Robert Roskell Numbers File.

Allan C. Purcell

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Peter, Nice Liverpool watch of the period, but I see no contact with R.Roskell. The serial number alone would have to be 1802/3.

Best wishes,

Allan.
 

Halda Sweden

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Thanks Allan,

I will visit the bank and bring the Roskell Pocket watch no, 2446 + 29858 home next week. I will for sure dismantel it for some new photos

Best regards
Peter
 

Halda Sweden

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Dear Allan,

At last I had a chance to dismantel Roskell no 2446 / 29858. It´s in very clean condition and I preferred to not dismantel the complete movement.
Under and on the side of the balance cock there is scratched by hand no 2446.

The pictures tell you hopefully more....

Best regards

Peter B. :) .

P1540631.JPG P1540632.JPG P1540642 - kopia.JPG P1540648 - kopia.JPG P1540651.JPG P1540656.JPG P1540676.JPG P1540684 - kopia.JPG P1540659 - kopia.JPG P1540658.JPG P1540672.JPG
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Hello Peter,

Thank you for your efforts on the above watch, but sorry to say, I was hoping you would have lifted the plate with the name Roskell on it. The only time I have seen this before, the plate was lifted and the name Josh. Johnson was under there. Did you manage to find out which escapement is in your watch? and does it have a thirty tooth escape wheel. The watch below shows a typical watch with no signed plate, a Massey II. No 37556. I have no Roskell watches with such a signed plate. I hope you still have the watch at home.

Best wishes, and Happy New Year,

Allan.

IMG_9390[1].JPG
 

John Matthews

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Peter

Although these numbers hidden beneath plates most frequently correspond to the serial number that is eventually engraved on the movement ...

1609104625968.png

sometimes they are only the final three or four digits, and perhaps more frequently than you might expect they differ, often significantly or just a little ...

1609104878932.png

John
 

Halda Sweden

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Dear Allan and John,

OK, I have to dismantel the movement completly to take of the plate which perhaps have a hidden name behind it...I come back later with the result.

Best regards
Peter B. :)
 

novicetimekeeper

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Do you know if his clocks were numbered, I saw a particularly fine example for sale recently?
 

Allan C. Purcell

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My copy of the Bulletin arrived this week and was really pleased to read the article by Phillip Poniz. I must say I had to scratch my head at first, why I was reading it, and to the end. It was the name Anthony Managna. I once bought a nice working movement by Hunt & Roskell, made for them by the firm Adlofphe Nicole, from David Penney. It was this movement that got me interested in the firm, I think about a year ago. It was at that time I came across the article by Mr Managna, and I then put the information in my Roskell file. (see below) (Just looked back, and the last update was October 2020. Forget the one above, I apologise for the bad spelling of Mr Managna´s name). So another update. You will notice that Mr Managna went to great trouble to list the companies address in London and when. At the time of the 1844 patent, the firm worked under the title Nicole & Capt (Le Solliat 1837) 1839-74, at 80b Dean Street, Soho, London. So this article by Phillip Poniz, and his detective search, sort of rounds things off. Thank you both for your time and trouble.

Best wishes,

Allan.
 

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novicetimekeeper

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It is probably a Thwaites & Reed, Roskell are shown to have bought 19 from them.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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On the 23rd of November 2019, I put my William Moon converted watch on posts 107 and 108. Many of you will have seen this before. Yesterday I was looking for information on those early Massey watches. (Which is coming along fine- File soon). While reading Dr Robert Kemp for the um-teen time, I came across his remarks on conversions from Rack levers to STR, and he gives a list. ("The Fusee Lever Watch" Page 83 A Note on the Rack Lever")

Among this list is.

"5. Watch signed Wm. Moon, London, no number, London 1828, Liverpool finished. Slide pieces. Here the original lever has been re-cut to suit an unusual Table Roller layout. Possibly in an effort to prove that the Table Roller derived from the Rack.

I do not agree with his conclusion but was really pleased to find I had this watch for more than two years, not knowing I had a watch that was part of his collection. How it got to a clock and Watch fair in Recklinghausen in Germany, I will probably never know.

Some photographs for those that have not seen it before. Note the lever fork and the single pin for banking. The roller looks to me like a Massey V, with its long jewel, but it has a safety pin?

8-10.JPG 8-12.JPG

8-15.JPG 8-16.JPG
 

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DavidBoettcher

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A correspondent wrote to me asking about the hallmarks in the case of this watch with the movement marked RobtRoskell 35485. He has given me permission to post these images. The case is approximately 1.87 inches in diameter, or 47.5 mm.

The watch case has Chester Assay Office hallmarks for 18 carat gold. I was unsure about the date letter but, thanks to Allan's superb Robert Roskell Numbers File, it seems that No. 35485 was made in the early 1820s and that the date letter is therefore the "C" of Chester hallmarking year from 10 May 1820 to 8 November 1821.

I am very wary of Chester leopards, having been badly bitten by one in the past (Blog: Leopards at Large). This one looks like the crowned and beardless leopard recorded in Bradbury, and not like the uncrowned fat-faced one recorded in Jackson's.

Unfortunately, the sponsor's mark, the incuse initials EJ with no surround, is not recorded under the Chester Assay Office entries in Philip Priestley's latest book, or in Ridgway & Priestley's book of Chester marks. A possibility is Edward Jones, a watch case maker and jeweller recorded at various addresses in Liverpool between 1800 and 1830, but the only recorded punch entered by Jones at the Chester Assay Office is E◆I in cameo within an oval surround.

RobtRoskell35485face.jpg RobtRoskell35485mvmt.jpg RobtRoskell35485case.jpg RobtRoskell35485back.jpg
 

John Matthews

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David

I have seen a few gold and silver Chester cases carrying this maker's mark. The previous examples have all spent their early life across the pond and i have been unable to assign a name to the mark. A number carry the same date letter 'C' and the movements appear to be correct for ~1820. I have not always been convinced that the hallmarks are entirely genuine. With regard to this case, if it had been silver, I would have leaned towards it not being genuine as the silver leopard's heads leading to the change in 1822 have looked like this ...

11.jpg - the 'grinning head'.

I don't have any examples of 18K hallmarks of the period to compare.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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A correspondent wrote to me asking about the hallmarks in the case of this watch with the movement marked RobtRoskell 35485. He has given me permission to post these images. The case is approximately 1.87 inches in diameter, or 47.5 mm.
Hello David,

I think we have here two items. One the case. Your case looks to me, to be the "C" for Chester 1798. Though the leopards head is rubbed it is the crowned leopard. There is listed in Priestly´s first book EI for Edward Jones, Highfield Street, Liverpool. listed as 1820/27. He could have been working and using his mark two years before, this is quite common. Two. The watch is correct has listed in the serial numbers. So re-case, but a huge improvement for the watch. It is a part of its history, I would be pleased to own it, I hope you too.

Regards,

Allan

PS: EI page 187.
 
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John Matthews

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Allan the Cycle VI 'C' is 1799/1800 and looks like this ....

1642690821385.png

John
 

wisty

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I tripped over this thread while browsing, and thought I would contribute what I think may be another data point.
I have had this boxed watch for about 20 years, and it has never been a problem until recently when a spring broke. Broken Spring End.jpg
So I opened it up and took some pictures while fixing it.
The mahogany box (first two pictures) is an 11cm ( 4.5") cube with a hinged lid and a glass panel in the back to show off the barrels. The dial cover is a matt silver plate, free floating with holes for dial, winding key and run indicator.
Box Open.jpg Box Rear.jpg Dial Plate.jpg
The dial proper is matt silver and pinned to the watch movement on three pillars (you can just see the witness marks in the picture). The screws top and bottom hold the dial and movement onto the brass top plate.

The movement appears to be a Roskell 30 hour pocket chronometer movement with spring detent and helical balance spring. which has had the barrel and fusee chain removed, and has been mated to a cascade of eight barrels which drive the movement through the winding square on the fusee
Barrels and Movement.jpg Movement Ballance.jpg Movement Missing Barrel.jpg
The winding arbour winds the bottom of the first four barrels (left hand side in the picture) and has the click ratchet. The top one of is geared (1:1) to the second cascade of barrels (right hand side). The bottom barrel of this set drives a vertical arbour that mates with the fusee winding square. The rest of the wheelwork drives the days run indicator on the front plate.

The movement is signed Roskell's Liverpool (no preceding letter) No 166 26936 which does tie in with the numbering on your list (127 is 26891 and 26933 is a pocket chronometer..
Movement Engraving.jpg
The watch runs for about 14 days from a full wind of 220 half turns of the key. I usually wind it weekly ( 106 turns)
I have no idea who or when the modifications were done - or even whether the movement ever had a barrel and chain installed - however it seems likely that the work was done in the 20th century as the barrel arbours (the barrels can be removed without splitting the plates) are exactly 3mm diameter, and the springs 6mm wide.

If anyone has information or guesses as to the origin of this or any ideas about why it was done ( apprentice piece?) I should be most grateful.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Hello Wisty, I am pleased you found my thread, there are people out there who can tell you far more about the mechanics than I. Though the watch movement is from Roskells of Liverpool, and the pocket chronometer number is 166. The other number is the serial number at the time it was sold. When I have time this evening I will put this information on the file, you can yet see it was made c1819/20. on Page 11. I am quite sure you will hear far more about your clock later, and I too will be pleased to read what they have to say.

Regards,

Allan
 

Lychnobius

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A correspondent wrote to me asking about the hallmarks in the case of this watch with the movement marked RobtRoskell 35485 . . . The watch case has Chester Assay Office hallmarks for 18 carat gold. I was unsure about the date letter but, thanks to Allan's superb Robert Roskell Numbers File, it seems that No. 35485 was made in the early 1820s and that the date letter is therefore the "C" of Chester hallmarking year from 10 May 1820 to 8 November 1821 . . .
I have just seen this message from January. One of my Joseph Johnsons, No. 3272, has gold marks identical to those of Roskell 35485 apart from belonging to the succeeding year of the cycle (date letter D). The sponsorial mark is the same (incuse E J), and this was assigned to Edward Jones in a correspondence on this board a few months ago. Unfortunately the leopard's face is not well struck in either impression, but it seems to be crownless; it was suggested to me that this would be appropriate for a date near the end of the 1821–22 run. My records suggest that the movement was already about three years old by then, since Allan Purcell's researches show that Johnson No. 3454 already existed in the United States in November 1819.

Oliver Mundy.

johnson_3272_marks.jpg johnson_3272_marks_2.jpg
 

Dr. Jon

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The boxed pocket movement arrangement looks like some of the work done for the British Navy in World War I or II. They called for good chronometers, box and pocket and repackaged them a lot like this example. They were typically left with ther original power sources.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Jon, do you have any of that information or document that we could look at?

Wisty, I have put your Roskell chronometer on page 12 for the moment. looks like I must re-do pages 11 and 12, they both lack space, plus they are a little mixed up with 26000s in the wrong place on both pages.

Allan

R. ROSKELL Numbers.pdf
 
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wisty

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The boxed pocket movement arrangement looks like some of the work done for the British Navy in World War I or II. They called for good chronometers, box and pocket and repackaged them a lot like this example
I have a 1909 Waltham 8 day car watch that had this treatment probably in WW2. It is however mounted in a gimballed bowl and a three section box. It is marked with the UK Broad arrow.
This one seems more like a display piece - glass panel in the back - than a working tool.
 

Dr. Jon

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I wrote that it looks like that kind of thing conversion of pocket timepieces for marine use but this is very different.

Based on my experience when I had the idea that a Marine chronometer would make a nice desk clock for my office, I think this may have been inspired by the same experience. I had a regular two day instrument it never ran from late Friday when I would wind it until Monday morning. I would not have had that problem had I owned and used an 8 day chronometer.

Converting this pocket piece is one way this entire project made sense.

This may have been a conversion to make this into an office desk piece.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hello Oliver,
The Edward Jones on these watch cases is an assumption in Priestley´s first book. Edward Jones registered his mark as EJ Or E with a diamond shape between the J, and this was in Part B of the Chester lists un " Reasonable Attributions of Hallmarks to case Makers". he registered in 1800 and worked till 1827, at Highfield Street, Liverpool. My opinion on these two watches is they were made in 1800/1801. The leopard on the one on the left does appear to have the crown, the other could be anything, but it is well known that the punches at Chester were poor. Though this is all down to the case maker and had nothing to do with the watch inside the case. Some of these cases were chosen by the buyer, and where the movement was to be sent.

regards,

Allan
 

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