My first ever pair-cased half hunter verge....

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by PJQL, Oct 24, 2019.

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  1. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    Hi all,

    I just received this yesterday. A lovely old silver half-hunter pair-cased verge.
    It's hallmarked London 1825.
    Were pair-cased half hunters popular or unusual for that period?

    Thanks,
    Piers

    DSC_3174.JPG DSC_3187.JPG DSC_3172.JPG DSC_3184.JPG DSC_3173.JPG DSC_3185.JPG
     
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  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Piers,

    I think hunters like this, without a full crystal and bezel under the half glazed lid, were some of the earliest and quite uncommon, and yours being a pair-cased example is more unusual, because having to open two lids to see the full dial isn't particularly convenient. Single cases with double backs are more likely to be found, I suspect because they were simply easier to use.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Piers/Graham - I have seen a number of these recently. I have a feeling that many have a connection to the English Midlands. I don't think they are that uncommon.

    It seems to me that if the timekeeping was good, there would be little reason to access the full dial. Is it possible that this style was an early design for a rugged environment?

    John
     
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  4. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    I have never seen a pair case hunter of any description
    Hunters are designed to protect the movement if you fall off your horse
    Seeing the time on a full pair case one would be difficult whilst riding
    The half hunter would solve that problem
     
  5. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #5 Keith R..., Oct 24, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
    Nice example. I'm with Les, I think hunters were in consular cases.
    I reset hour hand after pic. CA 1805 (one is 1805).

    Restated, I do not recall a pair cased full hunter.

    Keith R...

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  6. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    #6 Allan C. Purcell, Oct 27, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
    Hi Piers, I like that watch, but it is about 10 to 20 years later than I would like. These watches were being produced around the end of the eighteenth century, though many of them were wound through the dial. I did write up my thoughts on these watches in the John Dison thread, it took a while, that thread, to convince my self that the case form was, in fact, quite an old style, and used in many forms of watches. I think if you do a quick look at the thread, you might enjoy it.
    Best wishes,
    Allan.

    PS: There are three James Foxton´s in Loomes, but I think all three are the same man.
     
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  7. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Piers - I believe this is the James Foxton

    upload_2019-10-27_18-19-57.png

    from 1828 Pigots trade directory.

    Do you have a photograph of the hallmarks showing the case maker?

    John
     
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  8. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    The last photograph John shows the sponsor George Richards. London 17, Bridgewater Square Clerkenwell. and the James Foxton you show is the same as Loomes.

    Allan
     
  9. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Piers, does this one count? ;)

    Somebody had a spare half hunter dial, for this perfect timing verge.

    Keith R...

    103_9039 (800x600) (640x480).jpg 103_9036 (800x600).jpg
     
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  10. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    opps :glasses:

    Piers - is the outer similarly marked?

    John
     
  11. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    Allan, Keith, John....

    Thanks for those inputs! The specific period of popularity of this type of case form did make me curious.

    I'm away until Tuesday evening so I'll post some relevant pictures when I return.

    This latest pic is the current display location of my watch!

    Piers DSC_3286.JPG
     
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  12. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    #12 PJQL, Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    Really interesting thread Allan...….it means I will now pay more attention to 18th/19thC silver cased watches that I come across at the antique fairs.

    As for St Ives.....well I actually live only 12 miles from the Cornish town, and I often visit St Ives in Cambridgeshires ince my brother lives in Huntingdon! I sometimes see "local" names on fusees etc when I'm at fairs in that area,
    so I'll be more vigilant in the future.

    Piers
     
  13. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    #13 PJQL, Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    Ok.....here are the hallmarks from the outer case. The inner case stamps all match, but are quite worn.

    So.….we have George Richards the sponsor and James Foxton the maker...?

    Piers DSC_3344.JPG
     
  14. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Piers,

    George Richards either made the cases or arranged for them to be made, hence the sponsor's/maker's mark. The 'sponsor' nomenclature is slightly more accurate, because there are numerous examples of this mark referring to a company executive or owner rather than the actual case maker; Thomas Peter Hewitt's 'TPH' mark for the Lancashire Watch Company springs to mind.

    James Foxton may have had little to do with the making of this watch, being most probably its retailer.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  15. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Graham - I recently had an exchange with David Penney and as I do in such conversations, I was trying to select my terminology with extra care. I therefore described a mark on a watch case as being that of the sponsor. I was duly reprimanded for applying the term to a silversmith who was known to have made watch cases.

    I am not sure whether you were making a general point, or specifically about George Richards.

    George Richards was definitely a silversmith and he is listed in Grimwade (Priestley's source reference) as a case maker. So in the absence of any other information, I think in this case it would be inaccurate to use the term sponsor. I inferred that David's view is that to describe a known case maker as a sponsor is a practice not to be encouraged; it 'hides' the skills of a craftsman. The exchange has caused me to stop using sponsor unless there is evidence to support.

    So I don't agree with the sometimes expressed view that it would be better to 'generally' adopt the term 'sponsor's mark' and I cannot agree with your statement that it is more accurate. Since my conversation with David, and indeed in part because of it, I have acquired many of the references that Priestley quotes. References such as Grimwade, Ridgewade & Priestley and Culme, provide biographical information from which it is possible to assess whether the mark is that of a case maker, and that is what I now try to do.

    'T.P.H' is an interesting example. I note that this particularly mark was sometimes registered in the name of Hewitt, as managing director, and at other times as the Lancashire Watch Company. In fact, according to Culme working from the London Assay Registers, the London mark of 27 April, 1904, was registered to Hewitt at the Lancashire Watch Case Company - the paragraph is copied into Platt's book, but I could find no further information.

    It is, from an 'English perspective', tempting to use the term 'sponsor' to a company executive, work's manager or foreman, who may not have had any hands on in the manufacture of a watch case: however, personally, I would be tempted to apply the term case maker to a mark that is on a product that was made in a case making firm, even if that mark is, for convenience, the mark of an individual who has managerial oversight. Again, personally, I would reserve 'sponsor' to those who facilitated the submission of items for assay and had no direct involvement in their manufacture. I am thinking of someone like [G.S] George Stockwell the imported of gold and silver cases in the early decades of the C20th.

    John
     
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  16. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    A general point, not specifically regarding George Richards. I agree that my use of the term 'accurate' didn't properly convey my meaning as well as some other terms, and I do take David's implied point regarding obscuring the skills of the genuine craftsman.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  17. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    This is a very interesting discussion about the term 'sponsor' as opposed to silversmith/casemaker.

    Notwithstanding the views and opinions expressed hitherto, both here and the exchange between John and David Penney,
    I wonder what the actual individuals would have made of it. Whilst I understand the importance of recognising craftmanship,
    I wonder whether they would have cared so much one way or the other, since their appreciation of the term sponsor and silversmith
    may have been different to ours....
    Just saying.....

    Piers
     
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  18. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Very good question there Piers, I have a watch here, in a pair-case, hallmarked with the letter A for Chester 1901. The maker was H. Samuel Manchester. The movement is an English single table roller escapement, and it keeps good time. I have owned it for about thirty years or so, I got to dislike the watch at first, thinking it was one of my early mistakes because then it was not antique. Now I am very pleased with it, over the years it has become an antique, and H. Samuel said as far as they knew it was the latest pair-case known.(Factory made) I did write to them all those years ago, and they told me at that time they still made watch cases, and it had something to do with the coronation of Edward VII. You can see on the watch that they engraved it with "Guaranteed English Manufactured Throughout" There is no number on the plates but in the dust cap you can see 520001, could this have been the first? Being the most popular jewellers in Manchester at that period I don't think they would have liked it if people had called them case makers. Jewellers and watch manufacturers would have gone down better. Then take step back for another hundred years, and a young man named Robert Roskell started a whole new industry, making pocket watches in Large numbers, and these watches would have needed cases only for the local market, and maybe South America, and when we look at his work then, the case makers were numerous and well respected. Though gold was expensive at that time so was Silver. It must also be said about 1812 to 1845 Roskell and others sent watches to North America without cases and were cased by local case makers. Its all a matter of time. Allan

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  19. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    I think a true study of these American case makers is long over due Allan.

    I saw a few hints from the boss on this (Rich Newman, fellow Early American collector).

    EG..........Unknown American case maker 1834.

    Keith R...

    100_4197 (1600x1200).jpg
     
  20. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Keith, Though on the face of it, you are quite right, having said that, there is a large interest in American watch cases, especially those of pre-civil war and before 1800. You Mention the work of Rich Newman and his work one these cases, and others, Glint Geller for example. There are also books on trademarks, hallmarks, and their maker's marks, these are sometimes found on the net. What is missing is a book putting all this information together. This forum is in the main the best way to find unpublished work, and those who have published their work in the "Watch and Clock Bulletin" Now if you look at that photograph you have just posted in post 19, I would say there is a large English influence, and I think if you post more photographs of any other marks on the inner case, and tell us how you worked out the date 1834, we could tell you who made it.

    Best wishes,

    Allan
     
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  21. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Piers - as far as I have so far been able to infer, the term 'sponsor' is not one that would have been familiar to those whose marks appear on the majority of pocket watches prior to the C20th.

    The usage of the term 'sponsor' I believe to be relatively recent, based upon the fact that it is not used in most references - the usual term is the marks of goldsmiths, silversmiths, plate workers and those in allied trades. I suspect, that it was introduced as a 'general term' to cover all the various tradesmen etc. that presented articles for assay. It is an all-encompassing term and I think that is what Graham was meaning when he used 'accurate' - it covers all possibilities and as it is often difficult to assign the exact role of the owner of the mark, it is the 'safe' term to use. The term is the one that is now used on the assay office sites - although not entirely consistently, as it is not uncommon to find 'maker' and 'manufacturer' being used. I suspect the term 'sponsor' may be the one used in the Acts - although I have not read the Acts to determine whether that is the case.

    One final point, it is not uncommon to find multiple marks on watch cases, sometimes not all are registered marks - so not all are 'sponsors', e.g.

    20170330 002-2.jpg

    here the case maker is J̶o̶h̶n̶ ̶W̶i̶d̶d̶o̶w̶s̶o̶n̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶L̶i̶v̶e̶r̶p̶o̶o̶l̶ John Walker of Chester
    (correction made by an administrator at the request of John Matthews).
    the mark below T&CO, is not Tiffany and Company (as I once optimistically had hoped), but a mark found on cases that carry M I Tobias & Co signed movements.

    John
     
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  22. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    Just a few examples to lighten the moment...…

    ****1645–55; < Latin spōnsor guarantor, equivalent to spond(ēre) to pledge + -tor -tor, with dt > s

    ****mid 17th century (as a noun): from Latin, from spondere ‘promise solemnly’.

    Legal definition of sponsor:

    1 : a legislator who introduces and supports a legislative proposal (as a bill or amendment)
    2 : a person who assumes responsibility for some other person (as an immigrant) or thing
    3a : one that securitizes assets
    b : one that promotes, advocates, or favors a business venture (as investment in a security or limited partnership)

    etc etc etc !

    Piers
     
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  23. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Purely in the sense of this board, we have to admit that when we talk of watch cases, we are in fact, talking about the maker of the case. (Sometimes sliver or gold chains). We are not interested in Coffee pots. teapots, candlesticks, and Silver service trays. So we are, has David Penney says paying homage to the case maker, especially those before 1850. I have never liked using the word "Sponsor", and having read the above, I will no longer use it when writing about case makers.

    These photographs are of a case by Thomas Helsby of Liverpool, more than likely the best case maker in England at that time.

    c-25.JPG c-26.JPG c-27.JPG c-28.JPG c-29.JPG

    The gold ones are even better, this one on a Litherland and Davies of Liverpool, with a Massey II escapement.

    c-23.jpg
     
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  24. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Piers,
    Since I started using Grammarly, I have found it also corrects the quotes you use when writing a reply, and look at what happened, plus it does not like your Avitar. I told it to ingnore it. :cop::offtopic:
     
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  25. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    Interesting discussion :)

    No-one seems to have stated that the "maker's mark" is in fact the mark of the person or firm which submitted the watch case to the assay office - so it was the submitter's choice, and that (in most cases) means the "watch maker's" choice.

    That, in turn, demonstrates that the word "sponsor" was being used exactly as Piers' dictionary describes it - as a guarantee of the quality of the watch case upon which the purchaser (or perhaps just the retailer) could rely for the benefit of the final purchaser of the watch, and not for future watch collectors trying to establish the watch's history! ;)

    I placed the term "watch maker" in quotes above because this is no different from the discussions we often have about whether or not a particular "watch maker" actually made the whole watch, or assembled and/or finished the movement or bought the movement complete ... in which final case the "watch maker" was simply the "sponsor" of the watch and offering a guarantee of its quality.
     
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  26. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Martin - the Halmarking Act of 1973 allows an exception ...

    upload_2019-11-3_10-41-0.png

    The current legislation defines the marks as sponsor's marks ...

    upload_2019-11-3_10-44-44.png

    It is undoubtedly true that the term used today is the 'sponsor mark' - but when was the term first introduced? According to Bradbury (p.14) it was not until 1999 that the maker's mark became the sponsor's mark. He does not provide a reference but I suspect it is defined in 'Hallmarking (Hallmarking Act Amendment) Regulations 1998/2978 (January 1, 1999)'.

    For me it is not the terminology of the C20th for the maker's mark that is important, what is important to me is how we describe the profession of those who's marks we find on cases. None of the watches in my collection date from 1999 onwards - so I shall gleefully :) refer to the marks on my watches as 'maker's marks' as they were so designated when the marks were struck but I will endeavour to correctly identify the profession of the owner of the mark.

    John
     
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  27. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I think the above is quite clear, and the modern word for watch case maker is correct, he is the sponsor. Though only this week I received a postcard from a Qest member who Advertises "ANTIQUARIAN HOLOLOGIST & POCKET WATCH CASE MAKER" I think if he used the word Sponsor, his public would wonder what he was talking about.

    I think most people on this board would agree that most of the watches I have talked about on here are in the main were pre 1850, a time when people wanted a watch, they went to a watchmaker and he would ask the customer if he wanted it cased, or would they prefer to go to their case maker. The further you go back in time, the more likely this would have happened.
    So while reading through the comments above I took a look again at the first Liverpool trade directory for 1766, there is not one pocket watch case maker listed. There are a few Silversmiths and am at the moment try to like them as casemakers, but that for later. John Wyke is listed, along with many other watchmakers, and much later we see him in Priestley´s (Old Book) as watchmaker and case maker 1773 in partnership with Thomas Green.
    While looking at Chest in the old Priestley I found that the lists do not contain any watchmakers before 1800, not one.

    More, later I have to go..............
     
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  28. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Then comes Part B. Reasonable Attributions of Hallmarks to case makers. We then get a small number of case makers before 1800, the earliest 1773 Wyke again. Liverpool before 1766 was indeed what we would call a small town with some 5,000 inhabitants. So I will be staying with pocket watch case maker from now on, unless I start to talk about watches after 1850.
     
  29. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Seems I did not concentrate enough when writing post 27. On line five at the end, it should read, "I am at the moment trying to link them to case makers."

    The directory I chose to look at was the street directory, and I chose a few people and made notes ie; Princes Street (Later Dale Street) Hall Joseph Silver Smith and Pawnbroker, and could not link him to case making.

    Pool Lane (Later South Castle Street) Fazakerley John, Silver Smith and watchmaker (Still needs more research)

    Pool Lane Hadwen Isaac Clockmaker and Silversmith.

    Derby Square Rumball ...........Silversmith.

    Water Street Walley Joseph Silversmith.

    I posted yesterday a small film on Old Liverpool on the two Richard Hornby´s I think is worth looking at while reading the above-not at the same time-though possible. Allan.
     
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  30. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Given that this thread started with one of the less common variants of pair cases, but has subsequently drifted into the terms we use to describe the marks on cases and the description of those who registered those marks, I thought it might be useful to provide a link back to pair cases from where the discussion is now.

    The inner part of a pair case into which the movement was fitted is traditionally called the box and the outer the case. The earliest reference that Priestley cites to the profession we are discussing, is 1591, when the London Consistory Court Records of that year, identify a William Smithe as a Boxmaker when he appeared as a witness. Priestley goes on to describe how in 1631/32 the Clockmaker's Company enacted bye laws to regulate all persons who trade in Clocks, Watches, Alarums, Sundials, Boxes or Cases intended for sale within a 10 mile radius of the City of London.

    John
     
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  31. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    If I remember correctly the theme was changed, when Graham brought in the word Sponsor, and you, John gave us your opinions, and we took it, that you would like us to answer?:(
     

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