English movement & frame makers

Allan C. Purcell

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Thanks Allan. Forster & Barnard must have been together for a short time because the partnership is not recorded in Loomes. Makes sense that this watch would appeal to customers, navy brass(?), in Sheerness. Maybe it was ordered through Forster & Barnard.
You are welcome Sir, the way things were at that time if you were George, out of respect, your firstborn grandson would be George too. Now in Loomes, there is a George William Carr watchmaker born 1825 in Norwich. If you could find his parents, you could maybe find George Graham Carr.

 
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John Matthews

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Rich - I have now read your article

Like you I could not find details of the partnership between Forster & Barnard. As I suspect you also found when researching the watch, trade directories for Kent at the beginning of the C19th, are not easy to find. The earliest I was able to find was 1824, wherein there is a listing for John Foster {Executors of} in High Street, Sheerness - confirming the activity period of John Foster, that you quoted in your article.

1606743212225.png

I couldn't find mention of Frederick Barnard in the trade directory. In fact I question whether the Frederick Barnard, as listed in Loomes, as you refer to in the article, can be the person in the partnership: that Frederick Barnard was born ~1797 and is listed as a watchmaker in the 1851 census records age 54. I didn't research further, but I suspect it was possibly his father who may have been in partnership with Forster.

Given the form of the signature, being followed by AD1803 on the movement, the annotatiion on the cap and with the corresponding case hallmark, I would be fairly confident that George Graham Carr was the original owner and that the watch was supplied by Forster & Barnard, as indeed you consider in your article. I do not believe there is any evidence that Carr had any connection with the watch trade, neither do I believe that Carr is a location.

You mention that the cap is stamped 'LF' - if you have a photograph can you please post. I have records of contemporary caps carrying these initials - it would be useful to compare the style of the initials. The records I have of capped movements in hallmarked cases, are from the first decade of the C19th. At that time, the only cap maker I have this far found with those initials, is Lewis Furneaux, based in London.

From the way that the bridge has been reduced in thickness to accommodate the rotating automation disk, I infer that this was done some little time after the movement was originally made. I think it is possible that the present dial and the automation, may have been fitted to an escapement that was intended to have a dial with seconds sub-dial. Does the automation complete a rotation every minute?

Finally, the co-joined makers mark 'TE'. The first thing that struck me is that the quality of the mark - it has the appearance of having been produced with considerably more care than is normal exercised my movement makers. This may, in part, be due to the early date, but I feel it is not the mark that would be made by a maker who was just producing an unfinished movement, my 'gut feeling' is that this is the mark of a maker who was responsible for the final product. The only similar example that I can recall, both in terms of the co-joined style and the quality, is that of John Player & Son found on movements 100 years or so later. I am afraid I cannot propose, with any confidence, who made the mark. I do, however, think it worth considering that it may be the mark of the (London?) maker who finished the watch originally (before, what I believe might be the latter addition of the automation disk). I did consider the possibility that it is co-joined because it represents two surnames, e.g. Ellicot & Taylor of Sweeting Alley, Cornhill, but that is pure speculation and in any case their dates are slightly later according to Loomes.

John
 

gmorse

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Hi John,

From the way that the bridge has been reduced in thickness to accommodate the rotating automation disk, I infer that this was done some little time after the movement was originally made.
Yes, it certainly wasn't done originally, the bar has been filed down in situ, and none too carefully because the file has also marked the case bolt spring.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Rich Newman

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Thanks for the great input. I’m attaching a closeup of the initials on the cap and few more photos to address the file marks.

I also lean toward the name being a first owner. I’ve always found it curious that “A D 1803” was engraved (on the movement and the cap). Assuming George Graham Carr was the first owner, the year 1803 was important. Perhaps something to do with being discharged from the Navy or some other event. As already discussed, the initials on the frame are also conjoined, and there is no serial number. All this points to a special order in my mind. John Griffiths many years ago (from photographs) thought that the frame was made in Lancashire and the finishing done in Coventry.

Regarding the automation, I do believe this is how the watch was presented when first sold in 1803 and not added after sale. Looking more closely at a photo enlargement shows that the file strokes that hit the bolt spring were done later, perhaps much later. Notice that they are specific to the area directly around the left screw, and that the screws on the bridge do not match. The automation disk is a friction fit. So, I’m thinking that at some point in the history of this watch, the ivory may have deflected a tad or its hole enlarged so that it no longer moved as intended. Notice the cracks at the center of the automation disk. Perhaps just the running and taking the disk off and on every 2-3 years for cleaning eventually wore out the hole and it began to hit the screw or bridge underneath. And here, I think, we have the work of a bodger who attempted to file down the screw and/or the bridge. Maybe a bushing was finally added (or replaced) on the disk to fix the issue. I don't know - - but I think all this happened many years after it was sold.

Automation disk.JPG Dust Cap Initials.jpg Movement 4.jpg
 

John Matthews

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Rich - thanks for the additional photographs.

I can confirm that the style of the cap makers stamp is the same as those I have captured from the internet and believe they were all made by the same maker.

I am afraid I am not convinced that the movement was specifically designed to accommodate the automation. I was careful to say

I infer that this was done some little time after the movement was originally made.
I didn't say after the watch was originally sold. If it had been done by the same 'maker' who took such care in applying his mark to the movement, in my opinion, he would have applied similar care in facilitating fitting of the automation disk and designed the bridge accordingly. I see no evidence that was the case.

John
 

Halda Sweden

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Hi John,



Further to your entry for Richard Doke in your excellent document, there were two Richard Dokes, roughly contemporary. Alan Treherne in his South West Lancashire article writes:

'Richard Doke, the movement maker, (see Fig. 26)
should not be confused with the Liverpool
watch manufacturer with the same name[26] who
was born c.1796, and was described on his bill
heads as a Manufacturer of Watches, Jeweller &
Silversmith. He sold signed lever watches in the
UK and exported many to the USA.


[26]. From information supplied by Dennis Moore, and the Census returns for Liverpool. The relationship between Richard
Doke the wheelcutter and Richard Doke the watch manufacturer is not clear.'

Richard 'Dickie' Doke was a specialist wheel cutter and would not in all likelihood have put his stamp on a pillar plate.

Regards,

Graham
Dear Horological friends!

Here is a pocket watch signed; "Rich Doke Liverpool No 3067". Not sure regarding the case maker...

Best rgds
Peter B.


s-l1600 (2).jpg s-l1600 (3).jpg s-l1600 (7).jpg s-l1600 (5).jpg s-l1600 (4).jpg
 

gmorse

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Hi Peter,

The hallmarks in the dome which you've shown are often only partial, lacking a date letter as here, so if you could post a picture of the marks in the outer back it should show the date, which would help in identifying the case maker. However, it's possibly John Helsby of Liverpool.

Regards,

Graham
 

Halda Sweden

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Hi Peter,

The hallmarks in the dome which you've shown are often only partial, lacking a date letter as here, so if you could post a picture of the marks in the outer back it should show the date, which would help in identifying the case maker. However, it's possibly John Helsby of Liverpool.

Regards,

Graham
Dear Graham,

By some reason I don´t have any photoss on the inside of the lid. I have to find this watch and come back with new photos later.

Best rgds
Peter B
 

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