Hallmark query.

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by EmmaR, Aug 2, 2007.

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  1. EmmaR

    EmmaR Registered User

    Hi everyone.. working today on an english pocket watch engraved J.Saunders,258 whitechapel rd, london. number 533.

    its a front wind fusee in a pair case.

    the hallmarks on the case look like 1798. this seems late for a front wind movement? anyway, the think I'm asking about is the case markings. I have uploaded the hallmarks, but there is also a little proppeller shapped mark.. i've seen this on several watches, is it the test mark? maybe someone knows?

    interesting, but not so important.


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  2. EmmaR

    EmmaR Registered User

    and.. oops.. I meant 1789!

  3. Jerry Matthews

    Jerry Matthews Registered User

    Sep 20, 2005
    Sussex, England
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    I believe this is the London hallmark for 1809-10, although you could be right about 1789-90 because the two "o's" are very similar.

    However, the reason I go for the later date is that there is a John Saunders of London listed as early 19th century. (There are two other J Saunders in London, but much earlier or much later than your hallmark.) Also the case maker is probably Thomas Bligh who first registered at the London assay office in 1797 at 16 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell London, and then in 1809 re-registered at 40 Great Sutton Street.

    The "official" bits of the English hallmark are the lion passant, the town mark, the date letter and the maker's (or sponsor') initials. You will often see other little marks like the propeller in your photo which were put there for "in-house" identification, like you say a test mark or maybe to id the person who stamped the hallmark. There isn't much recorded information about them.

  4. EmmaR

    EmmaR Registered User

    you could be right! I didnt see the later date, and thanks very much:)
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    retired SW dev
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    Front winding was used failry late on single bottom cases. This is usually with smaller watches and less expensive cases. It is unusual to find a late one with a full pair case or, in my experience, even an 18th century one.

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