James McCabe

DaveyG

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Mar 21, 2005
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How many people spotted the on line auction listing for 'an early #' watch by James McCabe. I should first say that the auction has been closed withing hours of the listing so I assume that I am free to lodge the information here. The watch was a verge, in seemingly good condition and signed simply "Ja's McCabe. London". It was listed as the case being hallmarked for 1796 and was being sold from the USA with American provenance

Hackamack lists the earliest known McCabe verge as being #451 (movement only) and dates it to 1775. The movement for auction was #351 and, obviously, cased in a decent pair case with hallmarks that were difficult to interpret from the images. It has round pillars so probably from the mid 1770's also

So, not just an early McCabe but possibly the earliest McCabe known? It may have been recased as there was engraving on the outer case that was dated 1800.

I am disappointed but not at all surprised that the auction was terminated early, I was looking forward to a tense battle for ownership.
 
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John Matthews

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Sep 22, 2015
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Hi Dave - yes I was watching it and it disappeared in a few hours (rather than the 10 days, it was due to be listed for).

Here is a link to the sold listing.

The case maker [BE] Benjamin Eamonson who registered the mark in October 1795. So if the chronological relationship of serial number holds, recase likely. Hackamack provides little data, perhaps there is more information elsewhere?

John
 

aucaj

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So, not just an early McCabe but possibly the earliest McCabe known? It may have been recased as there was engraving on the outer case that was dated 1800.

I am disappointed but not at all surprised that the auction was terminated early, I was looking forward to a tense battle for ownership.
Hello,
The watch appears to be engraved "Jn^o McCabe" for John McCabe? Isn't "James" normally abbreviated "Ja^s"?
R/
Chris
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Chris,
The watch appears to be engraved "Jn^o McCabe" for John McCabe? Isn't "James" normally abbreviated "Ja^s"?
Yes, I think you're right, the signature is for a John McCabe, not a James, and I can't see a 'c' after the 'M', which puts it in a different light!

I suspect that whoever won it was well aware of this, in view of the low winning bid; I'd expect a genuine James McCabe to fetch rather more.

Regards,

Graham
 

DaveyG

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Mar 21, 2005
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Good spot folks, I had only looked at the auction briefly and added it to my list, intending to return to it this morning - when I discovered it gone. I hadn't noticed the error. I suspect that it didn't sell but was withdrawn, there was no 'Buy it Now' option that I recall, so probably someone pointed out the descriptive error to the vendor. I am not aware of a John McCabe within the descendants of Patrick. The missing lower case 'c' is odd, I very much doubt if the maker/retailer was a Jonothan M. Cabe

Ah well, the search for the holy grail goes on
 
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DaveyG

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Wrong again. John McCabe was the 3rd son of Patrick, born c1745 (The McCabes - Watch and Clockmakers of Ulster Pt 2 By David A Bell AHS Bulletin March 2001) so James' elder brother. This piece has no record of him working in London but in Newry and then Dublin for a short while before moving to Baltimore in 1774. However, there seems to be a level of supposition about his time in Dublin with no particular evidence to support that. I quote "John is generally reckoned to have been working in Dublin from 1767 onwards". but then goes on to present evidence that he was still active in Newry up until the first quarter of 1769. So it is possible I suppose that he spent a short time in London before taking himself off to Baltimore. He appears on the census of the City in 1791. He worked from Market Street and had advertised as finishing watches, clocks both spring and weight driven also turret or steeple clocks constructed to endure.

Amendment number :???: I have just (re) discovered a letter to AHS Journal, printed December 2001 issue that would have it that John McCabe was killed fighting in The American Revolution on 17 July 1778. This letter was from Tom Spittler, a co-author of American Clock and Watchmakers.
 
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