• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Roskell. Litherland, Johnson, and later Russell´s

Allan C. Purcell

NAWCC Member
Feb 9, 2013
2,679
973
113
Germany
Country
Region
This thread is for those interested in the stories of old Liverpool and it´s watch industry. It starts with an old building, no longer there. It was the so called Old Post Office Buildings and stood on the corner of Church Street and Church Alley. I believe there is today an Old Post Office Place.

But let me start with a quote from the book "The Memorials of Liverpool" by J.Allanson Picton, M.A.

The Post Office about the middle of the last century (18th.) was situated on the east side of John Street. It was a simple dwelling in which lived the postmaster Mr Thomas Statham, with a little hole in the window for delivery of letters. In 1781, the Post office was removed to Lord Street, where it remained until 1800 when it was removed to the Old Post Office Place, Church Street. In 1775 there was only a single letter-carrier for the whole district, no greater number being allowed for any provincial town.

It is not made clear in the book what the building looked like when the Post Office moved to Old Post Office Place, though below is a drawing of the building c1840, from Smith´s Directory of 1843.

109-21.JPG The coach on the left is on Church Street, the right side of the building going into Church Ally.

109-22.JPG
A closer look at the Church Street side, and the letters on the building. Top Centre "Manufactory" below "Jewellery, Clock, & Watches. This was when the building was owned by Mr W. B. Promoli, and his nephew Mr F. L. Hausburg.

This is what Picton had to say about the ownership of this building.

"The block east of the church, (St. Peter´s) between Church Alley and the Post Office Place consisted, to some extent, of the oldest buildings in the street. They were taken down and the line set back under the improvement of 1866. Here resided in the early part of this century (19th), George Coltman, a surgeon of considerable eminence. He had been a surgeons assistant in the navy but was dismissed the service for striking his superior officer who had given him the lie. He was a rough-spoken fellow, greatly addicted to profane swearing, and radical in politics. (John Arnold was the same)

In 1800 the Post-Office was removed from Lord Street to Post-Office place, Mr Thomas Banning was appointed post-master, in whose family the office remained down to 1875. In 1839, the business having, enormously increased, even before the establishment of the penny postage, (Postage Stamps) the Post-Office was removed to its present locality in the Revenue Buildings. (The good old Customs house)

6079636.jpg The Customs House, before it was lost in the second world war. In Front the Old Dock.

"At the western corner of Post-Office Place and Church Street, visitors to Liverpool were formerly attracted to a rich and varied collection of articles of taste and vertu, know as Woodfield´s Bazaar. (John Woolfield) This existed while as yet Compton House was not, and was the source of considerable wealth to several successive occupiers. It was originally commenced by Mr John Woolfield who opened a jewellers shop in Paradise Street about 1826 and moved to Church Street in 1828. He was succeeded by his brother Thomas, who greatly enlarged the premises and extended his sphere of operations. about 1840 he retired with ample means, and settled at Cannes, in the south of France, to the success of which he has greatly contributed by his enterprise and outlay of capital. He was succeeded by Mr W.B. Promoli, of Paris, who in a few years transferred the business to his nephew, Mr F.L. Hausburg, who after a very successful career was succeeded in 1860 by Mr Tooke, of London. in 1866 the progress of improvement required the widening of Church Street, which could only be accomplished by the destruction of the famed bazaar. The claims for compensation, both of landlord and tenant, were naturally large for breaking up so profitable a concern. After a protracted and expensive inquiry, an award was finally made for 38,800 pounds for the site, 916 square yards, being about 41 pounds per square yard, and 23,000 pounds for the trade compensation and stock.


109-20.JPG This painting by Herdman as the following underneath.


Church Street 1868.

W.G. Herdman. LRO Herdman Collection 304 (curtasy of Liverpool museum)

This is the south side of Church Street, from Church Alley looking towards Ranelagh Street. A Post Office was on the site in 1800, subsequently moving to new, larger premises in 1839. The original building then became known as Old Post-Office Buildings and the Street to the side and rear was named Old Post Office Place. The Liverpool Academy of Arts and later the Liverpool Society of Fine Arts, both held exhibitions in Old Post-Office Buildings, which included the work of WG and William Herdman. When Church Street was widened in the 1860s, this block, by that time probably the oldest in the Street, was demolished. The railings of St Peter´s Churchyard, then the parish church of Liverpool. can just be seen to the right of the picture.

Those who know their way around Liverpool will also know Tha Robert Roskell was ar 11-14 Church Street, Joseph Johnson at 25 Church Street, PeterLitherland at 70, Church Street, and the room made by the demolishment of the Old-Post-Office building gave room for the building that became Russell´s Watch Factory.

109-23.JPG A rough map, I made. hope it helps.

Allan

 

netsch20

Registered User
Nov 26, 2020
26
45
13
21
Country
Very interesting read, thank you! I have only a couple watches from Liverpool, one Litherland Davies & Co. and a beautiful R&G Beesley in a 18k case, which unfortunately isn't working.

20210103_193226.jpg 20210103_193446.jpg

20210103_203427.jpg 20210103_203711.jpg
 

Allan C. Purcell

NAWCC Member
Feb 9, 2013
2,679
973
113
Germany
Country
Region
netsch20,
thank you for sharing, two very nice watches, from Liverpool. The Beesley should really be seen to, from the look of it there should not be a big repair.
You will enjoy it more when you see it running.

Regards,

Allan.
 
  • Like
Reactions: netsch20

netsch20

Registered User
Nov 26, 2020
26
45
13
21
Country
netsch20,
thank you for sharing, two very nice watches, from Liverpool. The Beesley should really be seen to, from the look of it there should not be a big repair.
You will enjoy it more when you see it running.

Regards,

Allan.
Agreed, I don't think it's anything major. It may just be that the click mechanism is broken as when I try to wind it it simply springs back and doesn't ratchet.
 

Allan C. Purcell

NAWCC Member
Feb 9, 2013
2,679
973
113
Germany
Country
Region
Agreed, I don't think it's anything major. It may just be that the click mechanism is broken as when I try to wind it simply springs back and doesn't ratchet.
netsch20,

I was wondering if there is a chance of seeing the hallmarks on you two watches. I would be most grateful.

Regards,

Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

NAWCC Member
Feb 9, 2013
2,679
973
113
Germany
Country
Region
Thank you netsch20, the Litherland is hallmarked with the letter O for Chester 1832, and the case maker was Richard Lucas of Liverpool.

The Beesley is, of course, is an American case. you should be able to find the maker in the encyclopedia of silver marks and trademarks on the net.

Thanks again,

Allan.
 
  • Like
Reactions: netsch20

netsch20

Registered User
Nov 26, 2020
26
45
13
21
Country
Thank you netsch20, the Litherland is hallmarked with the letter O for Chester 1832, and the case maker was Richard Lucas of Liverpool.

The Beesley is, of course, is an American case. you should be able to find the maker in the encyclopedia of silver marks and trademarks on the net.

Thanks again,

Allan.
Thanks for the info!

For the Beesley though, I haven't seen any American "J & C" marks, and while there is one for a Jones & Crompton (the first listing here), both places I've found this mentioned specifically mention it being within the shield shape which is not present on mine. Either way, they are listed as being in 1907/8, well after Beesley.

There is this other thread of what appears to be an earlier Beesley which has a extremely similar case and has the same eagle and 18k mark, but has a "JES" mark which I thought could possibly be related to the "J" in J&C, but I can't find any listings for a JES either.
 

Allan C. Purcell

NAWCC Member
Feb 9, 2013
2,679
973
113
Germany
Country
Region
There is this other thread of what appears to be an earlier Beesley which has a extremely similar case and has the same eagle and 18k mark, but has a "JES" mark which I thought could possibly be related to the "J" in J&C, but I can't find any listings for a JES either.
Year I agree about the English hallmarks, though I was looking at the American hallmarks, and came out with the same result. Nothing seemed to fit. :(
I have since gone through "American Clocks and Watchmakers Volume 3" All I found of of interest was JOHNSON & CROWLEY: Philadelphia, Penn.CA.1830-33. That is all there is. Maybe more research in America, and advice from Rich Newman would help. Your other watch is a real pleasure to look at, a close up of the top plate and the hallmarks would be nice to see.

Regards,

Allan.
 

John Matthews

NAWCC Member
Sep 22, 2015
2,731
1,232
113
France
Country
Region
I believe your Beesley case was made by Jacot & Courvoisier who are listed as case makers as well as importers of watches. They were located in New York and the partnership ran from 1839 to 1849. This from a trade directory of 1845/46.

1611757223000.png

The left facing eagle is a mark which is found on their cases.

John
 

netsch20

Registered User
Nov 26, 2020
26
45
13
21
Country
I believe your Beesley case was made by Jacot & Courvoisier who are listed as case makers as well as importers of watches. They were located in New York and the partnership ran from 1839 to 1849. This from a trade directory of 1845/46.

View attachment 634727

The left facing eagle is a mark which is found on their cases.

John
Ah, yes this does seem a likely candidate. I've mostly been researching English watches recently and so forgot to check pocketwatchdatabase and they have a listing for them with this trademark eagle.

1611766030015.png

Good find!
 

514 Poplar Street
Columbia, PA 17512

Phone: 717-684-8261

Contact the Webmaster for perceived copyright infringement (DMCA Registration Number 1010287).

Copyright © National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc (A 501c3 non-profit corporation). All Rights Reserved.

The NAWCC is dedicated to providing association services, promoting interest in and encouraging the collecting of clocks and watches including disseminating knowledge of the same.