Martineau / London pair case--bought today

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by jboger, Jul 25, 2020.

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  1. jboger

    jboger Registered User

    Jan 7, 2019
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    Back from an on-site auction nearby.The daughter was selling her father's accumulation. He was obviously an eclectic hoarder. There were 15 croquet sets alone, not counting all the other stuff. And there were some watches. I bought one, this Martineau / London watch. No marks on the outer case, but something on the inner, which see photo. Seems to be a single punch (?) of the letter R and a heart. The dial is pinned on at three point, and there is a plug to check the endshake on the contrate wheel.

    The case is what I don't understand. Does seem to be silver, but perhaps less than sterling, so no assay was done, at least that's what I'm thinking. Does anyone recognize those marks.? I estimate ca. 1750 perhaps a little later.

    Would appreciate people's thoughts?

    John

    IMG_1189.jpg IMG_1188.jpg IMG_1186.jpg IMG_1185.jpg IMG_1181.jpg
     
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  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Have a look at Dr. Rebecca Struthers' lecture to the HSNY; it should shed some light.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  3. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    Graham: Rather than detract, her lecture has added interest to this so-called Dutch fake (really Swiss in origin). I thought it might be a British import, which it is, but Struthers has provided much social context, which has given me a better understanding of what I have. Thank you for providing the link!

    I never trusted any of the so-called English watches with balance bridges that I've seen over the years. (I suppose there are some genuine English-made fusees with balance bridges.) With regard to my Martineau watch, I have other watches of the same period. The Martineau watch is light; it has no heft. The engraving is OK but not up to snuff.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    That was my intention in posting the link. There are a few English watches with balance bridges, but not many, and some by very eminent makers such as Josiah Emery.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    The watch runs beautifully in all positions. I gave the winding arbor a quarter turn, and the watch ran for 1-1/2 h hours. Strong motion to the balance with a displacement of at least +/- 30 deg. I don't think it was used that much as there is very little, at least not noticeable wear on the crown wheel. I have seen these very heavily worn on one side of the tooth.
     
  6. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    An update. I have since communicated with Rebecca S. I thought she might be interested in the watch for her records and perhaps like copies of the photos I took. She did. Furthermore she pointed out something that I had entirely missed, which I now pass along. If you look at my first photo above, the one of the entire watch that includes the outer case, you will see two Dutch import marks. These are located on the hinge at about VIII and X respectively. It would seem that the Dutch merchants--those rascals--facilitated the development of Swiss watchmaking and contributed to a decline in the British domestic market share.
     
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