M.I. Tobias

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

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  1. Shipsbell

    Shipsbell Registered User
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    Hello group, I posting some pictures of the watch and frankly I am hoping someone on the list can give information. I have been able to locate some information but not the date of manufacture. As information is posted I will have additional questions. The provenance is a family watch from Philadelphia, I believe it's a watch that was cased in the USA in the 1800's. That part is subject you what you folks come up with.
    Details:
    Serial number 14661
    Case: B&SD
    Fusee
    Thanks group. Patrick

    20200517_171849.jpg 20200517_171741.jpg 20200517_171748.jpg 20200517_171929.jpg 20200517_171817.jpg
     
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  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Patrick,

    There are certainly no English hallmarks in the case, so it's reasonable to suppose that it was exported from Liverpool un-cased, as so many Liverpool movements were. The lever escapement may well be a Massey of some type, judging by the engravings on the balance cock, although without a very close look between the plates it's impossible to tell which variety, or indeed if it's an English lever. The date is probably some time early in the 2nd quarter of the century. The minute hand fits the dial and may be original but the hour isn't. The dial damage could be improved but not invisibly repaired.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. Shipsbell

    Shipsbell Registered User
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    Thank you Graham for taking the time to respond. Patrick
     
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  4. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    Hi Patrick,
    Your watch is an authentic M.I. Tobias & Co. product made ca. 1830 in an original American Case and likely has a Massey III escapement.
    Regards, PL
     
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  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Patrick

    Can you please check to see whether there is a stamp on the underside of the cap? I would appreciate a photograph if there is. It may have the Tobias & Co stamp (T&CO).

    John
     
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  6. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    The cap should have the serial number of the movement.
    Regards, PL
     
  7. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Thanks for sharing. Here's an early MI Tobias rack lever and dust cap.

    My inside cap has what PL & John describe (T&CO and the #SN).

    Keith R...

    mit9 (1000x750).jpg
     
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  8. Shipsbell

    Shipsbell Registered User
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    Hi John I was reading all the answers I received on my 3 watches and found your request for a picture of the inside of the cap. It has the watch movements serial number only. I aslo found under the balance cock aslo had thg e same serial number. Thanks for your interest.
    Patrick
     
  9. Shipsbell

    Shipsbell Registered User
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    20200521_165700.jpg
     
  10. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Patrick - my thanks.

    I have a particular interest in cap makers and their marks - they are often overlooked.

    For Tobias, I am trying to establish the period when the mark {T&Co} was used. It is found on English cases as well as the caps of their earlier examples. To date, I have not seen it on examples after ~1825. That corresponds to movement numbers ~ #8000. I would be very interested if anyone has an example of its occurrence on later examples.

    John
     
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  11. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    John, I can't help you with post-1825 Tobiases because I only have one M.I. Tobias, a rather earlier 18k pair-cased rack lever, #2700. Its dust cover is stamped T&C 2700 on one side of the balance cock slot and PB on the other side of the slot.
     
  12. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ethan - many thanks, that is helpful. I had captured information regarding your watch from your earlier posting when we established that the Chester hallmark was 1815/16

    Case Maker "NL"

    and I was hoping the cap had 'T&Co'. {PB} is probably the cap maker. If you able to post a photograph of the marks, it would be appreciated, as I have not seen {PB} before.

    I do not know what stage of 'finishing' movements were, when they were received by Tobias to complete the work, but I think it most likely that the movement was received with the cap already fitted. Of the unfinished movements that have survived with caps, some of the caps carry a maker's mark, some do not. From the examples of Tobias watches I have seen, it appears that until ~1825 many movements, possibly the majority, had the {T&Co} mark stamped on the cap and often on the case.

    John
     
  13. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    I have M.I. Tobias & Co. S/N 9856, 7J with Massey II escapement and the Dust Cap stamped inside 9856.
    Regards, PL
     
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  14. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    PL - thanks for that.

    #8724 {1826} is the highest movement serial number I have which has the {T&Co} stamp on the case - it is capped but I don't know whether it has the mark.

    As a matter of interest is your Tobias in an American case?

    John
     
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  15. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    John, here are photos of my Tobias' dust cover. Despite repeated tries just now, I was unable to get a very distinct photo of the "PB" stamping.

    DSC06073.JPG DSC06074.JPG DSC06080.JPG
     
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  16. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    John, I have one from 1847, the cap has the serial number in the 29000 range with the letter F at the base of the balance cock opening if that means anything.

    IMG_0132.JPG
     
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  17. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    Sorry, John. It's the movement only. PL
     
  18. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    John, post #7 has my MI Tobias cap and it has T&Co and watch SN, year 1818.

    Keith R...
     
  19. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ethan, Rich, PL, Keith thanks for your replies.

    Ethan - I tried to sharpen your photographs but without any success - in fact it made the second character appear to be an 'S' A little unfortunate, as cap makers marks from before 1825 are not that common and information from trade directories is rather thin on the ground.

    Rich - {F} is a mark I have encountered previously. With just a single letter it is almost impossible to even suggest possibilities. However, one of the examples is on a Liverpool movement signed 'John Harrison' and in a Chester hallmarked case for 1839/40. This date I believe corresponds approximately to the date of your movement, which I guess was exported as a movement and cased in America.

    Keith - yes I have a record of your example.

    PL you know much more about Tobias than I do. It is also some time since I read the Edidin papers, so what I am about to write, might be common knowledge, so please all forgive me if it is. Also correct me if I am barking up the wrong tree. It seems that there was a change in the output of Tobias & Co ~1825 serial number range #8500 to #9000. Prior to that output appears to be in English cases with genuine hallmarks - usually Chester. After much of the output appears to be movement only exported to America, where it was cased - some of the cases carrying faux hallmarks.

    Apology for not checking my thoughts with Edidin.

    John
     
  20. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    I managed to take a better picture of the PB mark.

    tobiasdust .jpg
     
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  21. eri231

    eri231 Registered User

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    I looked and found something in my watches
    regards enrico

    TW.JPG W&A.O1.jpg W.jpg WK.jpg PAT.D.jpg WG.jpg
     
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  22. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ethan - thank you taking the trouble to obtain a clear photograph - I have added it to my records with a link to this thread. If in the future I identify a possible maker I will post the information and alert you.

    Enrico - thank you for the examples you posted. I assume these are not all Tobias caps ...

    Trying to establish the makers corresponding to these marks, it is necessary to have the context of the movement and if possible a date from the hallmark of the original case - just as you would need to establish a case maker from his mark. However - in for a penny in for a pound - some educated guesses or uneducated, you can be the judge:)

    {T.W} - unknown maker - 1800-1820 Liverpool movement. There is a later mark 1850-1880 {TW} without the period;
    {W&AO} - William & Alfred Oxley - Coventry ~1890;
    {W} - unknown 1825-1830 - probably Coventry, possibly London, movement;
    {WH} - probably William Hesketh - father & son of the same name, snr in Liverpool then Coventry (~1845) jnr active only in Coventry;
    {PATd 7204} - I don't recognise, but C H Errington movements carry a number of patents stamped on caps, although I haven't registered this one;
    {WG} - I have not seen this before - if you can post photographs of the watch and case, I will see if I can find.

    John
     
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  23. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Just a one-off question to PL? Is this watch made by Tobias? Movement only.

    91-2 (2).JPG
     
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  24. jagrieff

    jagrieff Registered User

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    I thought that I should add my example to the list. I have a M. I. Tobias rack lever from 1821 (I believe) which has T. & Co. and serial number stamped in the case as well as on the cap. There is an additional stamp in the cap which I assume is the cap maker.

    Jeff Grieff

    IMG_2028.jpeg IMG_2027.jpeg IMG_2024.jpeg
    IMG_2025.jpeg IMG_2026.jpeg
     
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  25. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Jeff - thank you for posting this example together with the marks on the underside of the cap.

    The Chester 'D' is unusual in that it was used from 8 November 1821 until 5 July 1823 (Ridgeway & Priestley). The makers mark {NL} is recorded on Chester Plate 1 and is assigned by RP to Nathaniel Lee. In 1821 he was based at 36 Ray Street, before moving (or did the street get re-numbered?) to 2 Ray Street from 1823. The The T&Co mark together with the serial number is commonly found on Tobias caps - although I have not seen an example where the serial number was clearly over stamped on the T&Co before. It is less common to have these together with a set of separate initials, which as you say is likely to be the cap maker. The mark {IG} I have seen before, but I am afraid I cannot offer any possible makers names that match.

    John
     
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  26. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    This morning I was going to start a new thread on a strange watch by Tobias. Then at the top of the list was this thread. So here goes, a good friend of mine in Liverpool sent me this photograph, asking if I had seen one before. The answer is no. I know it´s some type of compensation, and my friend in Liverpool says that the firm Tobias did some work on compensation in the early 1800s. Though I was unable to find any horological patents by the firm. I looked through the escapements in "Watches" by quite a few authors to no avail. So I wrote asking for better photographs, including the case and for John the inner cap. If you enlarge the photograph you can make out the Tob.& Co as case maker. and the "D" for 1821/23. I am not sure about the number on the watch, but it looks like 6653? Has anyone seen this escapement before??

    Allan.
    101-1.jpg
     
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  27. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Sorry - I forgot to give the town - Liverpool.

    John
     
  28. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #28 John Matthews, Jun 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
    Allan - not sure what the escapement is, probably a single roller or Massey III.

    The elaborate compensation curb is the same as William Robinson movement #3493 ~1830 on DP's site. Interestingly, to me, that has a cap stamped {MB}. and the only match I have so far found is Matthew Bradshaw with dates of ~1850. Definitely need better photographs to be certain of the case marks. I have enlarged the photograph you have posted and it looks as if the maker's mark could be JOK&Co in cartouche type 1. The mark of John O'Keefe, 16 Queen's Row, Pentonville Road London, known to have worked from ~1825 to the mid 1850s.The date letter looks more like {M} for Chester 1850 to me.

    John
     
  29. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Good guess John, it is a Massey three, the rest we will have to wait for the better photographs. I spoke to him today, and he sent me some more photographs from his Hi-Pod. Though better than the others I have asked him again for better images, but the last thing I want to do is put pressure on him and his time. So maybe next week we will get some more photographs. These other photographs are of another Tobias, but this time S.I. Tobias, with some minor changes to that compensation curb. The bonus this time is we can see the hallmarks, Chester "K" 1828, plus the TH& co. for the case maker. The number is 4990. Will keep you informed.

    Allan.



    101-7.jpg 1013.jpg 101-4.jpg 101-4.jpg 101-7.jpg
     
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  30. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Auxiliary Compensation.
    With a view to avoiding the irregularities that occur at extreme temperatures, a vast number of forms of balances or of appendages to the ordinary balance have been suggested. They may be subdivided into two classes.
    In one class additional bi-metallic strips are adapted to the balance as to occasion the requisite increase or decrease in the radius of gyration to the extreme temperatures.
    In the other class, pieces are so placed that they do not move until the bi-metallic strips of the balance cone in contact with them and their weight is thus added to that of the compensation weights, ect.

    These additions necessarily complicate the balance, and, if not perfectly made, will add their errors to those of the balance itself. And besides this, it has long been known that pressures and contacts, which from the nature of the case are variable, can not be safely relied upon to produce the delicate and almost inappreciable effects of compensation.

    This was written in 1952 from the original from 1867. by C. Saunier.
     
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  31. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Some examples of auxiliary compensation on pocket watches. there are of course many more. Some of such are well-known to all here, though it goes back to john Harrison yet again.


    103-2.jpg 103-1.jpg This on conversion to STR by Finer & Nowland


    103-5.jpg 103-4.JPG 103-7.JPG The Massey compensation curb by Roskell, Hornby, and a better view on the Roskell double roller lever.


    103-13.png The first lever watch by Thomas Mudge.who was on the committee that examined Harrison 4.


    If members would like to discuss these curbs with photographs:???:? I would still like to know who made those on the Tobias watches, there are no patents take out by the Tobias firm?:cool:

    Allan.:)
     
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  32. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    157-2.jpg This is all I have at the moment, but it looks like the index finger as a slide along the spring through the slit in the balance cock, to control the length of the spring. This from Barwise c1814.I hope to have the number on the watch soon.
     
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  33. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    The number on the Barwise is 4348, so according to the Barwise file c1808. It looks like a Duplex movement should know soon.

    155-11.jpg
     
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  34. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    #34 Allan C. Purcell, Jun 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
    The photographs below show an early chronometer by Morris Tobias, 31, Minories, London.No173. Comments welcome.

    155-14.jpg 155-15.jpg 155-16.jpg 155-17.jpg

    Allan.
     
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  35. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    The Barwise is a Duplex. It turns out the above chronometer is very small indeed, only 2 Inch diameter across the dial, and the box only 6-inch square. Watch this space for more photographs tomorrow. ( I wonder why TE keeps springing into my mind)??

    Allan.
     
  36. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    158-4.jpg 158-3.jpg 158-2.jpg 158-1.jpg 158-5.jpg So the photographs I promised. It turns out there was a small misunderstanding with the photographs, and the Tobias is a normal chronometer of some 7inch squared case. The small one above is the one with the 2inch diameter dial and was made c1845 by Litherland and Davis & Co. That's what happens when two older gentlemen get talking on the phone.

    Allan.
     
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  37. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    IMG_9043[1].JPG I don´t know if I sent you these, was looking for something else and found these two. This is on a cap from Harris Cornhill HN.



    IMG_9044[1].JPG This one LF on a Mann Norwich. More than likely made in London.

    Allan
     

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