Rack levers 1812-1822

Keith R...

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I thought I would put up my rack levers so that we could have a close
compilation of photos from different makers 1812 to 1822. All of my examples
are 18 to 20 size. Ray has his 1813 MI Tobias. I believe the London Lawrance
rack as John has mentioned, is of Litherland Whitesides ilk (frame maker). It
would be good if other rack lever examples could be included. This allows us
to evaluate different cock designs.

1. Roskell 1812 (site data base) ............15 tooth escape wheel
2. Lawrance 1816 (English hallmarks) ..30 tooth escape wheel
3. Johnson 1818 (English hallmarks) ....15 tooth escape wheel
4. Wathen 1822 (unknown maker)
Wathen is the owner and the serial
number is the date. ...............................13 tooth escape wheel

PS...The Roskell rack runs perfectly, overlook the hairspring. It
works as it should and times under 1 minute in 24 hrs.

Keith R...

JJ357 (800x711) (800x711).jpg 100_2498 (800x600).jpg JJ250 (500x517).jpg JJ426 (800x625).jpg
 
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Jerry Treiman

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Litherland & Co. No.1625 -- 15 tooth escape wheel -- Chester hallmark for 1800
[hand tips broken, as found]

Lith1625_d.jpg Lith1625_m.jpg
 
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Keith R...

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Thanks Ray & Jerry. Great start to this thread. We should also be able to take note of the
end stone setting screws. The Lawrance rack with it's bell shape has three setting screws
at the diamond end stone.

Also, on future photos I now should be able to get decent free hand shots for future watches.
I used a dead battery to prop the movement up and shot down directly about 6 inches above
the movement. I'll have a better invisible prop going forward.

So this is just a test photo of a 17J Liverpool runner (Rob Roscoe).

Note, I have not found very much on Vale & Rotherman, so this is great and we can
see the differences between 1812 and 1816 for Roskell racks! Good news on Rotherman!
Also, Roskell put out about 1,500 racks between 1812 and 1816 according to the examples..

Thanks again team!!!

My dials are in order, Roskell, Lawrance, Johnson, Wathen. Note, should be getting a
15 seconds dial for the Lawrance rack (pic 2).

Keith R...

View attachment 490495

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John Matthews

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Vale & Co. No.205
Jerry - do you have any more information on the Vale example. I have seen one other 'Vale Lancashire' rack, but it was signed Vale & Co. with a London address and not in a case made by Vale. So I was suspicious because of the case and the London address. Yours has the Lancashire features and signed 'Vale & Compy Coventry' - I have never seen this signature before, but the Coventry address is more re-assuring. These are the only rack movements I have found signed by 'Vale' . The V&Co case mark was registered with the Birmingham Assay Office from 1816 to 1820 which I have found on a number of cases with verge movements.

John
 

gmorse

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Hi John,

Yours has the Lancashire features and signed 'Vale & Compy Coventry' - I have never seen this signature before, but the Coventry address is more re-assuring.
The company formed by Samuel Vale in 1747 went through several manifestations, with the name Rotheram, (no 'h'), first appearing with Vale in 1822, then with an 'h' in 1823 and ending up as a public company Rotherham & Sons Ltd in 1912, finally ceasing to trade in 1973. The name Vale and Company was in use from 1790 until 1822. As far as I know, all their production was in their Spon Street, Coventry address from the very beginning. (Details from Priestley).

Whether Rotherhams bought in the rack lever frames from a Liverpool workshop isn't clear, but it seems highly likely from all the Liverpool clues on Jerry's movement.

Regards,

Graham
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hi Keith-I get the feeling you dont look at the Roskell file-there are plenty of Rack lever photographs on pages 24 & 25. I think too you should look again at 1812 to 1816, 9617 in 1812 to 23,500 in 1815., in the rough 13,933. Below a photograph of 172, the earliest know Roskell Rack lever with thirty tooth escape wheel and slides. that you must have seen many times-or not? There are also plenty of photographs you can down load in David Penney´s Archive on Peter Litherland Racks. Though I do wish you well with this thread the Rack leaver deserves it. I will post a few more when I get time.

IMG_6112 (2).JPG Best to you all, Allan.
 
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John Matthews

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The company formed by Samuel Vale in 1747 went through several manifestations
Hi Graham - yes, if you remember I produced a family tree showing the various companies and partnerships here using all the sources I could find, including Priestley. The first 'Vale & Co' reference I found was the partnership between Vale, Howlett & Carr (Mary, Vale snr's wife) about the time Vale snr died in 1785 with Samuel Vale (jnr) replacing his mother in 1791.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Earlly Rack lever by Richard Hornby 1. Very plain movement, much like the Jos, Johnson I put on last week. No liverpool arrows or windows.Still runs though.

7.jpg Best Allan.
 

gmorse

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Hi John,

...if you remember I produced a family tree showing the various companies and partnerships here using all the sources I could find, including Priestley...
Yes indeed, I was just including a précis for anyone who wasn't aware of your excellent piece on the company. As far as I can tell, the dates in Philip Priestley's final book relating to the Rotherhams don't differ from those in his 1720-1920 book.

Regards,

Graham
 
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John Matthews

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A Tobias example in hallmarked pair case ..with the lessor seen T&C marking
John - I am most interested in the hallmark T&C - I have a Massey I in a 1824 Chester 'hunter of open face design' signed Issac Joel of Preston, which has the same mark, but I thought it was T&Co, - in the post I even made up a story speculating it might be Tiffany & Co :rolleyes:

I attach the hallmarks and I think you will agree they match yours - albeit on a watch 9 years after yours. If anyone can through any light on this mark, I would be most grateful.

John

upload_2018-8-26_18-35-47.png
 
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gmorse

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Hi John,

I believe it is 'T&Co' with the 'o' as a superscript, but who might have owned this mark is anyone's guess; it isn't part of the legal hallmark set.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jerry Treiman

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Couldn't T&Co be for Tobias & Co., as is also signed on the movement (albeit with initials)?
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,

Could well be, it is perhaps too obvious, but Edidin only mentions this mark as being on the inside of some caps, (in part II), but he doesn't mention it being on movements. Unfortunately the pictures in the article aren't clear enough to see if it's the identical mark to John's.

Regards,

Graham
 

Omexa

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Hi, I love the Litherland & Co with the pieced Balance Cock; it sort of defeats the purpose of the Dust Cover:???: Regards Ray
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,

Couldn't T&Co be for Tobias & Co., as is also signed on the movement (albeit with initials)?
Alan Treherne in his article on the Masseys in the publication 'Your Time' illustrates on page 44 a Tobias watch with the 'T&Co' mark in the case along with the movement number 3690. The case is by the Helsbys and the cap is also marked on the inside with the 'T&Co' stamp.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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Hi Graham/Jerry - my thanks ...

So I am inclined to infer that Tobias was the maker of this John Widdowson? [Liverpool] cased Massey I movement ... and just perhaps the serial number #7115 is that of Tobias. Some of you will be aware that there is a Tobias rack #8724 currently on the market in a 1826 case - which might support that possibility.

Any other examples of watches that Tobias may have made for the retail trade?

Keith - my apology for taking this thread off topic ...

John

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Keith R...

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John, if it's about English watches it's not off topic. I have a 17J conventional Tobias lever
from what I believe is 1827, hard to say. You or Graham would have to tell me what that
hallmark is.

If the initials are Helsby's, I'd say it's an English case. I think that's a Chester assay mark
and there's no hallmark letter. The SN# is the only thing I've had to go by.

PS......It could be 1847 for all I care, I'd just like to date it. The balance cock reminds me
of a skinny Moncas.

NOTE.......With the date letter missing, I've suspected an American case. But it has the
Helsbys initials, (father & son).

Keith R...

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Keith R...

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Back on track for racks.

I don't think our colleagues will mind. Here is Ray's MI Tobias and Oliver's Litherland Whitesides rack lever.
These are posted in Ray's MI Tobias 1813 Rack lever thread.

If others have Racks please feel free to add and comment.

Note, these photos are by Ray & Oliver.

Keith R...

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Keith R...

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If you guys get a chance, look at Ray's Roskell at 8xxx in post 2 and mine in post #1. Quite a change
in cock design in just 2,000 + movements.

Keith R...
 

Keith R...

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I think the way I'm thinking (what came first, chicken or the egg) can confuse. In other words, I think in
terms of progression. First came the verge with assigned serial numbers, then came the Racks with assigned
serial numbers, then came the levers with assigned serial numbers.

Keith R...
 

John Matthews

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I have a 17J conventional Tobias lever from what I believe is 1827
Hi Keith - as you know when hallmarks are rubbed and incomplete, it is impossible to be certain of the date and one has to view the marks with caution. Apart from the missing date letter, I am also a little concerned with the quality of maker's mark. Are there any hallmarks on the inside of the outer case of your lever ? If the marks are genuine, then I think the shape of the leopard's head stamp would correspond to the period 1823/24 to 1838/39, although there are a few anomalies noted in the beginning of the Chester cycle that commenced in 1818 - Priestley may have some comments in recently produced volume, mine is in the post, but Graham might check.

However, Edidin produced this correlation between the serial number of his 'first grade watches' and date of manufacture in his December 1992 publication ...

upload_2018-8-27_7-45-16.png

and none of the serial numbers discussed, including your lever, are anomalous as far as I can see.

John
 

gmorse

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Hi John/Keith,

...If the marks are genuine, then I think the shape of the leopard's head stamp would correspond to the period 1823/24 to 1838/39, although there are a few anomalies noted in the beginning of the Chester cycle that commenced in 1818 - Priestley may have some comments in recently produced volume, mine is in the post, but Graham might check...
Yes, I think the shape of the leopard cartouche does look most like the one in the 1823-1838 partial cycle, (the stamps were changed between 'D' and 'E' after the removal of the leopard's crown in 1822), and so does the town mark cartouche. However I share John's reservations about the sponsor's mark; as listed by Priestley, there are clear full stops between the letters, which aren't evident here, so a view of the marks in the other lid would be helpful, and they should of course also include a date letter. The lack may just be due to over-enthusiastic polishing, as evidenced by the state of the other marks, or a worn punch.

Regards,

Graham
 

Keith R...

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Graham and John, thank you both for your information. I must inform all of us the MI Tobias
#14150 is in a consular case. I pressed the top button and opened the back lid. I found the
same issue I had on the Josh Johnson. Evidently the back gold lid was replaced with #4210
but also credited to TH/JH the Helsbys. If you guys recall, this same thing happened on the
Josh Johnson outer case with a different number but had the Helsbys initials.

However, the back lid also lacks a date letter and they are also rubbed. Here is the photo and
this is in reference to post #.22.

Keith R...

103_0164 (800x600).jpg
 
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John Matthews

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Hi Keith,

I have compared your photographs with my Johnson 1818/1819 rack #2858 that I posted here; this is housed in pair cases by Thomas and John Helsby. The Johnson mark is not as clean as you might expect, however, both the upper and lower set of initials are separated by a period, as shown in Priestley and the top of the both the lower and upper set of initials are horizontally aligned. My own feeling is that the four initials may have been produced by a single punch which when used has raised the silver between the upper and lower set of initials. The complexity of such a punch might explain why the mark is not as clean as one might expect.

I think adding this comparison to my previous reservations, my conclusion is that your gold case is probably American and that the Helsby mark is not genuine.

John

upload_2018-8-27_18-10-18.png
 
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gmorse

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Hi John,

I think adding this comparison to my previous reservations, my conclusion is that your gold case is probably American and that the Helsby mark is not genuine.
I think this is a reasonable conclusion, and although it isn't unknown for makers to use different punches on gold and silver, the appearance of all the other marks and especially the lack of a date letter makes me pretty certain that these marks are not genuine.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Keith R...

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Note what I stated earlier without a date letter I suspected as such. So I have to determine
by serial number a quasi date. Hence, the 1827.

Thanks guys you have confirmed my suspicions is all. Still a nice undated watch.

This is what I think of our American gold cases>>>>............:rolleyes:

PS............I should have looked at my own JJ case, got it right here and it's TH/JH.

Keith R...
 

Keith R...

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I think I've hit two home runs today. I found MI Tobias 18K gold consular case 51MM with gold dial
SN# 14034 dated circa 1820 with temp compensation curb. This watch looks to be a duplicate to
#14150 in post #22 with same gold dial. If you look in post #22 you can see where the temp curb
was removed. So I can now date this MI Tobias #14150 in post #22, to 1820. Watch #14034
found in Pinterest dated to 1820.

I like this date better.

Keith R...
 

Keith R...

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I might as well add this one, which is being serviced and getting hands put on it. John Mathews
found a working date for John Jackson, so I am calling it an 1820 Rack lever out of Liverpool. It
has a case from 1867, made for it.

My London rack lever is getting restored and it has a python on the cock.
*Note, that gives us 13 Rack levers in this thread.

Keith R...

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Keith R...

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One may couple this John Jackson 14J Rack lever with post #33 (info by John Matthews puts him in
Liverpool around 1820). Here is the restored rack, with dial and hands. This is my second Rack lever
with a snake on the Cock. One can also find this Wathen rack lever in post #6, restored with a dial
repair at 7 oclock (picture perfect),

Note, this 14J John Jackson rack lever was re-cased in an 1867 sterling case, with an excellent fit.
Restored by Watch repair NY,NY.

Note, the 14J Wathen rack lever was re-cased to a purpose built case in 1858, by the original owner
George Wathen. Restored by Carignan Watch Co. Belmont, NC (including dial repair).

Keith R...

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Keith R...

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Here is the replacement dial for my 1816 HM Lawrance rack lever. We eliminated the seconds bit
due to repair cost and Denis found it a dial. Second pic, replaced dial.

Keith R...

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Keith R...

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:) Allan...............That dial could be used in KY, if you get bored with it.

Keith R...

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Keith R...

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Thought I'd save this shot for Allan, since the movement bottom center, with no
seconds bit, is a perfect timing serviced Roskell #7414 from 1812. It's the loudest
ticking rack lever in my collection (Jackson, Johnson, Wathen, Lawrance). Now not
having a case and running in it's dust cap, could make it seem louder then the
others.

Perhaps I'll get a friend with a SMART phone, to record my cased running Wathen
rack, compared to a recorded Roskell rack.

That's my small pine box with lid that has a 64 Howard, AT&Co, a New York and an
MI Tobias 1840 showing.

Keith R...

View attachment 539596

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Allan C. Purcell

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Thought I'd save this shot for Allan, since the movement bottom center, with no
seconds bit, is a perfect timing serviced Roskell #7414 from 1812. It's the loudest
ticking rack lever in my collection (Jackson, Johnson, Wathen, Lawrance).

So 5042 turned up, and I have to say it is better than I thought, but first the dial.
1-59.jpg This is how it looked on the big auction house. The red stuff was some kind of crayon but managed to get it off with very fine sandpaper soaked in window cleaner. The chip on the side is not as bad as it looks, and I fitted it into a pair-case and very little can be seen then, so no need to change the dial. The hands could be original and are very fine.

IMG_7369[1].JPG
Though the watch is very dirty and full of dust, I did give it a couple of millimeters and it started to run. It will now go to the watchmaker. I have an 1808 pair-case here hallmarked in Birmingham, sponsors mark WR for William Ryley, St. John Street Coventry. The movement fits but does not line up with the winding hole, but the case maker I know will fix that. (So for the younger members, remember 5024 will be a marriage).

IMG_7365[1].JPG IMG_7366[1].JPG IMG_7367[1].JPG IMG_7368[1].JPG This is how it looks at the moment, though I will put it on here again when finished.
Best wishes,

Allan.
PS: Regards to Ray.
 
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