William Cain, Liverpool. Double signed?

shinytickythings

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Hello!

I recently picked up this Liverpool watch signed "Willm Cain" because I like the Liver bird engraving on the cock, and it's got a Massey II, and a Thomas Helsby case.
William Cain is listed in Baillie's and Loomes, though not Britten's, and there isn't really much of anything about him. Just "Liverpool 1825".
I wondered if anyone might have any further information on this fellow, but when I received the watch I noticed it also had a second signature on the edge of the barrel bridge. "Thomas Raiker", who I can't find anything about, and I don't recall ever seeing a second signature like that, so I was wondering about that, too.

Regards,
Steve

Will_Cain_1829-1614.jpg Will_Cain_1829-1619.jpg Will_Cain_1829-1623.jpg Will_Cain_1829-1624.jpg Will_Cain_1829-1626.jpg
 

gmorse

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Hi Steve,

Sometimes, if there are two names, one of them is the first owner, and I suspect in this instance it would have been Raiker, although the case date is 1829/30 and the serial number is 1832, so who knows!

Regards,

Graham
 
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shinytickythings

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Hi Steve,

Sometimes, if there are two names, one of them is the first owner, and I suspect in this instance it would have been Raiker, although the case date is 1829/30 and the serial number is 1832, so who knows!

Regards,

Graham
Thanks, Graham!
That's pretty much what I suspected, I guess. Seeing that Cain is documented as a maker, that Mr. Raiker must have ordered the watch with his name name on it.
It just seems like an odd place, so I thought maybe there might be more to it.
Maybe, being in such a nondescript place was just a security thing. In case of being lost or stolen, he can show that it is his if it's recovered.

Thanks for your thoughts on it!

Regards,
Steve
 

John Matthews

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Steve

I am not sure where the 1825 date came, I think it may be in error.

William Cain is only listed in two Liverpool trade directories, in 1829 and 1832, where he is listed as a watch maker in Peter Street. He is not listed in the 1825, 1827, 1834 nor 1835. The only other listing for that period is a Thomas Cain a gilder in Church Alley - I have not checked to see whether they were related.

There are no listings for Thomas Raiker in the Liverpool street directories for 1829 or 1832 that I can find, and no listing in the watch trade sections. So even if he owned the watch, he did not reside in Liverpool at the time the case was assayed and the watch finished.

John
 
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shinytickythings

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Steve

I am not sure where the 1825 date came, I think it may be in error.

William Cain is only listed in two Liverpool trade directories, in 1829 and 1832, where he is listed as a watch maker in Peter Street. He is not listed in the 1825, 1827, 1834 nor 1835. The only other listing for that period is a Thomas Cain a gilder in Church Alley - I have not checked to see whether they were related.

There are no listings for Thomas Raiker in the Liverpool street directories for 1829 or 1832 that I can find, and no listing in the watch trade sections. So even if he owned the watch, he did not reside in Liverpool at the time the case was assayed and the watch finished.

John
Ah! Brilliant!
Thank you very much for the additional information, John.

The case is hallmarked for 1929/30, as Graham pointed out.
But, the 1825 comes from Baillie's, and is presumably the source for Loomes, who also lists William, just vaguely as "Liverpool,1825".

Regards,
Steve
 

gmorse

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Hi Steve,

Much of Baillie's came from Britten's and much of Loomes came from Baillie's. An entry for a maker in any of these merely indicates that someone, somewhere has seen the name on a watch or seen a reference to it, so in many instances that's all you can infer. Mr Raiker could have lived anywhere in the UK, or even further afield, since Liverpool exported so much of its output.

Regards,

Graham
 
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John Matthews

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Graham

If I am honest, when I see a maker's listing with just a single year in this set, as you have pointed out, of related references, I question how accurate it is. It may have been based on a single item; this may have been an uncased movement, the age of which was estimated, and if it was in an hallmarked case, the natural tendency will have been to assume the early calendar year from the assay pair of years. Without reference to the primary data, in my opinion, a single date only provides you with a approximate date to commence a search of historical primary data.

As far as William Cain is concerned he is listed in Baillie's second edition of 1929, he is not listed in Britten's 1894 or 1899 works.

John
 
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John Matthews

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Steve

Does the cap have a maker's mark on the underside? If so, please post a photograph.

Thanks

John
 
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shinytickythings

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I don't have multiple editions to reference, so I find that bit fascinating. Thanks, John.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I always took Britten's to be the most trustworthy, and that because, it is derived primarily of guild records and trade directories information from the periods.

Baillie's to be something of a crap shoot. Good jumping off point if there's a lead. But quite old, very poor source documentation and plenty of mistakes. And as you point out, John, frequently based on god knows what. A single sighting of something, by someone? Lost records? You are just left to wonder.

And Loomes is like Baillie's on steroids. Newer, and he's added to and ironed out some of Baillie's work. And sometimes, he's a little better about providing sources. But overall, largely similar.
 
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