M. I or M.J Tobias, What's the real skinny?

B

Barry G

Good Lord, and here I thought I was loquacious!!!

Lot's of good information there! I wonder how much of it is accurate? Is it just a bizarre coincidence that he described the agent's name as being "Michael Edidin", or did he get all his information from Michael Edidin's article in the Bulletin and accidentally mix up the names? We may never know....

I did find it rather amusing, by the way, just how far one had to read into the description to discover that the watch has no dial, no hands, and likely isn't working. I wonder what it eventually sold for?

Barry

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My Online Pocket Watch Collection
 
O

Oliver Mundy

A search on eBay just now has produced some interesting results, most notably http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1693659876 which appears to be another authentic late Tobias. The case is evidently American and therefore gives no clue in the way of hallmarks, but the movement is typical of Liverpool in about 1840: relief-engraved cock with very narrow table, outboard set-up regulator and compensated balance. (I believe this kind of balance was widely used in movements for export long before it became established in the home market; presumably the Liverpool makers were astute enough to realise that the extreme climates of North America required special care.) The interesting thing is the signature, which is S. I. TOBIAS (laid out in exactly the accustomed family style). Baillie lists a Samuel Isaac Tobias as active between 1811 and 1813, but this watch is certainly twenty years later at least. The serial number is 9038.

Among the lesser items, there is a Swiss example inscribed on the cuvette ?CYLINDER ESCAPPEMENT [sic]?, which I think nicely proves that the case as well as the movement originated in Switzerland; only a French-speaker, confused between his own language and English, could have come up with this spelling.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Again, Mr. Edidin's articles provide more information. S.I.Tobias was a name used on some English forgeries. However, in this case there may be a family tie, as Samuel Isaacs Tobias was a part of the family (adopted, as was M.I. Tobias) and was a watch importer and dealer in New York for whom English watches (not of Tobias manufacture) were finished. With the American case, this may well be one of his imported movements. Note that the movement is not marked Liverpool.

[This message has been edited by Jerry Treiman (edited 01-22-2002).]
 
B

Barry G

Slightly off topic, but I've been in communication with Mr. Edidin via e-mail and have discovered that my older Tobias watch is a little more special than I had realized.

Mr Edidin has confirmed, first of all, that it is authentic, which is always nice to know. I had previously discovered from his post on this thread that my watch is among the "creme de la creme" of Tobias watches, given that it is marked both "M.I.Tobias & Co." and "Lord Street". After communicating further with Mr. Edidin, however, I've also learned that the serial number on my watch makes it the earliest known example of a Lord Street watch, and that it actually has a Massey Type II escapement instead of the more common Massey Type III found on these watches [and yes, once I knew what to look for, I was able to examine the escapement under a loop and confirm that it is a Type II].

I bought this watch a couple of years ago [and paid way too much for it, but that's another story] simply because I believed it to be an authentic Tobias. After having seen, handled, and owned many of the Swiss "M.J. Tobias" watches discussed in this thread, I jumped at the opportunity to finally own a genuine Tobias. I had no idea if it was a low or high grade example, whether it was an early or late model, or whether it was in any way unusual, so it's really great to find out that I might have gotten a bit of a better bargain than I had thought.

Here's a link to the full description of the watch, complete with pictures, in case anyone would like to check it out:

http://barrygoldberg.net/watch52.htm

Thanks again to everybody who has contributed to this thread. It has been extremely enlightening in more ways than one!

Regards,

Barry

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My Online Pocket Watch Collection



[This message has been edited by Barry G (edited 01-22-2002).]
 

Tom McIntyre

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I am very late to this thread and I am afraid that my question may not be answerable since I no longer have the example watch. However,...

I once had a very high grade English lever in heavy 18K pair cases marked "Morris Tobias London" fully spelled out. Unless my mind is really getting away from me, it was a single roller lever.

I assumed when I owned it that it was the uncle's product rather than the nephews. However, I assumed that the uncle was in business in London at the time.

Has anyone else seen a watch marked "Morris Tobias London?"

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Tom McIntyre
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Jerry Treiman

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Well, it took me a while to scan these, but I hope people are still interested. This first set of images is of a 1/2-plate "Lord Street" movement with the original spring-opened dust cover. It has a blued steel balance with a gold rim and a type III Massey escapement. It winds and sets from the back. The only part that is not original is the setting square. http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT016Tobias_dc_small.jpg http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT016Tobias_mvt_small.jpg http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT016Tobias_dial_small.jpg

This next movement is the Tobias second grade, marked "Wm. Robinson". It, too, has a Massey type III escapement. http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT017Robinson_mvt_small.jpg http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT017Robinson_dial_small.jpg

My third movement here (incomplete) is marked S.I. Tobias & Co. Liverpool, and would appear to be one of the movements made in Liverpool (by Stuart & Russell?) for Samual Tobias in New York. Again, this has a type III Massey escapement. http://www.nawcc-info.org/Treiman/JT018SITobias_small.jpg

[This message has been edited by Jerry Treiman (edited 04-02-2002).]

[This message was edited by Jerry Treiman on January 23, 2003 at 12:52.]
 

PapaLouies

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Jerry, Your Robinson 11,378 has all the features of an M.I.Tobias & Co. product it should have. PL
 

Jim Haney

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PapaLouies,

You have posted to a thread that is over 10 Years old.

Thanks for the recent post because the thread is not in the forum that it should be in so I am moving it to the correct forum.
 

PapaLouies

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Jim Haney;685924 said:
PapaLouies,

You have posted to a thread that is over 10 Years old.

Thanks for the recent post because the thread is not in the forum that it should be in so I am moving it to the correct forum.
Jim, Should I not respond to old post's and where do I find the correct forum? PL
 

MartyR

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PL, Jim just pointed that out to you in case you hadn't noticed. Sometimes people pick up an old thread, post to it, and are miffed when the posters in the thread don't reply ;)

And as it happens, this thread was started before the European Forum existed, so you pulling it to the top alerted Jim to move it to what is now the correct forum ... and he did thank you for that :)
 

PapaLouies

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MartyR;686398 said:
PL, Jim just pointed that out to you in case you hadn't noticed. Sometimes people pick up an old thread, post to it, and are miffed when the posters in the thread don't reply ;)

And as it happens, this thread was started before the European Forum existed, so you pulling it to the top alerted Jim to move it to what is now the correct forum ... and he did thank you for that :)
Sorry, I did not know the European Forum was the Forum Jim was referring to. PL
 

PapaLouies

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MartyR;686398 said:
PL, Jim just pointed that out to you in case you hadn't noticed. Sometimes people pick up an old thread, post to it, and are miffed when the posters in the thread don't reply ;)

And as it happens, this thread was started before the European Forum existed, so you pulling it to the top alerted Jim to move it to what is now the correct forum ... and he did thank you for that :)
Marty, My old Trig professor used to say to me when confronting the unknown you can beat it to death with a stick or ask dumb
questions till the light comes on. PapaLouies
 

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