Chester hallmark....odd stamp...anyone recognise it please ?

PJQL

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I have a Settle Brothers of London pocket watch encased in a silver full-hunter case. It is hallmarked Chester 1903. However, there is a fourth stamp which looks sort of circular with four legs or slightly curved spokes. Can anyone shed any light on this please ?
Thanks.....Piers
 

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MartyR

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Piers, guess what? We need clearer photos ;) And wider photos of the case will help too.

I'm using the first photo because it's a full traditional hallmark layout.

The first thing is that this is (as you say) a Chester assay for Sterling silver. I think the date letter is G which makes your date of 1903 wrong - it has to be 1803, 1825 or 1890. So now we come to the fourth mark, at the bottom. That looks to me vaguely like a leopard's head (maybe crowned?). If it is crowned then the date is 1803, if it's uncrowned then 1825, and if it's not a leopard's head at all it will be 1890.

I have a recollection that the 4-spoked wheel is an import mark, but I can't find it in a reference book.

Finally, what still puzzles me is that I can't see a casemaker's mark.

Settle Brothers are shown in Loomes as 1868-96 so if this is the original case the case date of 1890 seems most likely. So that would suggest that the "leopard's head" isn't a leopard's head at all, in which case it might be the overseas casemaker's trademark.
 

PJQL

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Thanks Marty...I wasn't very happy with the pics myself... :(

Try these ones. The casemaker's mark is E.L in a shield. The letters are capitals, serifed, and separated by a dot at the bottom.

I'm fairly sure the date letter is a C though..with curled ends....?

I couldn't find the circular stamp anywhere either....it's a new one to me, although I'm still a beginner here.

DSC03851.JPG DSC03849.JPG DSC03850.JPG DSC03848.JPG
 
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MartyR

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I'm very confused :(

The date letter is obviously 1903, but the case is for a keywind and I would have dated it earlier.

I cannot find ES (in a shield) any where in Priestley or Grimwade or Jackson or Culme.

I still can't find that strange circular mark, although I know I've seen it here on the board within the last few months. I suppose it could be a supplementary maker's trademark, but my vague recollection of that previous discussion is not that the maker's mark was ES in a shield.

I see the pendant is hallmarked - any clues there?

:???:
 

PJQL

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Hmmm, the plot thickens....

Although that's EL Marty, not ES.....!

I'm away until Sunday evening, so I'll recheck the pendant then anyway and repost.

Have a nice weekend. :)
 

PJQL

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Hmmm, the plot thickens....

Although that's EL Marty, not ES.....!

I'm away until Sunday evening, so I'll recheck the pendant then anyway and repost.

Have a nice weekend. :)
Marty,

The riddle of the circular hallmark is solved. It's the personal Settle brothers' stamp.

I'd still like to identify the casemaker though...I wonder if they're connected perchance.

Piers.
 

MartyR

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The riddle of the circular hallmark is solved. It's the personal Settle brothers' stamp.

I'd still like to identify the casemaker though...I wonder if they're connected perchance.
Where did you find that, Piers?

I also cannot find E.L in a shield anywhere. Your case looks to be very good quality, and I find it amazing that I can't find the maker's mark :^
 

PJQL

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Believe it or not, I was contacted by the very person who posted the Settle Pocket Watches thread earlier this year.
His mother is directly related to the original family, and has significant literature in that respect....small world my friend !

Yes, the watch case certainly is very nice. ( The cartouche is engraved CH )
Anyway..it's going to a new home....one where it will be appreciated and represent a piece of someone's family history, which is PDG if you ask me !

Any more ideas about the casemaker ?
 

DaveyG

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How about Edward Linnett, King Street, Coventry. Mark is E.L in a no 28 cameo (Priestley pg 161) , which is a shield with scalloped top. Mark registered 23 June 1898. That shield cameo is so scarce - it must be him.
 

PJQL

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That could be it.....the scalloped shield is a perfect match. Is it the actual shield cameo as an inset that's rare....and if so, why is that ?
I'd like to pass any info on to the new owner.

Thanks DaveyG
 

DaveyG

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I think that if you were to plod thru' Priestley and 'collect' makers you will find few with that particular cameo - in fact, money where mouth is, I've just done it (well skim rather than plod) and I found 4 out of hundreds if not thousands of makers. Strangely though Priestley would have it that Linnett's mark was only registered at Birmingham - clearly incorrect.
 

MartyR

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I would guess that a shield shape is very difficult to punch accurately?
 

PJQL

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Hmmm...interesting. Were watchmakers allowed to choose whatever cameo they wished...or were there hard and fast rules about that sort of thing ?

And I reckon I should get off my backside and buy some reference books...although it would appear from your last, and other instances I've come across, that the so called accurate reference books sometimes fall short ! What would you recommend ?
 

DaveyG

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As far as I an aware case makers (not watchmakers) were free to choose whatever shaped cameo they wished and, obviously, had to produce the punches with which to stamp their mark. Priestley lists 81 different cameo shapes that he has seen but the vast majority of casemakers stamped their mark incuse (ie no cameo) or within what he defines as shapes 1,2 or 3 which are oblong or square, oblong or square with cut corners or an oval.

As for reference books my money goes on:

Casemakers - Watch Casemakers of England by Philip T Priestley (now only available from the author)
Watchmakers - Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World Vol 1 by G H Baillie (my preference)
- Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World Vol 2 by Brian Loomes (more makers names but very little supporting information - just a list really)
Hallmarks - Jackson's Hallmarks Edited by Ian Pickford
Basic Pocket Watch - The Pocket Watch Handbook by M Cutmore
Pocket Watch - Pocket Watches of the 19th & 20th Century by Alan Shenton


I would define these as entry level texts, a decent place to start.
 

PJQL

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Thanks a lot....all appreciated....as usual, you guys are a great source of knowledge !
 
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