Elgins with "heart" cut-out balance cock.

Rick Hufnagel

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I am especially drawn to the PL with the heart shaped cutout. Maybe we should have a thread devoted exclusively to these?
I agree with Mr. Cote here, and honestly I haven't met an Elgin collector yet that doesn't enjoy these watches! They are scattered all over the board. Obviously many are in the Elgin private label thread, but it would be nice to have one thread to keep track and show them off!

In the 1870s (maybe even into early 80s) Elgin offered a cut-out balance cock in the shape of a heart for jewelers who had their labels put on the watches. I say offered because there are also many contemporary private label watches without. This feature is found on model 1 (Keywind) and model 2 (stemwind) 18 size movements.

Also, the rounded barrel bridge ties in with this feature. I've yet to come across a cut out balance cock without a rounded barrel bridge. Where does this information lead? Time will tell. I'm very curious to see how high and low we can get with serial numbers.

Let's see some of those great Elgins! Show them off here! Please include the serial number, jeweler and location if it's not a bother, sometimes it's hard to read.

Anything with a serial number on it we can all learn something from, wether it's museum quality or a rusty parts movement or anything in between. If you don't want to post it here, send me a message anytime!



You can see most of mine in the Elgin private labels thread, but here are a few to get us started.

J.T. Ryerson
#254650
Frank Carr, Hallowell Ma

Snagged this from J&H and love it. 8bd3edca6dba05e1b038b17e4b36de7a.jpg 86ffed90b48ff4fec6f484635e772c19.jpg


G.M. Wheeler
304604
Chas H.O. Fox
Frederick MD
ENWCo block letter dial
7e4f7a8001d486a34d5720ec8101b18d.jpg

And of course my pride and joy since I collect and study the early stemwinders.
H.H. Taylor model 2
246713
M.F. Robinson
Springfield Mass
ENWCo ss block letter dial IMG_20200605_202342770.jpg

Look at that lovely engraving along with the heart shaped cut out. If I were looking at a shelf full of movements in 1873, that would certainly catch my eye! What a neat way to stand out in the crowd.

Thank you for viewing and I'm hoping we get to see some great watches and movements here!
 

John Cote

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Thanks for starting the thread Rick. Here are the two I have. Both are in seemingly original coin silver cases and both have typical matching dials. One is a gr-55 (Ferry) for E. H. Sweetser, Danville, IL and one is a gr 62 (Culver) for Harrington & Co in Providence RI.

SweetserHeartElgin-Mvt.jpg HerringtonHeartElgin-Mvt.jpg
 

musicguy

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Clint Geller

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Fenestrated balance cocks are really cool, but I think "heart-shaped" doesn't quite describe the windows shown here. The shape is more like Moses's tablets than a heart, but I can't think of a short, handy phrase for that.
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Fenestrated
I'm curious how this word came about being used. Is there some literature from companies using this word?

I agree the "heart" isn't exactly the the best description, but it works. Obviously it's not in any period advertisements. I use it because people before me have. I've taken to calling them "pierced balance cocks".

I guess if you take it back to the latin both words work. Pertus = Bored through, and fenestratus = provided with windows.

Yes I just looked that up. While math and mechanical design are my strengths, English or language dun never been my strong suit

I'm just being curious, not trying to argue or anything of the sort.
 

Clint Geller

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I'm curious how this word came about being used. Is there some literature from companies using this word?

I agree the "heart" isn't exactly the the best description, but it works. Obviously it's not in any period advertisements. I use it because people before me have. I've taken to calling them "pierced balance cocks".

I guess if you take it back to the latin both words work. Pertus = Bored through, and fenestratus = provided with windows.

Yes I just looked that up. While math and mechanical design are my strengths, English or language dun never been my strong suit

I'm just being curious, not trying to argue or anything of the sort.
Yes, the French word for "window" is "fenestre," in which the "s" is silent, might be more directly related to this matter than its latin antecedent. (I knew my middle school French was bound to come in handy eventually.:)) I believe the term "fenestrated" is better known among collectors of European watches. Perhaps DeCarle's horological encyclopedia lists the term. Of course, there was a famous non-horological historical incident (actually the third of three separate historical events), called the "Defenestration of Prague," in which a couple of Royal Governors in Bohemia were literally thrown out of a window on May 23, 1618. It wasn't a ground floor window, either:

Defenestrations of Prague - Wikipedia

Geez, talk about "Spring cleaning!"
 
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Clint Geller

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Fenestrated balance cocks are really cool, but I think "heart-shaped" doesn't quite describe the windows shown here. The shape is more like Moses's tablets than a heart, but I can't think of a short, handy phrase for that.
Ah, well, I found a word that could serve, but it is too esoteric to be practical: "decalogue," referring to the Ten Commandments.
 

Clint Geller

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Some early English watches had a cutout and actually had a glass in the cutout. Truly a 'window'.
Yes, they called them "glazed, fenestrated" balance cocks. A 23 jewel lever with a glazed, fenestrated balance cock and a diamond endstone, made by James Hoddell of Liverpool in the 1850's, recently sold on Ebay. It was in an 18K gold Robbins & Appleton swingout case with a matching serial number. The cover carries the initials of Confederate Colonel Lewis Thompson Woodruff of the 36th Alabama Infantry, and the inner rear cover carries an interesting post-war inscription. It sold for $3,200. I hope it went to a good home.


CONFEDERATE COL.LT WOODRUFF 18 KT GOLD inscribed key wind RARE VA.COL. | eBay
 
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musicguy

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Back to the movements, here are two more for this thread.
Both are NY PL's that fit nicely into my collection. Both ENWC dials

John C. Mason Mayville, NY (photo FH)
elgin pierced cock.jpg


A Mc Henry, Hornellsville, NY
mchenry.jpg



Edit I've seen the Mc Henry Jewelers Log book and it's very cool.




Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Thank you for the explanation on fenestrated. Sorry for taking the thread askew.

Here is the last one I can add at the moment. Seen before and will be seen again with different topics, but can't hurt to add it here.

329040
An M.D. Ogden model 2 from the second (and last) small run of 217 movements.

San Francisco Watch, B.L. Stone, Portland O marked on movement

3cd40434234cdf9ca49e68487ec5f8d5 (1).jpg

B.L. Stone, Portland Oregon on dial.


ee4013c588cb51c3dae04afa2bd26e62.jpg
That dial is just fantastic. The seconds bit is certainly not the norm.
 

James J Nicholson

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Yes, they called them "glazed, fenestrated" balance cocks. A 23 jewel lever with a glazed, fenestrated balance cock and a diamond endstone, made by James Hoddell of Liverpool in the 1850's, recently sold on Ebay. It was in an 18K gold Robbins & Appleton swingout case with a matching serial number. The cover carries the initials of Confederate Colonel Lewis Thompson Woodruff of the 36th Alabama Infantry, and the inner rear cover carries an interesting post-war inscription. It sold for $3,200. I hope it went to a good home.


CONFEDERATE COL.LT WOODRUFF 18 KT GOLD inscribed key wind RARE VA.COL. | eBay
What an interesting and historic piece. Glad it was saved from the scrappers.
 
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James J Nicholson

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Really nice to see these special Elgins.I have wanted one myself but have not seen one come my way that was not altered or was listed on ebay with missing or incorrect pieces.
 

Clint Geller

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Everyone I know just calls these a "pierced cock" Elgin.

I have one of these triple signed for an Allegheny County jeweler here somewhere, will post as time permits....
Hi Bryan, I thought the term "pierced cock" usually refers to the kind of balance cock you see on very old verges with multiple piercings, not single large window in the middle. One term is more specific, and more descriptive, than the other.
 
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musicguy

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I have researched these Elgin's as have multiple others in this thread and I have found
(going back even on this very forum) multiple names for these including Heart Shape have been used.
We don't have any Elgin records of what they called these but
I think I like pierced balance cock, but all the other names are fine
to me as well.


Rob
 

musicguy

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Here is the photo of Gregs.( I just copied it from the other thread)

 

Clint Geller

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I have researched these Elgin's as have multiple others in this thread and I have found
(going back even on this very forum) multiple names for these including Heart Shape have been used.
We don't have any Elgin records of what they called these but
I think I like pierced balance cock, but all the other names are fine
to me as well.


Rob
Apparently, the terminology may differ on oppposite sides of the pond. A search on "fenestrated" in the European Pocket Watches forum got 13 hits. I found another Hoddell movement for sale on line just now that is very similar to the Woodruff watch, which an English dealer well known to, and respected by many people here describes as "glazed" and "fenestrated."

As a scientist, I naturally prefer terminology that conveys the maximum amount of information, but relevant period watch company advertising may be more influencial for others.
 
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musicguy

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but period watch company advertising may be more influential for others.
That's me, I like company advertising so we can call it what it
was referred to at the time.


Rob
 

Clint Geller

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That's me, I like company advertising so we can call it what it
was referred to at the time.


Rob
I drafted a long reply that delved into the philosophy of collecting and whether it should be approached as a science or as a form of period reenactment (and there is no "wrong" answer), but then I realized I should start a new thread for it.
 
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musicguy

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For one of the best sources of research on these a couple of members of our
forum have done a fantastic job researching these and other Elgin PL's. The caveat is that when
adding to the database that the movement must be observed by them rather than
just adding unconfirmed data to the database.

Take a few minutes and check it out.
Elgin National Watch Co. Research: Elgin Private Labels | Pocket Watch Database


If anyone else has one(or more) please post photos to help with the research(dial and movement) .


Rob
 
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musicguy

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musicguy

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Nice buy and great price! I had that one in my sights as well.
Glad you got it.



Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Thanks and sorry dude,

That one directly fits in my collection of named grade P.L.s.
20210302_081144-COLLAGE.jpg

Wheelers and Taylors seem to come up often enough, but the Fargo is few and far between. Another great feature of the new watch posted above is the dial, which seems SEEMS to be pretty specific to Chas Fargo. I'll just say that when I see this dial, most of the time it fronts this grade... With the imitation expansion balance, not the solid balance.

I know it's probably just a weird Rick thing, but I LOVE this dial. I suppose it would cut the cost of making a sunk seconds dial, just using a smaller blank sunken bit. Whatever the reason, it's neat!
20210301_224028~2.jpg

.
 

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Elgin National Watch Company private label
Albert C. Frieseke Owosso, Mich(aka A. C. Frieseke)
No. 304240 Manf'd Elgin, ILL's
Am. Watch Co. Waltham, Mass. Warranted Coin-Silver case 4 OZ
G M Wheeler Grade
1873


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Rob
 
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musicguy

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The watch case is the size of a boat anchor.



Rob
 

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Albert C. Frieseke is the uncle of "Frederick Carl Frieseke (April 7, 1874 – August 24, 1939)
an American Impressionist painter who spent most of his life as an expatriate in France. An influential
member of the Giverny art colony, his paintings often concentrated on various effects of dappled sunlight.
He is especially known for painting female subjects, both indoors and out
." Wikipedia

"After the death of his mother, the young Frieseke came to Jacksonville, Florida to live with his
uncle, Albert Carl Frieseke. The residence was at Floral Bluff in Arlington, an area Frieseke would
capture 25 years later in a series of memory paintings of Florida." Cummer Museum



Rob
 
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musicguy

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He is also credited with the Railway Telegraph

Untitled.png

1618679226246.png
1618679182834.png




Rob
 
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