Revealing My Collection - No 4

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by DaveyG, Nov 7, 2019.

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  1. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
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    There has been a bit of a pause, a busy time in wild North West Wales and a wet one too. My absolutely least favourite pastime - gardening - has claimed my attention. I have also had to take some photographs as the transition between Window XP, 7 and 10 has had a miniaturising effect on those originally taken when I purchased this watch in 2002. I was intending to dismantle the watch, as it is clearly in need of some TLC, but the horticulture won the battle for my time.

    I am looking forward to your help with the case maker John ;), that would solve a long standing mystery.

    SILVER FULL HUNTER BY ROBERT ROSKELL – LIVERPOOL 1810/11

    Case Maker’s Mark EJ incuse. Note: The dimples visible are not an element of the punch mark.

    Case Maker: No evidence. Not listed in any section of Priestley.


    The full hunter case is hallmarked for sterling silver at the Chester assay office with date letter ‘O’ for 1810/11. It is an early example of a full hunter case, manufactured in the style of a pair case and with an authentic period bow. The hunter cover catch works well. The hinges of the case are tight although the bezel face does tend to spring open if not closed firmly; this area must be handled with care as the crystal has sprung out. With this exception the case is in exceptional condition with no dings or dents, although there is evidence of some restoration having been carried out at some earlier time to dress out a dent. All parts of the case carry the same hallmarks and serial numbers.​


    Movement:

    The movement is an English rack lever signed on the top plate ‘Rt Roskell LIVERPOOL’ with the Ser No 8731. The balance cock is nicely engraved and bears the word ‘PATENT’ in a scroll. The regulator graduations are typical Liverpool crowsfoot markings. There is a plain polished flat steel balance, uncut and non-compensated with a diamond end stone and a flat spiral hairspring. There is a stop device fitted at the 7 o’clock position, acting on the lever, but this does not currently to work. The gilding on the movement is in superb condition and all blued steel screws show little wear. The dust cover is present and is also in very good condition, The face is white enamel and minty with all roman numerals clear and unblemished. There is a subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The hands are spade and are solid gold. The second hand is also gold. The glass is clear with no apparent scratches or other blemishes. The bezel needs to be pressed firmly to close, otherwise it springs open again. The movement runs well, keeping excellent time and for the full length of the chain.
    Notes:​

    The rack lever movement was first proposed by Abbe de Hauteville in 1722 but no patents were ever placed. In 1791 patents were lodged by Peter Litherland, who was born in Warrington in 1756. The original patent of 1791 (Patent No 1830) was followed by a second in 1792 (No 1889). It is reported that Litherland sold his patent rights to Robert Roskell; certainly Roskell ‘made’ large numbers of rack lever watches. He could have bought movements from Litherland, Whiteside & Co. In fact it is possible that Roskell actually sold more rack levers than Litherland since by 1825 his serial numbers had reached 39,000, whereas Litherland’s (in all his partnerships) had only reached 12,000. Many watches were fitted with stop devices; the cocks were often engraved ‘Patent’ and were of a distinctive ‘Liverpool’ shape. ​


    Key Size: No 6

    Roskell 1.jpg Dial.jpg Roskell 2.jpg Lever D.JPG Roskell 4.jpg HM Back cover.JPG
     
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  2. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Dave - nice looking watch and excellent presentation. The early hunters of this design I think are particularly pleasing.

    I note it is rear winding, do you have to swing the movement out to wind?

    Any marks on the inside of the cap?

    I have had a quick look for a possibly case maker - but no luck so far. Can you post photographs of the hallmarks on all surfaces?

    John
     
  3. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Hi John,

    Q 1. No, there is a dome to the case and a winding hole in the dome.
    Q2. No.
    Q3. Yes - later on.

    Cheers

    dave
     
  4. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    #4 DaveyG, Nov 7, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    Forgive me John, to avoid duplication I have posted the hallmark pictures on Allan's post 'Chester Hallmarks photographed'. Below is a picture of the stop pin by the lever.

    Stop works.JPG
     
  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Dave

    While I cannot find an exact match, I think it is possible that the mark could be a very rubbed (EI). If I am correct then the case maker could be Edward Jones of Prussia Street, Liverpool. He appears to be the only possibility that I can find working at that time having registered a mark with the Chester.

    John
     
  6. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Many thanks John. The mark is very definitely a 'J' so maybe he changed his mark and re-registered at some point? Whatever, I believe that you have solved my mystery for me.
     
  7. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #7 Keith R..., Nov 8, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    Interesting, thanks for sharing. I have but one and it's uncased.

    CA 1812 I think.

    I have a couple empty 1800's hunter cases.........I'll check them for fit.

    Keith R...

    JJ357 (800x711).jpg jj399 (800x690).jpg jj402 (800x600).jpg
     
  8. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Nice one Keith, the resemblance between the two movements is uncanny. Possibly a bit earlier than you think if one assumes that Roskell serial numbers are reliably sequenced, which I think they are. Certainly deserves a case. I would be interested to know if it has a hacking stop lever, I can't see one. If it does, what it operates on.
     
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  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dave,

    The ones I've come across all seem to work on the back of the pallets:

    DSCF6698.JPG DSCF6695.JPG

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  10. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Dave - I had to make a hack lever for Roskell movement #9241, a three wheel rack ~1810. I worked from Graham's photographs that he has just posted. It worked perfectly - this relevant posts start here.

    John
     
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  11. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Dave, I took a look at my early Roskell´s and find none of them had a Hack, a little later I think it was just an every now and then thing, maybe when a customer wanted it. If you like I will send you more photographs, the ones below are of the earliest Roskell known No. 172. Plus I also wanted you to see the dial, it was an half-hunter. I think cased it would have looked like Piers watch. Things sometimes come when not expected, and Monday I sent two to our friend in Golders Green. One was with a fifteen seconds dial and no Hack. I see 172 needs TLC, so of to Golders Green too. Best wishes Allan

    c-42.JPG c-46.JPG c-44.JPG :emoji_projector:

    c-45.JPG
     
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  12. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #12 Keith R..., Nov 9, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    #7414 has no hack team. And I note from John's post, I can't keep
    up with Roskell dates, (#7414 going below 1810).

    PS..........Thanks to all.

    Keith R...
     
  13. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Well, spotted Keith, 1807/08 for Johns watch 1810 for yours, according to the Roskell File.
     
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  14. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I dug this one out last night Dave, R.Roskell No.5042 Rack escapement, 30 tooth escape wheel no seconds dial, no hack. (Stop function) In a Birmingham case for 1806 on the outer case and the box. Letter "i" case maker WR. No.3 cartouche, for William Ryley. St.John Street Coventry 1790-to-1824. Priestley old book page 173. All looks well till you find two winding holes in the box. (A marriage) A very nice movement, though and rare cock. I have said this before "never trust a pair case on a Robert Roskell pocket watch. Unless you have looked at it a hundred times, took it to an expert, and boiled it with your morning egg." it could then maybe the real thing.

    Best wishes, Allan

    c-49.JPG c-48.JPG c-47.JPG c-50.JPG
     
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  15. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I am having to eat humble pie today. This arrived yesterday. I have looked at it a hundred times, I checked the hallmarks, and they fit, and with it been a large watch of 5 cm. I decided I could boil it with my breakfast egg, and I gave 99% original because you can never say never. This one does have a Hack, and I would say John did a very nice piece of work on his Roskell, you cannot tell the difference from Johns and this one. Case maker is Edward Maddock II of Liverpool. 1815/37. Allan. w-9.JPG w-4.JPG w-5.JPG w-6.JPG w-3.JPG
     
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