Fusée-lever watch, from Samuel Haynes of Cork Ireland

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by rstl99, Apr 21, 2017.

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  1. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    A recent acquisition, which seemed to me possessing interest and charm.
    A fusée-lever watch from an Irish watch and clockmaker, Samuel Haynes, from Cork Ireland.
    Pretty watch with jewels and diamond endstone on the balance. Ticks nicely with a touch of oil here and there.
    The cock shape is unusual to my eye, I haven't yet come across one like it.
    There are some marks on the dial plate that perhaps someone could offer some clues on (movement maker in England?).
    I assume the watch dates from 1830-1840?

    From an online article dealing with the National Exhibition of 1852 that was held at Cork:

    "The largest turret clock exhibited, was that made by Mr. Samuel Haynes of Cork, who, some time since, made the clocks for the termini of the Cork and Eandon Railway. The exterior of the clock was remarkably handsome, and the movement has been considered, by competent judges, to be of a very superior kind. Mr. Haynes, junior, exhibited a beautiful evidence of his mechanical ability—a model clock, entirely cut out of ivory, with the exception of the spring and the centre pinion. The difficulty of this work will be at once understood by those who know how hard it is to adapt a substance of the kind to machinery, it being so brittle, and therefore so liable to break in those parts where greater delicacy is required. This was, however, overcome by skill and patience; and the beautiful little model tower clock kept time with the largest of its neighbours in the Exhibition."

    It seems to me that if Samuel Haynes' son (Samuel Junior) was able to make a model clock out of ivory, there were some excellent clock-watchmaker skills in that family!

    Anyway, it's an attractive movement that I'm glad to add to my humble little collection. Nice to have a timepiece from Ireland.
     
  2. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Interesting movement.. Appears the maker was trying to make a thinner movement by sinking the balance between plates.. The movememt is not the usual 3/4 plate seen during this period... Winding from the rear and hand setting from the front, and no dial plate indicates a modified full plate design.. The 1830's thru the 1840's was a period of all kinds of innovative design changes by Watchmaker's. Have you had a look at the escapement yet ? Possibly a Massey III or II roller table ? Or ? Appears the escapement has cap jewels, higher grade for this period.. Samuel Haynes is listed from Cork 1824..
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    The frame maker could be Thomas Scarisbrick of Prescot, and the "14" and "0" over "3" are the Lancashire gauge sizes. The layout is indeed unusual, especially the shape of the balance cock, and I should think John's estimate of dates is about right.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    The source for the quote in my original post is:
    The Industrial Movement in Ireland: As Illustrated by the National Exhibition of 1852 - John Francis Maguire M.P., Mayor of Cork - 1853

    Graham: thanks for the information on gauge sizes and the suggestion of the Prescot maker (from the "T&S" inscription on the movement I assume). It's nice for a change for me to not only know the "maker" (or "finisher") but the actual movement maker of a watch. Usually the original maker is lost in anonymity.

    John: thanks for your informed observations and thoughts on the movement.

    Samuel Haynes (senior) seems to have operated from around 1820 and his son Samuel Cahir from 1840-1852 (Loomes). Their clock and watch shop was located at 51 St. Patrick's Street in Cork.

    I'm still educating myself on the different types of escapements, and don't have a keen eye to identify it from a side view between the plates. Eventually I'll take this (and my other fusée) watch movement apart for servicing and will better be able to identify the actual escapement used.

    You can notice from the photos that the hinge is bent, which I understand often happened when these movements were roughly separated from their cases during lean years, for value of gold or silver. Perhaps this movement was in a gold case, given it appears to be of a higher quality for the era. We'll never know.
     
  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    It could well have been, it is decent quality, there seem to be endstones to the escape and possibly also the lever.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  6. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Thank you Graham.
    By the way, I'm slowly making my way (reverse chronologically) with the back issues of AH available through my membership. I just printed "Watch Movement Making in Prescot" by Robert Kemp, which lists the names of Prescot makers based on their abbreviations on movements. Perhaps this was your source for your input above? Slowly I'm increasing my knowledge of this fascinating world of horology (English and elsewhere).
    Best regards,
    --Robert
    p.s. Kemp's book "The Englishman's Watch" is one of my favourites among the various books I've acquired in the last 6 months or so. So it's nice to come across an article of his, which sheds light for me on the rather murky subject of "Prescot makers".
     
  7. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    A very similar movement by Brockbank and Atkins. It is housed in a silver case hallmarked for 1844 but I suspect that the case is not original to the movement as it has a different serial number stamped in.

    Although I have had this for around 20 years I have never dismantled the movement so can add little additional information other than that it is a standard English lever with table roller.

    View attachment 340875
     
  8. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    How interesting Davey the photo of your similar movement. Indeed the cocks have a similar pointed end though the one on yours is a little fancier with an extra indentation. It may not be clear on the photos of mine which were taken when the watch was running, but the balance wheel on my Haynes is bimetallic and has adjustment screws.
    Based on my still rudimentary knowledge, would the choice of balance, escapement, and overall finishing be at the discretion of the finisher or "watchmaker" (Haynes in my case, Brockbank & Atkins in yours)? So the basic movement from Bristol would be similar in many ways, but the watchmaker would introduce distinct features of his own preference or choosing?
    Thank you.
     
  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    The details of the movement and its finishing would be specified by the commissioner of the work, Brockbank & Atkins or Haynes, as you say. The workshops in Prescot, (which is near Liverpool by the way, not Bristol), would supply movements in any state of finish required from "raw" frames with the trains planted but not pivoted, without escapements or jewelling, through to completely finished with the appropriate signatures engraved.

    Robert Kemp's article is indeed where I found the list of Prescot frame makers.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  10. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Thanks Graham for that important insight which is useful to me.

    Yes, I mistakenly wrote Bristol when I probably meant Prescot (interesting that the roots of the name is "priest's cottage").
    Ok, so the "commissioner" could specify movements in various states of finish, and with choice of options. Obviously some "retailers" would simply get their name inscribed on a fully finished movement, and I suppose would then need to get a case fitted to the movement, dial, hands, etc., to come up with a finished watch ready for sale.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I always figured that some watchmakers/commissioners/retailers would obtain a less finished movement and finish it themselves in their own shop, using their own hard-acquired watchmaking skills during their long apprenticeship and tenures as journeymen.

    I suppose that for a particular specimen, it is very difficult if not impossible to figure out just where the Prescot maker's work ended, and what the finisher/watchmaker contributed to the final product. Not sure why that's so important to me, perhaps the fact that I like to have an idea (by the signature on the watch and any biographical information available) who made the watch tick at the end, and put the finishing touches on it before sending it out into the world (and eventually into my hands as temporary custodian). So for the movement that is the subject of this thread, I'll never know for certainty which parts are the handiwork of Thomas Scarisbrick or of Samuel Haynes (or son). Interesting.

    Cheers!
    --Robert
     
  11. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    I think that's broadly true of the larger firms who could afford to run a workshop staffed with the necessary specialist craftsmen, (the trade was very segmented), who could take a "raw" frame and effectively rebuild it to their own standards. This applied to Frodsham, Barwise, Vulliamy and the like, but retailers in smaller towns would most probably have settled for completely finished watches. Very few of the "raw" frames have survived and provide a fascinating insight into production methods. If you search for "unfinished" on David Penney's website you'll find some examples.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  12. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    I whipped the dial off of my B & A this afternoon. There are no markings on the dial plate other than the size (12 - 0) and the #2042 which is the same as that stamped in the case. So it would appear that B & A bought this movement in complete and cased - just to endorse Graham's comments above. I did take pictures which I will post later
     
  13. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    #13 Omexa, Apr 22, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
    Hi, these Pointy Type Balance Cocks were used on Verge movements as well. I just realized that the Date is on the movement AD1805; the replacement larger diameter Screw blocks out the "D". Regards Ray View attachment 341120
     
  14. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    Picture as promised. The serial number is 2942 not 2042. In other respects it is very similar to yours beneath the dial rstl99. This has cap jewels top and bottom on the pallets, the lower escape wheel is jewelled but the upper is plain brass bush.
     
  15. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    That is sweet Ray, a lot of work gone into the decoration there. I think that the significant point (ha ha) about the lever watches is the sunken balance rather than the pointy balance cock
     
  16. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Thanks Graham.
    I suppose I'm trying to reconcile why someone would spend 7 years as an apprentice to a watch (or clock) maker (or both), to then setup shop and just sell watches obtained completely finished from Prescot (or Switzerland or wherever). I suppose the watchmaking skills learned during the apprenticeship (which I would assume covered all facets of watch parts and their manufacture, maybe I'm wrong here), would serve the journeyman or master as employee in a watchmaking shop, or in repairing timepieces. Of course running a watch and/or clock shop, in a large city or a small town, was a business and the proprietor needed to make enough money to cover his costs and raise his family. So making watches from scratch makes no sense, except in maybe extreme cases where someone has rich clients who will pay great sums for such timepieces. But I would think that some of those watchmakers would remain inquisitive about horological developments and would tinker with an escapement of their own, or something of the like, and put this kind of personal touch in the watches they sold.

    Regarding Prescot cottage industries, I understand these craftsmen were extremely specialized in the making of just (part of) a component of a watch. So I would expect that these people would not have taken the trouble to go through a 7 year apprenticeship as a watchmaker. Learned the trade from their father or a friend or relative, and kept making that same part for years and years.

    The fog is slowly starting to lift for me from the murky English watchmaking industry in 18-19th centuries, but there is still so much more I need to know.

    Another aspect I ponder upon, is how different or similar the clockmaking trade was from watchmaking, since many watchmakers were also putting out clocks. Was there more chance of a local clockmaker building his own clocks from scratch, or at least, have more of a hand in it than the average watch?

    Thanks for your patience with my questions. The AH journal archives will eventually answer many of them, time is a limiting factor in reading them.

    Cheers.
    --Robert
     
  17. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Interesting Davey, thanks for sharing, it's indeed useful to see the similarities and differences between the two movements.
    Only so many ways to make these mechanical objects during that era, I suppose. Where was it that I read recently (Chamberlain?) that the watchmaking industry was very conservative and for centuries these objects were made more or less using the same overall design elements, and that the 7 year apprenticeships served to ingrain this conservatism into the minds of the future watchmakers. Of course there is a great variety of escapements that were developed through that time, but the general elements remained pretty similar.
    --Robert
     
  18. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    Not necessarily all aspects, the trade was so compartmentalised that many apprentices only learnt the skills required to make one particular part or assembly. A pinion maker would have had little idea of escapement finishing, a springer would have been lost if asked to set jewels, and the man who could do everything was a rarity.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  19. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Interesting Graham. I'm not sure I would have been able to spend 7 years learning to make springs, let alone making springs the rest of my life, but times were different then.

    I may have been misled by something I read in (I believe) the proceedings of the parliament committee hearings on the worsening nature of the English watch industry (in the 1810's), in which a journeyman had said that when he came to London after completing his apprenticeship in the midlands, to prove his worth to a prospective employer (watchmaker), he could fabricate an entire watch in 2 weeks. I assume by that he meant put together a watch from available components, and fabricate some of them and "finish" the watch (as making each and every part from scratch would require a lot of tooling and materials, and time!). This led me to believe that an apprenticeship under a watchmaker would have taught one all the tools and tricks of the trade.

    Cheers.
    --Robert
     
  20. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    If you haven't come across this before, the articles by Alan Treherne posted by Tom in this old thread should make interesting reading. They include extracts from the journal of James Upjohn who did exactly what you mention but in the 1740s, and also Henry Ellis in 1813 from a different perspective.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  21. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    By the time most of the English watches you see on these boards were being made clock making was a very similar business, the manufacturing was centralised, the name on the dial would be the person who ordered it at least part finished.

    If you go back to the earlier 18th century the clockmakers had much more input but even in the 17th century plenty of the parts were bought in from specialist suppliers.
     
  22. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Thanks Graham and Novice for the useful historical perspective which grounds me a bit better. Graham, I had come across that article a few months ago (you probably pointed it out at the time!) but I can probably benefit from revisiting it. As one drills down to try to get a deeper understanding in a subject, it's often useful to revisit items met along the way, and appreciate them more thanks to greater insights earned later on.

    It sure looks like you have to go back a long way to find a watchmaker craftsman toiling away in a solitary workshop producing remarkable timepieces with his own hands and tools (like George Daniels did some decades ago). I read that Julien Le Roy's son Pierre, unlike his father, preferred to work alone, but what portion of his timepieces were obtained from specialist suppliers is another subject of investigation.

    Best regards,
    --Robert
     
  23. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    It's why I like provincial longcase so much, there was much more individuality and room for creativity in early longcase clocks particularly in the provinces.
     
  24. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Yes I can appreciate that.
    It comes through clearly in the book "Clock and Watchmaking in Colchester" by Bernard Mason, which I bought to learn more about the maker of three watch movements I own (Joseph Banister). The book details the life and works (mostly clocks, but watches too) of the major clock-watchmakers to have plied their trade in Colchester from the 15th to 19th centuries. Perhaps some of the individuality and creativity that you alluded to in long case clocks also influenced some of the watch making that took place in that city over the years. In closing a chapter dealing with watches made in Colchester, Mason writes:

    "In addition to [the watches listed above] Mr. E.J. Buckingham has an interesting collection of watches and watch movements signed by Thomas Mason, Joseph Mitchell, Joseph Hopwood, Shuttleworth, Jennings and Bedwell etc. The author does not claim any of these as Colchester-made watches as all the available evidence suggests that the signatures were engraved on factory-made movements."

    This leads me to believe that Mason (and others) felt that watches by some of the earlier clock and watch-makers of Colchester (Smorthwait, Dammant, Hedge, Cooper, Woodcock, Banister) were at least partly "made" in Colchester (whatever "made" means in this case). Banister designed and obtained a patent for a clock "deadbeat escapement assembly" for an 8 day regulator clock which illustrates that some of the makers in Colchester were certainly creative and innovative in some ways over the centuries.
     
  25. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    Just some views re to hopefully stimulate the apprenticeship element of this discussion.

    Firstly, apprenticeships were not free but had to be paid for. I don't know if that was the case if the Master was a parent or sibling, may or may not have been the case. Once the apprentice was indentured then he/she would be bound to their master for the duration of the apprenticeship and in some, if not all cases, for a period of two years beyond the completion date, working as a journeyman. The apprentice would normally be accepted into the Master's household and his 'remuneration' would be board and lodging and probably little else. The apprenticeship could be terminated by the Master if the trainee was not achieving the required standards of work, or indeed behaviour, but the apprentice could not leave the master for any reason at all, he was bound. If the apprentice did run away there was recourse in law for the Master to pursue and return the 'deserter, to his work.

    Robert has wondered why it would be that a body would serve a seven year tenure as an apprentice and then toddle off and make pinion wire or escape wheels for the rest of his life. There are several possible reasons that spring to mind. If he had been successful in his training and was capable of building a watch from scratch he would need to be in a position to equip a workshop and buy in the raw materials form which to make his watches and not many of the trained workers could afford to do that, having worked for 7 years for no financial reward and a further two for, probably, very little. Some of the people who completed their apprenticeship would not have the aptitude or skills sufficient to work on their own whether they had the necessary funds or not. Whichever way, they still had to put food on the table and secure some sort of lodging and becoming a watch jobber was one obvious way to do that. I do think, by the way, that many of the jobbers making individual watch parts would not have served an apprenticeship but would have had the skills handed down from father to son.

    There was significant abuse of the apprenticeship system over the years, with the trainee being used more as cheap labour and being taught little of the watchmaking skills that would be necessary to continue in the trade after their 7 years was up. This abuse was the subject of parliamentary enquiries, the major one of which examined the abuses in the Coventry trade in the early days of the 'factory' system, when some of the bigger companies were known to employ numerous (30 to 40 from memory) apprentices who were used for many of the non skilled work tasks like collecting and delivering parts and collected parts trays between work locations. During their 'apprenticeship' they were paid, again, little if anything and were dismissed at the completion of the apprenticeship period.

    These are just collected views of my reading over some years so may not be entirely accurate, but I am sure that the gist is true.
     
  26. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dave,

    I agree with all this. The situation in Coventry must have been serious to warrant a Parliamentary Enquiry in the 19th century. If a journeyman couldn't afford to set up his own workshop, it was sometimes possible to rent some bench space in a larger workshop so that he could at least begin to take in work on his own account.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  27. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Darn, just lost a lengthy reply for a mysterious reason. Oh well.

    Thank you Dave for such a lengthy and insightful post. And Graham for a useful perspective.

    I'll try to muster up a response (again) later. One thing I had written was what my 75 year old retired watch repairman neighbour told me. He was trained in Croatia after the war, in part by his uncle, who had been apprenticed to a watchmaker in the early 1900s. His uncle had told him that during the first 2 years of his apprenticeship, all he did was sweep the shop floor, and accompany the watchmaker's wife on her daily errands to the food market, and carry the bags home. So obviously, the first part of an apprenticeship may not always have been a great learning opportunity for the boy. But from what I read, at some time in England anyway, an apprenticeship was completed by the apprentice presenting a master-piece of his own making to demonstrate that he had mastered all aspects of watch making. Not sure the same "validation" process still existed for all the apprentices coming out of Coventry in the early 1800s, that Davey was talking about.

    Different times...
     
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