Very Small High Grade w/ Monogram

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Tom McIntyre, Dec 2, 2019.

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  1. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    #1 Tom McIntyre, Dec 2, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    I wonder if we have any engravers here who have a good eye for monograms.

    I know the history of this watch in some detail, but I do not know the name of the person it belonged to. I am hoping the monogram will provide a clue.
    A0F9BA56-92A2-40BE-89FD-4CABF87776B2.jpeg 241796D9-C133-4227-AA18-481E69783FA0.jpeg 0DE0D6E6-63B0-43FC-99E1-9B1835BA9ACE.jpeg BDD06A64-B5A0-4026-AE54-61023288EEE0.jpeg 415672D1-C5C3-46C6-9F49-698092AD17A1.jpeg
    The pictures are not as sharp as they should be. This is a difficult item for me to photograph. I will try again tomorrow when the light is a little better.

    Mostly, I would like to solicit guesses as to the initials engraved on the back of the case.
     
  2. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I think the M and script E are unambiguous. I am a little less certain about the T or F -- the long top bar, extending equally to the left and right looks like a T, but the flourish coming down from it only on the right, along with the short bar to the right halfway up says F.
    F.jpg
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Tom,

    I can see an 'M' which is quite clear. What I at first took to be a 'T' is, I think, more likely to be an 'F', since there's a short horizontal stroke part way down on the right and the top horizontal stroke is not symmetrical, and the final element linking the two letters looks like an ampersand.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    My two pennorth Tom. A bit crude, done 'freehand' and in a hurry.

    241796D9-C133-4227-AA18-481E69783FA0.jpeg_LI.jpg
     
  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Tom/Jerry/Graham

    On balance I favour 'T' rather than 'F' on the basis that the upper arm of the letter is perfectly symmetrical about the stem - which would be unusual if it was an 'F', but I agree the engraving in the centre is difficult to interpret - could it be an error?

    upload_2019-12-2_10-59-10.png

    My vote would be for 'ETM' or 'TEM'

    John
     
  6. Audemars

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    I agree ; T - E - M or another five combinations - I figure there are six possibles. But I could be wrong............
    P
    PS The engraver might have been told to include a cryptic "F" as well. Who knows?
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    It's close, but not perfectly symmetrical; the right-hand 'serif' flourish is markedly longer than the left, as Jerry illustrated in post #2. My comment about the ampersand was based on the very different style of that character if it was meant to be an 'E'. I don't think that element in your post #5 is a mistake, it's too closely integrated with the rest of the design.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  8. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Graham - yes, I accept the serif is longer and the 'E' a different style ... I assume you are thinking along these lines ...

    upload_2019-12-2_14-29-32.png

    Watch late C19th? - at that time '&' was the 27th letter of the alphabet. From what I've just read it went " X, Y, Z and per se &" with the final 'and per se (by itself) &" eventually became ampersand in the early C20th.

    John
     
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  9. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, I am not sure if it is just me, but monograms seem to be designed to be very hard to work out; I have some that are almost impossible to Decipher; maybe an ex Bletchley Park worker would help if any of them are still alive? Regards Ray
     
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  10. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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  11. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The watch is from Frederic S. McIntyre's effects with a poignant note about it having been in a safe deposit box for forty years, dated 9-12-1953, which was one year before he died. Since it is clearly a lady's watch, I thought it must have belonged to his wife Lola McIntyre. The implicit 1913 date for putting it in storage was about when the McIntyre Watch Co. failed.

    After Jerry's post above I went back to my archive of Fred McIntyre documents and eventually l found documents that lists his wife's name as Frances Lola McIntyre (nee Booth). Everyone always refers to her as Lola, so I had overlooked her first name.

    Fred's note reads: "The enclosed watch made by Henry Capt of Geneva, Switzerland was cleaned by Duncan Tocher about 9-1-1953 after lying idle in my safety deposit box for forty years. It is a fine piece of work and should be preserved. /s/ F. McIntyre 9-12-1953" The note is written on the outside of a merchandise envelope with B. B. Duncan Tocher. 376 Boylston St. Boston, Mass. on the front.

    This, of course, still leaves the E or ampersand unaccounted for. It is pretty clearly not an L. I suppose it could have been an error on the part of the engraver and that Lola rejected it, relegating it to the safety deposit box. According to the family Lola was a very strong willed woman and kept a 38 caliber revolver nearby to emphasize that she was not to be trifled with.
     
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  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Yes indeed, I was thinking of this ligature, although it doesn't appear consistent with Tom's gun-toting lady.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Even before Tom's explanation in post 11, all I thought I saw was FMc. I didn't see an "E" or an ampersand.
     
  14. Steven Thornberry

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    Honestly, I see "MVT," which are the initials of one of my brothers. Hence, I claim it on behalf of my family and expect its delivery forthwith, even fifthwith.
     
  15. Dr. Jon

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    I rad it a MTE or TME I doubt the letters are in error. The "E" weaves together the M &T I don;t think it was intended for Lola and Fred may have bought it in just because he liked it.

    Here is another Henry Capt with a monogram.

    477430-88a820dd026219fdbaf9c7b1f53bf67c.jpg
    This is inscribed to Carrie H. McDowell
     

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  16. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Ethan, your view is a good fit to the events. Even though Fred and Lola had been married for almost 10 years and had two children at the time, Fred was a very business focused guy and may not have thought through the fact that she really preferred Lola to Frances.

    He had a very successful shop in South McAlester when they met and he also had an infant by his first wife who had just died.the failure of the McIntyre Watch Co. had a strong impact on her. She reportedly would not let people talk about the watch company after Fred's death.

    I have been reading more of the archives and it is fascinating how closely knit the top end of the American watch business was. Chamberlain was living in Chicago at the time of the venture and Henry Wing was involved fairly early though his relationship with Samelius at Elgin. The correspondence includes letters from and to Jesse Coleman about writing the McIntyre story. Everyone thought that Chamberlain would have a full chapter in It's About Time on DeLong, Fred and the watch company, but that did not come to pass. Apparently Major Chamberlain had the McIntyre master watch at the time of his death and his wife was reluctant to return it to Fred. As a result of the conflict and perhaps other factors, McIntyre was only mentioned in passing and the fact that Henry Wing Jr. was the illustrator for Chamberlain's book was also overlooked. The Wings had acquired the McIntyre Watch Co. remaining material and were also very interested in the story.

    The two watches that were purchased by the Rockford Time Museum belonged to Fred Lund who had worked at the company and had been the on site man for the Chicago investors. He ended up with the open face production watch and the 14 size thin model. The open face production watch is in the Halim Museum of Time & Glass in Evanston, IL. The 14 size is in a private collection.
     
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  17. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Tom, very interesting story. Can you tell us what happened to the un-published articles by Chamberlain-are they still being looked after somewhere? Allan
     
  18. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    I have a Chamberlain Jurgensen demonstration Top Wind movement in a specially made Case? These Cases are not seen very often. Regards Ray

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg
     
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  19. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Bill Keller and Jack Lund published a long article in the Watch & Clock Bulletin in June 1989. It is in two parts in our Bulletin Archive McIntyre Watch Co. part 1 and McIntyre Watch Co. part 2.You need to be logged in as a member on the NAWCC main site for those links to work.
    I have also prepared PowerPoint presentations and continue to update them as I learn more.

    I should mention that I was a great fan of James Michener when I was growing up and have difficulty separating the stories that make sense to me from actual documented historical information. As a result my presentations are more like historical novels than scholarly history. With that caveat here are the three presentation I gave at our NAWCC Meeting in Grand Rapids Michigan a few years ago. Grand Rapids is very near to Charlotte Michigan where Fred McIntyre's family moved when he was 13 years old and where he stayed when the rest of of the family moved to Oregon a few years later. He reportedly taught school there briefly after graduating from high school. He then became interested in watches and eventually found his way to the Choctaw Nation and his jewelry store in South McAlester.

    FredericSMcIntyre.pdf CharlesEDeLongComprs.pdf McIntyre.pdf

    The above three presentations are what was presented in Grand rapids. I gave a presentation to the Oscar T Lang Chapter of the NAWCC in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago that has some updates to the artifacts. It can be seen below.

    McIntyre Watch.pdf
     

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  20. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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