Unknown Mark on Dueber Case - Illinois Watch Co. Gold or GF, or what?

Sunbelt Treasures

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Jul 2, 2014
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First, thank you all for the wealth of information you provide! My Father was a long-time member before his passing (Francis Nation, Nation's Antiques, SC), and I have carried on his love (if not knowledge) of watches and clocks.

I have read several posts regarding Dueber watch cases and have acquired an Illinois Watch Co., ca 1876 Hunting Case watch, with a mystery Dueber Mark. The Anchor in Shield is raised, with the Dueber mark above, raised, as well. The watch case is numbered 399029 (impressed) below the anchor/shield marking. There are no markings for gold whatsoever on the case.

From past information provided on this site, that should perhaps indicate that the case is solid 10K gold? I did acid test the gold, which tested positive for 14K, but not 18K. The watch is not working (overwound), but would like information on the case, if anyone can assist, specifically, is this a solid gold case, it is filled, or is it something else?

Thank you, in advance, for any guidance/assistance you may be able to provide.

Leslie
deuber case.jpg deuber case2.jpg deuber case3.jpg deuber case4.jpg deuber case5.jpg
 

RON in PA

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Welcome to the Message Board.

I won't comment on the watch case, don't have the knowledge, just know that there has been some disagreement in the past on the Board about this.

I'm posting because of your use of "overwound". Very commonly used to describe a non-running watch.but incorrect, really no such thing. To overwind a watch you would need to wind it up with pliers, go past the resistance at the end of winding and break the mainspring. Your watch is not running most likely due to a need for cleaning and lubrication. Of course it could be something else like a broken balance wheel stem, hopefully not.
 

Sunbelt Treasures

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Jul 2, 2014
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Welcome to the Message Board.

I won't comment on the watch case, don't have the knowledge, just know that there has been some disagreement in the past on the Board about this.

I'm posting because of your use of "overwound". Very commonly used to describe a non-running watch.but incorrect, really no such thing. To overwind a watch you would need to wind it up with pliers, go past the resistance at the end of winding and break the mainspring. Your watch is not running most likely due to a need for cleaning and lubrication. Of course it could be something else like a broken balance wheel stem, hopefully not.
Thank you for that correction. The winding stem won't move at all. I have read the disagreements on the Dueber cases within the Forum, some of which were fairly heated discussions. Although I saw the comment that solid gold cases used raised markings, I did not see one like mine, nor have I found one anywhere else in my research. I appreciate the information, and am hopeful that someone has reference on this particular mark.
 

Sunbelt Treasures

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Jul 2, 2014
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I neglected to include that I did find the following on p 115 of on page 115 of the book Trade Marks Of The Jewelry And Kindred Trades, Second Edition, Jewelers' Circular Publishing Co., NY, 1904, as referenced on this site. Although this mark matches, it does not indicate whether it includes raised lettering or not. The watch also has a couple of deeply scratched areas on the inside of the case, where it appears that perhaps a repair person or previous owner had tried to expose a base metal. Those scratches appear to contain the same metal as exterior surface.
Dueber 10K Sold Gold Trademark.png
 

John Cote

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I have the same trademark book but I have found that these cases test 14k and not 10. It will be fairly easy to find out. The case is solid without a doubt. You should be able to take a tiny rub on a stone and see. My bet is 14k.
 

Sunbelt Treasures

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Jul 2, 2014
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I have the same trademark book but I have found that these cases test 14k and not 10. It will be fairly easy to find out. The case is solid without a doubt. You should be able to take a tiny rub on a stone and see. My bet is 14k.
My curiosity got the best of me. I acid tested for both 10K and 14K. 10K was a strong positive. 14K partially dissolved. I was still unsure if my testing was accurate, because a thick plating will also test positive, so I took it to a local gold/silver/coin shop who uses x-ray spectrometer for testing, pretending that I wanted to sell the piece to them as scrap. They tested at "just over 10K" on average, testing a bit differently on different portions, with the inner shells testing higher than the outer (probably to provide strength of gold for the design to be cut in). They estimated the gold weight without removing the mechanism and offered me $250. I politely declined, listed the watch on Ebay for $550 and it sold within 3 hours. I hope this information assists other collectors who may have this case and who may have discounted it as GF. The raised Anchor in Shield, with the Raised "Dueber" and no other marking is most certainly at least 10K solid gold. Thank you for the additional confirmation!
 
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Greg Frauenhoff

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More often than not, these are NOT solid 14k
Do you mean the exact mark pictured and described in this thread is usually on a gold-filled rather than solid 14K gold case? Or do you mean that this mark is usually on a case that is 10K solid gold "NOT solid 14K"? Or what?
 

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