England 1795 Hugh GARRAT, 'Ormskirk Sully' going barrel #305

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by John Matthews, Oct 7, 2019.

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  1. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    This is the second 'Ormskirk' example I have added to my collection and it complements the Houghton I described here. While the Houghton is an English style full plate fusee, this earlier example, has a continental style balance bridge mounted with a steel coquerette and is going barrel driven by an barrel enclosed main spring (in some of the early examples the main spring is exposed and not contained within a barrel). With the clear 'continental influence' it is possible that this example is based upon an imported movement that was finished in Ormskirk by Hugh Garrat(t).

    Hugh Garrat (Garratt or even Garret) was an Ormskirk watch maker, who unlike many of his contemporaries does not appear to have turned his hand to clock making; it is thought that he was probably the son of William Garratt, a master watch maker. Anthony Daly identifies that he is recorded as a watch maker, when in 1771, he had to pay maintenance for an illegitimate son, and that he is listed in directories from 1787 and 1811. He is known to have made silver cased watches with both the Debaufre escapement with twin escape wheels and the Sully variant with a single escape and twin pallets. This watch is an example of the latter and it is in lovely condition.

    20191002 019.jpg 20191002 022.jpg 20191002 001.jpg 20191002 002.jpg 20191002 003.jpg 20191002 004.jpg 20191003 001-2.jpg

    The silver pair cases are clearly hallmarked for Chester 1795/96 including the cameo head duty mark in the form before it was modified in 1797 (Ridgeway & Priestley p. 10). The maker's mark [I·B] is that registered to James Barton & Co, at that time operating from Cumberland Street, Liverpool. The inner box has 'H' punched adjacent to the Chester town mark and the outer case has 'X' adjacent to the crowned leopard's head – I an unsure of the significance of these marks.

    20191002 010.jpg 20191002 017.jpg

    I found it difficult to take a clear photograph of the Sully escapement.

    20191003 002.jpg 20191003 003.jpg

    In a way this turned out to be fortunate, as it caused me to research Henry Sully and his output – clearly a very interesting and talented horologist. There is a substantial account in Betts and the very readable advertising feature in AH Vol 25/1, covering the auction of the clock that was eventually acquired by Greenwich and described by Betts.

    To be truthful, I really didn't understand how Sully's escapement worked. I found that it was made more difficult be the lack of a good illustration of the movement as used in a pocket watch (I still have not found one!) and the variation in design detail from one example to the next – I believe this probably reflects the way Sully himself worked which is described in the AH feature, referenced above.

    Eventually, with a combination of a Rees diagram and description together with a photograph of the Greenwich clock pallets, I believe I understand the way the escapement works – at least as applied to a clock!

    So this is my explanation – for others to pick apart!

    Sully.jpg

    A tooth will be resting on the right face of the left pallet as the top of the shaft is rotating toward the rear. At the slot, the tooth moves along the inclined side of the slot, thereby providing the impulse. The tooth is then trapped between the two pallets, resting on the right face of the left pallet, where it remains until the shaft reaches the end of its rotation. As the balance returns the shaft rotation is reversed and when the tooth reaches the slot of the left pallet it moves along the inclined slope of that slot providing an impulse in the opposite direction. When it escapes completely, the next tooth comes to rest on the right face of the right pallet and the process repeats.

    John
     
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  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Very nice!


    Rob
     
  3. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Very nice watch John and well researched. Sad story though for Henry Sully, mixed with the best, and a friend to royalty, but it all ended in poverty. Have you read the piece in "It´s About Time" page 319.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    What may appear odd to those used to looking at verge escapements, is that although your Sully uses a verge type of escape wheel, the balance staff with its two conical pallets is planted at a tangent to the wheel rather than across its centre line, so, whilst this is a non-recoiling dead-beat escapement, it is still a frictional rest type. Other variants by or after Sully have the pallets on the arbor of a contrate wheel which engages with a pinion on the balance, so that the pallets work on the escape wheel at one remove so to speak. This gives rise to large amplitudes, in the manner of a pirouette, but also more friction. Sully also used some rather odd shaped escape teeth as well as the simple verge type seen here.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #5 John Matthews, Oct 7, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
    Allan - yes. Of the accounts I've read I think the AH reference is probably the most useful as in addition to the biographical account of his life it also includes information regarding the clock acquired by Greenwich, which you can follow with Betts subsequent description.

    Graham - unfortunately, I have never seen, nor had a good view of a Sully escapement nor found a good diagram. While I agree the staff is not planted along the centre line of the escape wheel, and while not wishing to be pedantic, I don't think it can be a tangent. If it was I believe it would not engage correctly with both pallets. As one is above the escape arbor and one below with, in this example, some distance between, I think the balance staff has to be planted at a chord inside the circumference of the escape, rather than at a tangent.

    John

    EDIT - in fact, I think you can see it is inside the circumference in the second photograph as the tooth in contact with the lower pallet is below the centre line of the escape arbor - as the separation between the pallets is increased, the staff would have to be planted further from a tangential position.
     
  6. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I too tried to find a diagram of Sully´s escapement but as yet no luck. Though I did find the piece below, that indicates Julien le Roy tried to improve it. Maybe this helps. Allan.

    e-33.JPG e-34.JPG
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Yes, a chord is a more accurate description than mine, although it does depend on where you take the diameter to be.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  8. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    A beautiful watch John. Back in the day, when I was still acquisitive, I spent quite some time looking for a watch with the Sulley escapement - and never did find one. However, the point of this input is not the watch, but the watch paper. Joyce of Whitchurch, still in business to this day, now making and maintaining turret clocks I believe, and claiming to be the oldest clockmaker in the world. Their original premises are now occupied by the auctioneers Trevanion & Dean and a working Joyce turret clock movement is displayed in the auction room.
     
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  9. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Dave - my appreciation. I will see if they have an EMAIL and send them some photographs, otherwise I try a telephone call.

    John
     
  10. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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  11. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    The Joyce watch paper does have hand written information on the rear - but it is difficult to read ...

    20191010 001.jpg 20191010 004.jpg 20191003 001-2.jpg

    If the numbers at the bottom are a date ending in the year - I suspect it is 1842, if the line above the name of the owner John Loy? Soy? struggling with the word above Man:???:ury

    20191010 001-2.jpg

    J B Joyce were taken over by Smiths of Derby when Norman Joyce retired in the 1960s. Here are a few snips which will be familiar to clock collectors and also those who follow the plethora of antique programmes in the UK. The first is a flier from Inbeat publications for the book Joyce of Whitchurch by Thomas & Thomas.

    Joyce of Whitchurch - Inbeat Publications.JPG Joyce of Whitchurch.JPG The Joyce Building (Trevanion & Dean).JPG Smiths of Derby.JPG

    John
     
  12. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi John, Try Marbury, it's only a few miles north of Whitchurch. Plus the "L" is a J for John Joyce, I learned that while doing the book. I cannot help with the number. Allan
     
  13. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    I think the name above what looks like John Joyce could be Marbury, a village just to the north of Whitchurch.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  14. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    My thanks.

    I had considered Joyce, - but I was inclined to doubt, as the 'J' of the surname was so different from the 'J' in John. If you look at the flyer from Inbeat you will note a John Barnett Joyce who I thought was possible as he is certainly recorded later as a clock maker, but according to the 1841 census he was 15, born in 1826. In 1835 & 1842 the trade directories have Thomas Joyce as the head of the firm by 1851 it is listed as Thomas & Son.

    I have sent an email to various 'Joyce' contacts to see if I can establish further information.

    Marbury is a good suggestion - but I didn't have any luck when using it in searches.

    So my final attempt for today ... there are 615 listed 'Johns 'in the 1841 census ... and only one seems to match!

    upload_2019-10-10_19-9-16.png

    but he lived in Whitchurch at Newton Street. Nevertheless he does seem possible and the handwriting of 'Marbury' is different - it may not be related to the name.

    John
     
  15. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I forgot to mention in post 12 John that on the old paper used at that period the ink spread, after a while, and sometimes distorted the message, or it just disappeared if not enough ink was used, given that I think the bottom line read "J" for Joyce, and 1842.

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  16. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Allan - I think we will have to agree to differ.

    From the conversion to black and white

    20191010 004.jpg

    I am reasonably confident that it is John Loyd as recorded in the census. The name above, which may be Marbury, was clearly written by a different hand and given the darker shade of ink (less faded) as in the original, I believe it is later.

    John
     
  17. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Even before I saw the census return, I read the name as John Loyd. The fact that the census also has this name confirms it in my mind. John Loyd without doubt.

    JTD
     
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  18. Allan C. Purcell

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    John, I do not see where there is a difference between what I have said, and what you wanted, you asked for help, in other words, you wanted the opinions of others. John Joyce was the easy bit, Marbury is only distorted by the creases in the paper, and no-one is saying Joyce was from Marbury-it could well have been the owner of the watch he repaired in 1842. I don´t know if you used pen and ink at school, but if you did you would have noticed the first words you wrote would be darker than those that came after until you dipped the pen back into the ink. I have said this before, one should always try and see how people lived in a said period. In the main of the 1800s, all records were put on paper or vellum, other methods were paintings using symbolism, or engraving, ie; gravestones and public buildings. Its a lot easier if you can grasp the period."Whatever you believe-is not always a fact".
    Regards,
    Allan.
     
  19. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I have been continuing my research into the watch paper and my conclusion is that it is John Loyd and that the village is not Marbury but Maesbury

    20191010 001-2.jpg

    I believe the name on the back of the watch paper is that of the village blacksmith who is recorded in the 1841 and subsequent census records.

    John Lloyd Maesbury 1841 census.JPG

    However, of greater significance is my further discovery - the watch paper is not relevant to the provenance of the watch.

    As part of my research, I wrote to the authors of the book on the Joyce family, that I referenced in post #11. They were very helpful in their response and mentioned that they had seen a similar watch paper for sale in 2013 on David Penney's site. I suggested that it was possible that David may have had the watch pass through his hands at that time - I know from experience that it is not uncommon for rarer examples to pass through his site a number of times. Today, I received a second email from the authors, including a photograph of the paper as advertised in 2013. It is indeed the same paper. They also said that they believed that the watch paper was in a 'job lot'.

    I have been in contact with David. He has confirmed that the paper was together with the watch when he purchased it in late 2017. He knows the seller does attempt to find suitable watch papers for his watches. Although he has no record that he purchased this paper from him in 2013 (it was probably in a group of Shropshire papers), the seller has enquired about papers in the past.

    David explained that he has a collection of watch papers mainly purchased from old watch repairers estates over 20 years ago. He has become increasingly sceptical over the significance of watch papers over the years, particularly if there is only one with the watch. He places more significance if there are a number of papers that show a chronological history of work. He also explained that if he writes 'with a contemporary watch paper' as he did in this case, he does so when he is uncertain whether the watch paper and watch belong together.

    So an interesting watch with an interesting watch paper, but with only a very very recent association.

    John
     
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  20. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Maesbury (Marsh) is a lovely little village, extended over quite a distance along the Maesbury Road on the Wales-England border. There is a cracking good pub/restaurant there, by the side of the Montgomery Canal, which I visit quite often to break a journey as it permits dogs in one of the dining areas and offers good walks along the canal towpath.

    Maes is a Welsh word which translates, literally, to 'field' or 'park' but is used figuratively for various applications. Maes chwarae = sports field. Maes parcio I will leave to your imagination :whistle:, Maes awyr = airport.

    Here endeth the first …………………. :emoji_thinking:

    Mr Lloyd must have been a very good blacksmith to afford such a piece!
     
  21. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Dave - True - but as the watch paper was from another unknown watch it is perhaps less unlikely. When I thought the watch and paper may have belonged together, it did cause me to doubt. I wondered how 'rich' blacksmiths would be in rural communities in the first half of the C19th. I began to think they might have been relatively wealthy - an essential trade at the time. The census records show that he was able to employ a servant, so ownership of a decent watch might be expected. Perhaps he may have taken it as payment for services.

    John
     
  22. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    You're quite right of course John. Just after posting this morning, as I was trudging up the hill of my access track with my shovel over my shoulder, the light bulb came on. :)
     
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  23. LloydB

    LloydB Registered User

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    #23 LloydB, Oct 15, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
    If Mr Loyd choseth to spell hys name with
    but a single 'ell', that must be tolerated...

    I cannot, of course, approve.;)
     
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  24. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Thatsnot very nice LLLLLLLLLLLLoyd, I sttttutttttteer?
     
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