is now working perfectly.

    The movement, an Earnshaw type spring detent full plate fusee with a freesprung helical spring mounted on an early Earnshaw design balance, is signed Barwise, London. The serial number is #8026. In David Thompson's paper in AH of Autumn 1998, #8027 is listed as a detent in a silver hunter hallmarked 1820. It was sold by Sotheby's on 13/12/1971. Further research revealed it came back on the market at a Christie auction. As Lot 124 of the sale on 18/03/1998, it was described as 'a silver gilt pocket chronometer 48 mm diam' - it sold for £1725. Christies have kindly provided copies of the photographs used in their auction. These show that #8027 is also signed Barwise rather than Barwise & Sons. It seems reasonable to assume the age of #8026 will be similar to that of the almost identical #8027, ~1820.

    Before & after servicing photographs

    20171117 012.jpg 20191121 001.jpg DSCF7748.jpg DSCF7553.jpg
    20171117 007.jpg 20191122 002.jpg
    DSCF7550.jpg 20191122 001.jpg

    It is clear that the dial is not original. This can be inferred from comparison with the photograph of the #8027 dial, provided by Christies, and also, as identified by Graham during the servicing, from the redundant holes in the brass edge that would have accommodated dial feet secured by radial screws. Close inspection of the dial also reveals the presence of flaws in the enamel – these can be seen in the photographs. This is not what would be expected in a Barwise movement of this quality. Nevertheless, the dial is undamaged and the design is pleasing to the eye, (to mine at least): the work performed on the hands has enhanced the appearance further.

    Modifications to the hands

    DSCF7570.jpg DSCF7708.jpg DSCF7736.jpg DSCF7761.jpg

    and finally photographs of the detent.

    20191122 003.jpg 20171119 012.jpg DSCF7560.jpg

    I am very pleased with the addition of this movement to my collection and grateful for the work that Graham has done to bring it back to a condition that it probably has not been in for many a long day.

    John
     
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  2. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi John a fantastic movement and a Top Job by Graham. This has encouraged me to have another look at the John Spyer Chronometer movement that was sold to me by an unscrupulous Seller with missing parts. At the time I purchased this I was not very well and I did not get anywhere with the Seller. Regards Ray

    20191123_052902.jpg
     
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  3. Travler1

    Travler1 Registered User
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    Hi John ...sweet movement. Graham performed a spectacular restoration....how does she go ? A while ago I had a detent made for my Roskell pocket chronometer as I remember 3-4 seconds a day but we never checked the rate. Do you actively seek cases for your homeless movements?
     
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  4. Travler1

    Travler1 Registered User
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    PS to Omexa ....speaking of unscrupulous sellers !! .... the Roskell I mentioned above was described as running no problem .....when it arrived and sent off to my #1 bench man ....he explained that the detent was superglued for repair ....ehhhhh
     
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  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ray - the lack of parts is a great pity as it appears that it is a well jewelled movement - more so than the Barwise. Is the detent present?

    I tried to find John Spyer - my first thought was that he was the retailer and I wondered who made the movement.

    Loomes has John, London 1825 and Samuel, London 1828. I cannot find John in the trade directories and there is no Spyer or Spier on David Penney's site. I can find Josh & Sol Spyer at 26 Leaman Street, Goodman's Fields - listed as jewellers in two directories from 1822/23 and also in 1825. However, Britten has J & Solomon in his list of watch makers at 26 Prescot Street in 1804 as well as 20 Leman Street in 1825. So I infer the J = Josh. Samuel Spyer, is listed as a watch maker, at 14 Great Alie Street in a 1825 directory. John is likely to be related - but my quick search drew a blank

    I think the movement might have a slightly later Earnshaw balance than the Barwise - Graham will correct if I am mistaken.

    John - I tend not to chase the seconds on any of my movements or watches providing they keep reasonable time compatible with age and the movement.

    Graham expresses it so for the Barwise ...
    "The movement is showing a very lively action ... and running reasonably to time on the bench, with acceptable variation between the various positions taking into account the age and design of this movement."
    Now, when I receive a "historical/quality" serviced uncased movement back from the two watch makers that I trust, I try to handle it as little as possible. I normally perform a single test run without necessarily setting it to the correct time. Cased movements can be handled with less risk, but I am very careful with uncased movements. I don't actively search out cases, although I do occasionally purchase ones in good condition and check them against uncased movements. Yet to find a perfect match in age and size! Nor yet one requiring minimal work that could be sent with a movement for service and fitting.

    John
     
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  6. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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  7. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ray - I was going to just 'Like' your previous post - but given a just a year, 5 years ago - it seemed rather a weak response. May you long continue to multiply up the years yet to come:)

    John
     
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  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    I think a balance with much wider gaps in the rim, as in your Barwise, is likely to be earlier, but in the absence of a wider sample than two, I wouldn't care to be more definite than that.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  9. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ray/Graham

    It seems that both Graham and I had in our mind that the gaps in the rim of Earnshaw balances evolved systematically in the first half of the C19th. I have no idea where I formed this view - I am hoping that Graham might remember. In order to try and jog my memory I searched David's site for examples. I am afraid I was unable to find evidence to substantiate our view. Unfortunately, many of the examples are uncased movements and the dates assigned are based upon David's knowledge - having said that, a date from David is generally reasonably accurate. From a very limited sample size it appears that the gap was relatively narrow up to ~1810, but then in the subsequent period to ~1830, balances can be found with both narrow and wide gaps. Some of the variation appears to reflect the maker - the examples by Brockbanks appear to have narrow gaps.

    I suspect this may have been discussed and there may be references that I am not aware of.

    Relevant to Ray's example are two examples where the weights have slots and the weight is secured to the rim with a wide headed screw ...

    FRODSHAM, Gracechurch St, London. No 339 - David Penney's Antique Watch Store

    and

    BROCKBANKS, No 3334, for FEARN, Cornhill, London - David Penney's Antique Watch Store

    The Frodsham example is the work of Robert Pennington from ~1825 and looks to me to be particularly worth a detailed comparison.

    John
     
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  10. SKennedy

    SKennedy Registered User

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    A lovely movement. For sake of further comparison, a shot of my Barwise #1472 movement which I think I did do a post about at some stage, here before any restoration work.
    Balance rim has fairly narrow gaps, but I note that the weight screws are on the top here and on the insides on yours. Mine is also a Pennington dovetail detent not a foot one.

    IMG_4258.jpg
     
  11. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #11 John Matthews, Nov 24, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    Seth - Your post has caused me to research a little more.

    I started with David Thompson's listing of Barwise movements. It demonstrates very clearly the pitfalls of assuming that English makers assigned serial numbers in a strict chronological order – to date your movement from the serial number was not going to be straightforward.

    Would the address help? Unfortunately not.

    The business address is recorded in trade directories as 29, St Martin's Lane from 1794 to 1839.
    • 1794 - 1818 – John Barwise
    • 1822 – 1825 – Barwise Weston & Sons
    • 1839 – John Barwise
    Thompson's paper illustrates that a number of different signatures were used by the Barwise business across the range of serial numbers. Could this be used?

    The table uses the raw data from the paper and I have added a date range, in square brackets, to show when a particular signature was most consistently used in each serial number range.

    upload_2019-11-24_14-28-18.png

    Thompson has an apostrophe in the signature for #5414 [Martin's], however he shows a photograph of the movement – there is no apostrophe. This is a typographical error.

    In fact the movement is in the British Museum and can be seen in their on-line collection. The description includes 'The dovetail detent is missing .. ' The curator's comments begin by referencing the hallmarks on #5368 [1810], #5445 [1812] & #5501 [1811] and then stating 'Made by Barwise & Sons, 1822'. The conclusion drawn is that the movement dates from 1810 to 1812 and it is now in a 1822 case.

    So we have -
    • #1472 signed Barwise St Martins Lane on the plate and London 1472 on the barrel bar
    • #5414 signed Barwise St Martins Lane London 5414 on the plate
    • #8026 signed Barwise London on the plate and 8026 on the barrel bar
    • #8027 signed 8027 Barwise on the plate and London on the barrel bar
    Not particularly helpful – so I looked elsewhere.

    A D Stewart's paper, Barwise & Sons (AH March 2014) includes the following graph -

    upload_2019-11-24_14-29-51.png

    The Barwise firm retailed some 12,000 pocket watches from 1780 to 1857 (Stewart), obtaining the watches from a number of sources. I believe that this helps to understand the variation seen in the style of engraving that is found. Some of the watches have been re-cased, Stewart states this might be as high as 30%. I believe this is how he has explained all of those examples that deviate for the line on the graph. This is undoubtedly the reason for some, perhaps the majority of the deviations, however, it is also possible that some of the deviation reflects the absence of a perfect chronological sequencing of serial number due to the diversity of suppliers.

    Barwise pocket chronometers were obtained from specialist suppliers including Brockbanks and the Penningtons of Camberwell. Some examples have both Pennington dovetail detents and balances – Stewart illustrates #5445 [1812] with a Pennington's balance. This appears to me to be a 'Double L' variant which I believe is a relatively early example. The earliest known to me is ~1810 but most examples are from 1815 onwards. Barwise chronometers with other Pennington balance variants are known, #6291 has a 'Double T' balance (Mercer, AH Spring 1981). Seth's Barwise #1472, Frodsham #339, Brockbanks #3334 and Ray's Spyer 562 share a similar design of Earnshaw balance and from the first two examples it would appear that these were used by Pennington as well as balances of his own design. I am not sure if Ray's detent is of the Pennington dovetail design.

    The British Museum have dated movement #5414 from hallmark dates of cases containing movements with adjacent serial numbers. - essentially using the line on Stewart's graph. I have used a similar approach to date #8026 to ~1820. From the raw data I think this is reasonable for these movements. To use the same approach with #1472 would give a date of ~1792. However, to do so, in my opinion, would lack justification. If you only consider those movements with serial numbers below #2000 you would obtain a completely different chronological sequence and you might conclude that the age of the movement is more likely to be ~1817.

    To me this illustrates the caution that needs to applied when attempting to date movements from serial numbers – if all the low serial numbers below the line show clear evidence of being re-cased, one might infer that #1472 is from early in the 1790's, but if not all of those movements have been re-cased, then ...

    John

    EDIT a recently completed sale here of Barwise #5718 shows a Pennington dovetail detent with possibly a very early Pennington screw type balance - without the intermediate screws! ~1815?
     
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  12. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi John, I just downloaded a bit of your provided information; I have a few Barwise movements and this will help to date them. Regards Ray
     
  13. SKennedy

    SKennedy Registered User

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    John, you have probably repeated some of the steops I went through when I was first looking up my movement. It cannot be from the 1790s as I don't think Pennington was making dovetail detents until the early 1800s. I've come to the conclusion it is likely 1805-1815 due to that group of misfit numbers on the graph in that kind of range. I do have the original dial on mine which is not signed Barwise but simply 'Chronometer'. The five minute numbering is also an earlier rather than later feature but isn't definitive in itself. One day, when people keep me less busy, it will get a period silver consular case.

    IMG_4270.jpg
     
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  14. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi John, Ray, Seth, if you remember we went through this some time ago, and the conclusions were pretty much the same. John is right to say the numbers cannot be relied on, Barwise and others at that period used different numbers for different styles of their watches. (See below) This goes too for the signatures on the plates, There are also watches signed Barwise Cornhill. I think though, that a lot of the confusion comes from those graphs if they were listed with the number the style, and the hallmark date, the picture would be far more interesting and clear. If you remember Thompson only recorded cased watches. It implies he ignored any others. Seth when you get round to making a case for your watch above, could you do a batch, and do the same to the watch below.:cool::emoji_golfer:


    m-4.JPG m-3.JPG m-5.JPG m-6.JPG m-7.JPG

    Very Best Wishes, Allan
     
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  15. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Seth - do you happen to know the earliest recorded dovetail detent?

    According to a short note Stewart produced in March 2017, Barwise #158 & #159, the first ones sold to them by Pennington, are described as being of Earnshaw design with his early YCC balance and with the 'comma' shaped balance cock. #159 is in a gold 1799/1800 case. I assume 'Earnshaw' rather than 'Arnold' as Pennington was also producing a small number of Arnold-type detents e.g. Pennington 117/511 in a 1808/09 gold case (Randall). No mention of dovetailed foot fitting.

    Stewart also comments on the difficulty of 'attributing serial numbers' to both Barwise and Pennington in relation to date, he even states 'Perhaps the two Barwise pocket chronometers ... belong to a separately numbered series issued by Barwise from about 1798 ...' He goes on to suggest that chronometer #2543 was the serial number when the separate sequence was broken.

    John
     
  16. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    #16 Allan C. Purcell, Nov 24, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    Barwise and Sons 1822.
    Signature; `Barwise St. Martins Lane London 5414.

    Case: 18-carat gold consular case open face with the London hallmark for 1822 and makers mark W.M. and M elsewhere. The dome fixed, the middle and back engine-turned. The fluted pendant somewhat resembles a Thomas Prest´s keyless but is solid and with a push-piece to operate the lock spring and open the back. Diam. 53.2mm, h.22.0mm.

    Escapement: Earnshaw type of detent escapement, the brass escape wheel with 3 arms, not gilded. The dovetailed detent missing, its gilded brass support block with blued steel banking, adjusting and fixing screws. Polished steel impulse roller, the edge, the unusually small notch and the bottom polished. The impulse face on a radial from the centre.

    I have put this on here Seth, because of the St. Martins Lane address, and of course, the hallmark for 1822. I have said it before, Barwise did not use that address very often, I know of only four. The above from "Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum V1. by Anthony G. Randall and Richard Good. Allan.

    PS: WM William Mordan 5 Stangate Place Stangate Street Lanbeth. (Pendant maker too)
     
  17. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Allan I believe you will find that since this was written in 1990, the view is that the case is in all probability later the movement - as I indicated in my earlier post.

    John
     
  18. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Great example and write up John. My one and only Barwise is signed
    Barwise, ca 1805 cylinder. sn# 3xxx.

    Keith R...
     
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  19. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    John, who came to that conclusion? 7350 is hallmarked 1837, and 4307 c1825.

    "Robert Pennington, senior. is recorded by Baillie as working from 1780-1824. He was succeded by a son, also Robert. Loomes gives Robert (& CO.) London (B 1780-1824) the dates 1839-1844, and also 1851. Almost no biographical material of a personal nature is known about the Penningtons. Ree mentions Robert, senior, as "the ingenious mechanist who constructed Mr Mudge´s timepiece and gave the drawings in Mr Mudge´s pamphlet....He also describes him as living at the corner of Orchard Row, Camberwell. (London)
    Although Robert Pennington made chronometers in his own right, he also made many for other "makers" especially Barraud and Barwise, who then had their names inscribed on them. The statement quoted from Rees above is slightly misleading. Pennington was one of the craftsmen engaged by Thomas Mudge, junior, to make timekeepers on his father´s plan, Pennington was active through the latter part of the "heroic" period of chronometer development. His contributions included an improved balance incorporating a brass cross-bar to be less subject to magnetism that Earnshaw´s, and the application of compensation screws instead of weights. It is possible that he also introduced the dovetail-type of detent foot." The Time Museum Catalogue of Chronometers" Anthony G. Randell.

    Who made the first Dovetail detent is an unanswerable question. Allan.
     
  20. Allan C. Purcell

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  21. SKennedy

    SKennedy Registered User

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    Afraid not, in any documented sense. If it was Pennington who came up with that design then he was presumably fully engaged in the late 1790s with making the Mudge copies and so I would suggest it was something that came about very shortly after that project collapsed and he was running his own business.
     
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  22. Lychnobius

    Lychnobius Registered User

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    Interestingly, the Pennington/Frodsham movement which John has cited looks decidedly more archaic than my movement signed by James Hatton (see below) which David has also attributed to Pennington (presumably the elder) and which should not be later than 1816, since Hatton did not work alone after that time. I have wondered if the very fully developed balance on my example could be a later replacement, but David did not suggest this.

    Oliver Mundy.
    hatton_chronometer_back_03.jpg

    hatton_chronometer_dial_01.jpg hatton_chronometer_side_01.jpg
     
  23. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Oliver - according to Stewart 'Pennington of London ...' (AH September 2013)

    "The screw type, essentially that used on modern mechanical watches, also appears about 1810"

    The more I see and the more I read, the less confident I am in making estimates of age based on the style/design of balances. It seems that in the first quarter of the C19th, many different designs were in play, seemingly it was very much a time of experimentation with different makers favouring different designs at different times. I cannot make sense of it :confused:

    John
     
  24. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Small adage to post 20. "John Barwise Senior died in 1820".
     
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  25. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Seth, I took some time yesterday to take a look around for numbers on Barwise watches not in the Thompson article. I found quite a few though not all, are on the new file below, I am still working on some of them, the information is weak. I have decided to re-work the whole piece with watches without a case, much Like the Roskell file, or the Barraud File I put on here. I think you will get a more clear picture that way. Though the St.Martins Lane address will not give a clear pattern of when it was made, I do think they used it for local purchase, or maybe just in the family? I was only going to take this to 1820 when John Barwise died, but have decided to take it to the end. So if anyone who is interested, and has a Barwise watch not on the file please let me know. Allan


    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  26. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    A quote from the article by A.D. Stewart Vol 35 March 2014.page 623.

    Other acquaintances were Robert Pennington /1752-1813) and his eponymous son who settled in Camberwell village (near Dulwich) in 1804 and supplied pocket chronometers to Barwise for resale from this time on" 7

    7. A.D.Stewart, "Pennington of London: a brief history of the family, the firm and their chronometers`. AHS, 34/3 (Septemer 2013), 367-384.

    Allan.

    PS. RAY in the same AHS copy above there is an article on the Greenwich time ball. First-class read from Douglas Bateman
     
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