Brockbank verge

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Keith R..., Jul 13, 2020.

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  1. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #1 Keith R..., Jul 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
    OK, watch is signed Jn Brockbank #4751 and a verge. John Matthews has
    a Brockbank cylinder #4750, confirmed for 1806. So based on those stats,
    I will call this one 1806. Jerry Trieman has an 1800 duplex by them, I'll have
    to see his watch sig. This one is Jn Brockbanks on the plate, (1806).

    Reread John's PM. It's Jno Brockbanks to 1881, then Brockbanks until
    1815, then Brockbanks and Atkins.


    One should note, John's research indicates the Jn Brockbanks signature
    was valid up to 1781 and thereafter, was Brockbanks, until Brockbanks &
    Atkins later became partners.

    It is running and timing in all positions. I'm not fond of the hands, (replacements)
    as is the seconds bit I fished off the dial from shipment. The dial is likely a
    replacement. The case is also not original (I wanted a Brockbanks movement).

    It fits decent in the silver pair case, so I'm happy. I'm wondering if the Jno
    Brockbanks signature was for his personal watch, or perhaps something
    nefarious.

    Input is requested and any other like examples are welcome. Even if it turns
    out nefarious, I only paid $137 USD. Let's hope for the best. There's the inner
    case hallmark, but as I said, a re-case. Also a replacement, (the cock screw).

    I'll go through my spares for a seconds bit with a lower profile, although
    clearance is OK for now. I added my earliest cylinder dial, from 1790 below.
    The dial might be original. Also from 1790, my Grant verge dial of Fleet Street.

    Keith R...

    100_5965 (1000x750).jpg 100_5972 (1000x750).jpg brock (973x1000).jpg brockA (1000x645).jpg Brockb (1000x909).jpg 100_3697 (1600x1200).jpg 100_4311 (1600x1200).jpg
     
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  2. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Keith - this is from the PM ... (you typed 1881 rather than 1781)

    The watch is signed Jno Brockbanks which from A D Stewart's graph are the early examples up to 1781. There after signature changed to Brockbanks until 1815, when it became Brockbank & Atkins. So that seems to confirm the re-case. The problem is the serial number. All recorded examples signed Jno Brockbanks are <2000. The serial number #4571 you would expect to be signed Brockbanks and date from ~1801

    John
     
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  3. zedric

    zedric Registered User
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    Just a quick note, as I think there is some confusion on the name. John’s name was Brockbank (no s). It is my impression that when his sons took over, or moved into partnership with their father, that they renamed the firm Brockbanks to indicate that there were two of them (or more when the father was also in the firm). Much like Lund, who were variously known as Lund and Lunds depending on who was working in the firm.
     
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  4. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Zedric - you are quite right - apology for my error and any confusion caused

    John
     
  5. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    444-19.jpg

    444-19 (2).jpg Keith, I would say the "S" is under the screw, so the serial number would be correct. The style of the watch also indicates very early 19th century.

    Allan
     
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  6. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I think there is still a puzzle here. Isn't the plural "Brockbanks" used without a first name? This watch is signed with a first name, so there should not be a final "s", hidden or not.

    Also, the balance cock and signature style (including "London") are quite different from the Brockbanks watches I have, with numbers not too far off --
    2Brockbanks.jpg
     
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  7. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Jerry - I agree.

    For comparison my #4750 from here.

    20170114 011.jpg

    My personal view is that this is probably a genuine John Brockbank from ~1780 signed Jno Brockbank. The last similar movement that is known to me is #2226 from 1782. Unfortunately I don't have a photograph, it was sold in a Christie's sale 7434 lot 55 and I haven't chased it down. It would certainly be worth comparing Keith's find with one of John Brockbank's verges - which I am afraid I don't have.

    When I first saw the movement I was struck by the difference in style and sharpness of the signature to the serial number, it could just be the light. I did wonder if the serial number had been added later.

    01.jpg

    John
     
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  8. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Jerry, I think you are right, the watch as worried me for a while, my thoughts were, why is the bottom part of the top plate empty, and the odd signature.

    Allan.
     
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  9. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Thanks to all. Post #7 is also my feeling.

    Keith R...
     
  10. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Perhaps an employees or the makers watch? Shooting for the moon.;)

    Keith R...
     
  11. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Given examples in same serial number range, this verge is not in the authentic Brockbank camp.

    Almost as if the maker copied their cylinder style from 1805 and counter-fitted a Verge. One of my
    most accurate verges though.

    Thanks all!

    Keith R...
     
  12. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Keith, I have been thinking maybe a Brockbank file could help-do you think it would be of use, and worth the effort.

    Allan.
     
  13. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    If nothing else to provide authentic examples Allan.

    Keith R...
     
  14. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Keith, finding original Brockbank pocket watches is not the problem with this firm. They are today loved by collectors worldwide. So I have not had a problem there. The problem I did find was the lack of data about John Brockbank and his brother Myles. So I started with John Penfold´s book "The Clockmakers of Cumberland" 1977. There is a family tree. John Brockbank was born in Corney (Cumberland) 1747, and died London 1804/05? so not sure. Miles (Another way of spelling) was born in the same place in 1754 died 1821 London. These dates have an influence on their partnership later. At the moment I am only looking at watches signed by the two brothers, my point being, John Brockbank had nothing to do with watches signed Brockbank and Atkins. I have taken the time to read up on Brockbank by Penfold, Osterhausen, A.D.Stewart, and Jonathan Bettes. Why you might ask? Because by the time Atkins came in the firm the serial numbers were not those of John or Myles serial numbers. Example- Brockbank and Atkins 800 chronometer S/C L 1816./David Penney Archive) John and Myles were well past that number by 1816. So when I post the file it will be somewhere between 1776/77 when John is thought to have finished his apprenticeship, and 1808 when Myles retired. (Myles did return in 1818-but that has no influence on the serial number file) According to Osterhausen, John was free of the CC in 1769, becoming Master in 1777( that´s a big typo error) John Brockbank was not Master of the CC)
     
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  15. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Keith,

    I have spent a few hours, each day reading up on John and Miles Brockbank. Most interesting, up to 1808, and has said I made a file from 1769 to 1808 It turns out John Brockbank finished his apprenticeship in 1769, walked across the road, bought a shop with workshop, fully manned with top-grade watchmakers, and turned out of the most beautiful musical watches ever seen. Somehow that did not agree with the way it usually works. So how did he manage all that at the age of 21? Money alone, would not be enough, so Brockbank must have something about him, that rich people would invest in him to make a profit.

    Anyway, this is just for you. Not all the watches by this firm are listed especially the three-digit numbers, as it would mean researching all the chronometers, pocket and marine. Some of these are listed when they were put in with the every day serial numbers. I would though highly recommend, all three who have written so much on the Brockbank family, and all three make very good reading. I might extend this later, what do you think?
     

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