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Early movement "Massey Liverpool No 306"

Halda Sweden

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Dear Horological friends!

Recently I bought this movement. How many pocket watches where made with this signature?

Age any other thoughts?

Best rgds
Peter B.

20211031_130833 - Kopia.jpg 20211031_130833 - Kopia (2).jpg 20211031_130836 - Kopia (2).jpg 20211031_130836 - Kopia (3).jpg 20211031_130836 - Kopia (4).jpg
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hi Peter,
That's a very early number for Edward Massey ( II) Cutting out his early life in Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, he moved to Prescot from 1813 to 1821, it would be about this time that he and others worked on his patent, which brings on the question, what is the escapement in the watch, I would have thought a Massey I??. The cock looks right for the period, but the rest will have questions. I myself have not seen a watch by Massey, like this one.
Where are the banking pins on this watch, and do you know if it has draw?? Massey himself would not have made this watch, maybe only the escapement. More photographs, please.

Best wishes,

Allan.
 

John Matthews

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Like Allan I have not seen a watch signed in this manner before and I am not entirely convinced the signature is that of Edward Massey.

A John Massey is listed in Liverpool trade directories between 1824 and 1832. First at Warren Street followed by Copperas Hill and finally in Gloucester Road. At the latter he is identified as an escapement maker. Treherne identifies John, the son of the Edward, as probably being this Massey, however he gives dates from 1829 to 1840 with an additional address in Sandown Lane. He suggests he was also the John Massey that had addresses in Clerkenwell in 1830 and 1838.

Separately, Treherne has Edward John Massey, the son of Edward's dentist brother John, as a watch and chronometer maker in Warren Street, Russell Street and then in Wavertree from the mid 1830s to the 1870s. He is listed in an 1840 directory as a watch escapement maker at 41 Russell Street, Copperas Hill and as simply Edward Massey, watch & chronometer maker, in directories until 1860. It seems possible that the Copperas Hill addresses of the two relatives might be the same, or closely located, premises.

I suspect that your watch may possible carry the signature of either John or Edward John, respectively the son or nephew of Edward.

John
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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I do like that watch John, the script too, EDWARD MASSEY`S PATENT on the spring barrel plate is really interesting. Take a look at the two below, from the British Museum.

99999-23.png 99999-22.png

There needs to be more research needed about the time Edward Massey was working in Prescot and Coventry.

Regards,

Allan.
 

John Matthews

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John

Your example appears to have the banking pins fitted to a plate screwed to the top plate as described for #52 & #606 p. 21 also #1316 [1822/23] p. 23, Thos Pratt #1 [1817/18] p.25 and #237 p.26 of Treherne's catalogue (items 27, 28, 45 61 & 69). Is that correct?

Does the cap on your example have any maker's mark on the underside?

Peter - same question if you have the cap.

John
 

John Pavlik

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John, you are correct, the banking pins are a 1 piece arrangement similar in shape to a staple … made of brass and held in place by the plate.. The pin piece
is fixed in position.. The cap maker mark is seen in photo..and is for TB in a square cartouch.

B804B493-26BA-486B-98C3-85CFDB6A3D3B.jpeg
 

John Matthews

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John - thank you posting the cap mark.

I also have a Massey III which has a cap with the same mark

20161014 008.jpg

I believe my watch to have been finished in London for retail in Edinburgh. Based upon a Lancashire frame, it was probably delivered to London with the cap already fitted. The most likely cap maker based in Liverpool is Thomas Bibby, listed as a watch maker in directories but recognised as a cap maker in the Liverpool database. He worked in Renshaw Street in the 1820s. This fits with the hallmarks of my watch London 1823/24.

20161014 001.jpg 20161014 007.jpg

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Dear Peter,
Things are looking up for your Massey movement, I took a look at the piece by Alan Treherne in "Your Time" pages 39 to 58. On page 40 the first watch is the one below, and the cock is almost identical to yours. I am not quite sure, but I think when Massey signed your movement, there were no other Massey watchmakers in Liverpool. Does your watch have a dial? When you get back, make the photographs a number one task.

Regards,

Allan

99999-24.jpg 99999-25.JPG
 

Halda Sweden

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Dear Allan,

Interesting, it looks as these movements where made at the same time or by the same hands.. The movement has no cap. I will for sure come back with new detailed photos next week.

Best rgds
Peter B.
 

Benjamin E.

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I remember reading that watches with Massey's escapement that were made by the firm had EIM stamped or scratched in various places, like under the balance cock.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I remember reading that watches with Massey's escapement that were made by the firm had EIM stamped or scratched in various places, like under the balance cock.
That is very true, but not all of them, at the moment most people with watches with Massey escapements should try to find out when they were made, and where. Edward Massey was only at Prescot for 6 or 7 years, and it is in that period the EIM was used, though never say never.

Regards,
Allan.
 

John Matthews

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I remember reading that watches with Massey's escapement that were made by the firm had EIM stamped or scratched in various places, like under the balance cock.
I only know of one example of EIM - listed in Treherne's catalogue p.23 EIM IP from an uncased Massey I movement, and described as 'probably standing for Edward James Massey Improved Patent' - Edward James Massey being the Edward Massey's eldest son. There is also FM P on Francis J Massey's #431 pump wind Massey III from much later ~1840s

There are more examples known to me of the stamp EMP on the underside of the cock foot. It is these that are generally described as being the mark of Edward Massey (Edward Massey Patent) e.g

1636239976340.png


The examples that I am aware of in original hallmarked cases, have Massey I escapements and are from the period when Edward Massey was in Coventry. The one illustrated and one other from 1815 and one from 1817 (p.25 #1544). There may well be escapements in original hallmarked cases from period when Edward was resident in Scholes, Prescot, but I have not recorded any. I would be pleased to discover other dated examples.

1636240132587.png

There are other marker's marks known on the underside of the cock feet of Massey escapements One that will be of interest to John is [TB]. As I mentioned above in response cap mark, Bibby was a watch maker who also made caps. The example I am aware of is also a Massey I and housed in William Ryley pair cases hallmarked Birmingham 1821/22.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Just looking around for examples, this was posted by Ray (Omexa) It is thought to be by Edward James Massey.
1636275743430.png


99999-27.png 99999-28.png This one is again in the BM and again looks like Peter´s movement. The cock at least.



99999-24.png 99999-26.png From the BM online, "Improved Escapement on the dial, the case is thought to be a fake.
 
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jagrieff

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I have one uncased movement with the Edward Massey Patent stamp under the balance cock. It is signed by the Boston jeweler Baldwin and Jones and has a Massey 1 escapement. The balance cock is also stamped "1703". This does not correspond to the serial number of the watch - what could this refer to? I've included a picture of the cap maker's stamp for John.

Jeff Grieff

IMG_3336.JPG IMG_3337.JPG IMG_3338.JPG
 
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John Matthews

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Jeff - many thanks for posting this.

The number under the cock is believed to be the Massey serial number. I have read a number of different explanations as to the significance of these cock marks. It is often said that they indicate that Massey actually fitted the escapement, alternatively I have read that Massey sold escapement components that were finished by the watch maker/finishers. It does appear that these marks are predominantly found on the cocks of Massey I escapements - worth checking if you own one.

I don't immediately recognise the cap mark - I will search to see if i can find a match.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hello Jeff,
Thank you for posting your Massey Movement. It is as John says, the number 1703 is the Massey number, the 3344 number is more than likely that of the seller in Boston. It is beginning to look like Massey used the same cock maker for quite some time, yours looks like those above we were looking at for Peter.

Allan.
 

John Matthews

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Rich Newman has posted here and the auction listing here of a similar Baldwin & Jones Massey I with the patent mark beneath the cock. Jabez Baldwin ran a number of business in parallel, he is known to have been in partnership with John B Jones around 1815 in Boston.

More on the cap mark.

I thought I had seen it before on capped movements that found their way to America. Rich has two examples, Davis Brown & Co, Boston #507 & Samuel G Jones (no city but Philadelphia or Baltimore) #1210 the mark is either TF or JF in a gothic style.

The Jones example is interesting in that it is a Massey III with the lever mounted on a slide as is found with rack levers. This is by no means unique and other examples are known, both in the UK and on exported movements cased in America. Some may be conversions from racks, but it also believed that Massey escapements were fitted to rack frames and are therefore original. It is also know that early versions of Massey designs (I & II) were later converted to Massey IIis and I would not rule out that possibility with the Jones #1210.

I also have a suspicion that some (possibly the majority) of these Massey Is were made in Coventry - this ornament on the regulator scale

1636449671679.png

is frequently found on Vale & Co finished movements in the period when Edward Massey was in Coventry (the photograph is from an 1815 rack lever signed Vale & Comp). In my opinion a movement signed Robert Hill, Stafford #326, Massey I ~1815 with the lever mounted in a slide and carrying EMP 2690 on the underside of the cock foot, was probably finished by Vale & Co.

If I am correct and these movements were finished in Coventry, then we should be looking for a cap maker with the initials TF or JF working in Coventry. Vale and Rotherham movements from the late 1820s are known with caps stamped TF. This is thought to be the mark of Thomas Furneaux, a family of cap makers who were active for a considerable part of the C19th. I suspect this earlier mark is possibly an early mark of Thomas, or possibly that of an earlier relative.

While these are inferences on my part, I suspect they are not unrealistic.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Looking still for information on Peters watch, I tried first to confirm Edward Massey´s move to Coventry. The main information comes from Alan Treherne and David Thompson, though while reading Thompson´s book "Watches" based on the British Museum collection, I got the feeling he was copying Treherne. They both say Massey moved about 1813 to Coventry to c1821, and both say he moved to Scholes Prescot in 1819 to c1830. Facts for these dates are not given. ( Still working on that) So I then thought serial numbers could help, the really early ones like the one Peter has I think could be by Massey, but many, if not all, those made later at Prescot are the serial numbers of those that sold them, for example, the Helsby´s, Litherland, & Roskell. I then looked again at the watches available to us.

99999-29.JPG This then, with the serial number 170 (In "WATCHES DT") was made in Coventry, and as John says they have this type of marking on the regulator scale. Peters movement is 306.

99999-28.JPG This too could be a Massey number, but made in Scholes, Prescot. Notice the difference between the two cocks.

To be cont.....
 

John Matthews

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Alan Treherne used rate books and trade directories to identify the dates - I don't have comprehensive coverage of Coventry directories, but I can confirm in 1818 for Coventry

1636885020699.png

and no listing in Prescot in the same year. I cannot find a mention of Massey in the Prescot listing of 1824 or 1828. It is possible that Scholes may not have been listed under Prescot. Today Scholes Lane is on the eastern edge of Eccleston, so I would have thought it would have been included. Interestingly, the Liverpool Museum database had no listings for Massey. As their listings were a result of extensive searches through available Lancashire trade directories, I would not be surprised if he never had a Lancashire trade directory listing. I have to infer that the Prescot dates may have been from taken from rate books - if so would that confirm residency?.

London listings:

1841

1636887618346.png

1852

1636887727673.png



John
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Yes, John, you are right, my aim is to verify these dates then to stop guessing, and find a way to be able to say when Massey´s watches were made and where. I was searching the 1821 Liverpool directory and found like you that Massey is not mentioned (Edward Massey watchmaker) Though another tread lead me to the Post office, see below. All mail for the Liverpool area went through the Liverpool post office.

5-1.JPG Massey´s in Liverpool 1821.

5-2.JPG 5-3.JPG 5-4.JPG 5-6.JPG

The next job is to find if there is a post office directory for Liverpool 1818, 1819, 1820, 1821:???: You will remember William Banning, the man with the money behind Peter Litherland.

Another line of enquiry is a church where the Massey family prayed. Will get back to you on that.

To be cont......

PS: Just think, the mail being received a half hour after arrival a the local post office??
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Dear Peter,

Thank you for the extra photographs, I have to admit I am not sure what I am looking at, though I do think it is now a Single Table Roller conversion??.

No matter really, I am quite sure your watch started as a Massey I and was made in Coventry.

Best wishes,

Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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This movement is signed "Prescot-Liverpool, and the case is hallmarked Chester 1820/21. I am beginning to think there could be a chance of a file on Massey early watches and others, given some support. The serial number is 624. This is from Gerd Ahrens page 399. Thanks to enrico for the reminder.


5-19.JPG

Allan.

To be cont...
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Still, searching for a solid date for Edward John Massey in Coventry, and wondered if the letter below was the inferred date that Massey moved there in 1813? If so I think the date would then be1815. Makes more sense, since his Patent was for 1814. Take a look at the enlarged photograph, and then the three´s and the fives.

88888-15.JPG

88888-14.JPG

Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Still looking for information that will or would give me a definitive date for his work in Coventry and his arrival in Scholes, Prescot. At present. I have two charts, the first is full of the early watches signed by Edward John Massey, and the other of early watches by other makers. At the moment these two chars contradict each other. Take for instance the bigger firms in Liverpool like Roskell, Hornby, Litherland, and you find 5 digit numbers for their start into the Massey escapements. Roskell it would seem at the moment was into the 20,000 thousand range, 25625 HM 1815 Rack Lever, then comes 25780 Movement a Repeater with a Massey I. Would this indicate Massey was in the Liverpool-Prescot area, at that moment I think not, but it does indicate Roskell and others were supplied with Massey escapements as really as 1815, if not sooner? Or could he have someone teaching Prescot makers to produce his escapement? It´s not too clear yet with the firm Litherland, though it appears they started with Massey escapements around 1817/18. You will also find Richard Hornby II started with the numbers they had when he was working for his father Gerrard So the high 19.000 thousand is where he started in 1818/19. (All Massey escapements) I don't have a Massey by Richard I.

Still at it.

Allan.
 

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