English Verge / Fusee Watch Papers & Samplers

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Springdale Ben, May 17, 2020.

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  1. Springdale Ben

    Springdale Ben Registered User

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    #1 Springdale Ben, May 17, 2020
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    Hi

    I am fairly new here and couldn't find a thread relating to the service papers or keepsakes that are often found in the back of English pair cased watches. If there is a thread somewhere, can someone point me in the right direction?

    I have amassed a collection of these over the past few years and will post images of the more unusual ones if people would be interested. If the watch is in good working condition I'll leave the papers in.

    I also have a few silk samplers that appear in the back of English watches. Presumably sewn by a loved one and then carried around as good luck charms.

    Here's a few that are a bit more interesting than others:

    1. An "Identification Paper" which I thought was fascinating. It would have been registered to the owner and in case of "personal accident or sudden illness" they could contact the Wilson Brothers who would notify the household. Like an emergency contact card for the late 1800's.

    2. "Remember Me" Silk sampler from a Charles Cabrier watch, circa 1760.

    3. "Jesus Wept" Silk sampler from a silver pair cased verge, circa 1830.

    4. An intricately cut watch paper with worn portrait in the centre, circa 1840.

    5. A "Remember me" Silk sampler from a silver pair cased verge, circa 1820.

    6. 2 x Bartle service papers. Based in Brigg which is <10 miles from where I live. Papers dated 1863 and 1894.

    7. 2 x F.Johnson service papers. Based in Lincoln an depicts Lincoln Cathedral. <15 miles from me. No dates but late half of the 19th century.

    I have more if people are interested.

    Thanks

    Ben

    1.Identification paper.jpg 2.Cabrier sampler.jpg 3. Jesus Wept.JPEG 4. Intricate watch paper.jpeg 5. Remember me.jpeg 6. Bartle Brigg.jpg 7. F.Johnson.jpg
     
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  2. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    A watch may be interesting. A watch with a sampler or a paper is even more interesting. These provide context and give insight to the people who originally owned these personal objects. I've never seen a watch sampler. Very much appreciate your post. Question: Is the expression "Remember me" a reference to the Communion?
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    There certainly is a thread. Not sure what it comes under. I have a printing block to make them with the equation of time. It must be pre 1751 because it is 11 days out.
     
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  4. Springdale Ben

    Springdale Ben Registered User

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    I believe so, the sayings were often religious themed. "Remember Me" "Jesus Wept" and "Forget Me Not" were all common on embroidered watch samplers.

    Here's a "Forget Me Not". This one is actually dated at the bottom, but has worn over time. It seems to be 183x - so 1830's.

    View attachment 590435 image0.jpeg View attachment 590437 image2 (1).jpeg
     
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  5. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Here is a reverse image of my copper plate so you can read it

    william hext2.JPG
     
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  7. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    Watch papers can give an idea where the watch has been
    I wondered if No2 was made by a sweetheart
    I do not think we will ever know who W.W was
    I had not thought about the Religious angle
     
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Les,

    It's true they can give an idea where a watch has been, but not necessary where the watch that they're now in has been!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  9. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    I agree, that is why I was vague and did not say a watch had definitely been any where
     
  10. Rich Newman

    Rich Newman Chair
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    Ben, thanks for posting and I look forward to seeing more. Your copper plate is a treasure. Certainly the earliest I've seen and indeed early - 1740's even. Fantastic to see!
     
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  11. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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  12. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Here is one that is similar to your example #4. I don't have any information about the watch it might have been placed in, but it has retained it's curvature and I have not attempted to straighten it. There is one similar to this in David Penney's excellent watch-papers article in the April 2001 issue of Antique Collecting magazine.

    DSC05812.JPG
     
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  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I have only ever found one reference for William Hext, it lists two mentions from 1743. A contract to maintain the town clock for 7 years at 2 guineas per annum, and an advertisement published on 17th may of the same year that advertises him making clocks and watches.

    The block was originally dated by style as perhaps 1760, but the use of the Julian calendar suggests pre 1751. I don't know if the adoption of the Gregorian calendar was simultaneous across the country but it would seem odd to make a new plate to the wrong calendar.
     
  14. Rich Newman

    Rich Newman Chair
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    Yes. I would agree. Think you will enjoy seeing this paper from Samuel Bagnall, Boston, Mass. Its the earliest American paper and was found in a colonial watch retailed by Bagnall. He worked from 1740 to 1760 and the watch case is hallmarked including a date letter for 1741-42, London assay.

    Bagnall paper.jpg Bagnall Watch.jpg
     
  15. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    Is it worth havng a separate Watch Papers and samplers section under Watches?
    It could cover American, Foreign and anything in between
    Anything in between could be a British watch with American papers
     
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  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    So that one 11 days out too? Seems the same dates as mine.
     
  17. Springdale Ben

    Springdale Ben Registered User

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    #17 Springdale Ben, May 20, 2020 at 6:36 AM
    Last edited: May 20, 2020 at 6:49 AM
    Thanks for the replies, I appreciate the interest!

    Here's a couple more samplers:

    1. Paper backed sampler from a 1790's verge. I cant make it all out but it seems to read "May the love .... abound W"
    2. A nice floral silk sampler. c.1830's.
    3. Looks like a fairly standard floral sampler but I like all the thread colours that have been preserved on the back! c.1830's

    1. DSC_7739 (2).JPG View attachment 590908 2. DSC_7740.jpeg 3. DSC_7741.JPEG
     
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  18. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ben,

    I think the missing word is 'forever'.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  19. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Three more beautiful samplers, Springdale Ben!

    On the first, I agree with Graham that it says "May the love forever abound", and I think there is an I before the W.
    In addition to beautiful embroidery, the second one has a great border, I think it is tatted rather than crocheted, and very neatly done.
    I think that the third one might have been machine made - possibly a motif cut from a larger piece. If made by hand, the maker would more likely have worked the "dashes" around the perimeter and tied off the thread rather than running them horizontally across the back. As you mentioned, it is very interesting to see how bright the colors were before being exposed to the wear and oils from the watch.
     
  20. Springdale Ben

    Springdale Ben Registered User

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    Thanks Pat! I agree, looking again at the third one the rough unfinished edges suggest it may have been taken from a larger piece.
     
  21. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    It wasn't uncommon to find both fabrics and papers cut from larger pieces. To me it adds to the history of what was done.
     
  22. Rich Newman

    Rich Newman Chair
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    Yes, both the earlier Julian Calendar. I would guess that adoption of the new Gregorian Calendar was inconsistent and look time. However Hext was working in London and Bagnall in Boston, so I would assume quick to adopt. Equation of time tables were also printed on labels within tall case clocks and I wonder if anyone has done research that would help us understand how quickly the new calendar was adopted. The late, great, Ted Crom wrote about the Bagnall watch & paper in 1996 & 1998 Bulletin articles. Since Bagnall's working dates are 1740-60 and the paper is original to the watch dated 1741-2, we have good information to date the watch paper. Assuming the working dates for Hext in Loomes (Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World) are right, your plate is likely also 1740's.

    As I said before, I think your plate is a treasure; very few survive and nothing as early as yours. I have a Masonic English plate ca. 1825 from Louis Kyezor of Doncaster, Nathaniel Dominy's is at Winterthur, Daniel Burnap's is at the Wadsworth Atheneum and no doubt more are around. However, I've not seen or read about other surviving watch papers (or plates) from the early 18th century. Has anyone seen others this early?
     
  23. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Hext was in St Austell in Cornwall, but there was a regular coach to London and with the mining Industry and the port it was very well connected. As somebody pointed out on another thread this is more than likely Cornish copper.

    David Penney originally dated this as 1760s based on the style, when we realised it had the Julian calendar it put it back and as you say it may well be 1740s.

    I still have not got around to running off some copies, originally I was waiting for a contact of my sister's but I think now she has the right machines herself to do the print.

    I think that given St Austell's connections to London they may have adopted the calendar in 1751. I can see people still printing with an old block after this time, but I don't think Hext would have ordered a block after that date with the Julian Calendar.
     
  24. LloydB

    LloydB Registered User

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    I agree, and while we're at it: "May thy love..."?
    (Compare with the style of the previous 'y'.)

    Watch sampler copy 2.jpg

    This, too. may be of a religious nature.
     
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  25. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    "Definitely tatted."
    Said by someone who does both.
     
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  26. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Here are a few more watch samplers. I hope others will also share some of theirs.

    1. "Accept a token of love" with letters (initials?) W at the top and M at the bottom.
    2. "though absent ever dear"
    3. "God is love". Like Springdale Ben's example you can see on the reverse how much brighter the colors were originally.

    img597.jpg img613.jpg B watch obverse.JPG B watch sampler reverse.JPG
     
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