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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    Apr 12, 2010
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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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    Apr 14, 2010
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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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    Sep 22, 2015
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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
     
  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
     
  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
     
  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
     
  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
     
  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
     
  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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