RYLEY & Son, Liverpool. No 4202


Interesting American cased Coventry made Massey type-1 watch, circa 1820.

More details

Silver barrel-edge case with loose-ring pendant, carrying pseudo English hallmarks with capitol 'F' date latter, casemakers' stamp H&S (probably Hart & Smith). Capped fullplate fusee movement with balance-brake, the cock most unusually held with two blued-steel screws, the cap stamped 'D' as often found in Coventry made Massey levers of this date. Massey type-1 detached lever escapement. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. One piece cream enamel dial in perfect un-cracked condition, gold hands. 53 mm diameter.

Ryley & Son, Coventry based makers who presumably found it worthwhile to use 'Liverpool' on watches being sold into the American market at this time.

NB: The fake English hallmarks and the others stamps in this case are of great interest concerning American made cases of the period. Hart & Smith worked, I believe, in Connecticut and their mark is recorded, together with their use of pseudo English hallmarks, in the book A List of Early American Silversmiths and their Marks. Note also the use of the correct number in the dome and the strange jumbled number in the cover, but the 4 and the 2 stamps are the same, as are the other marks, and I am sure the cover is the right one for this case - perhaps the person who stamped the cover was 'number blind'

Edward Massey, escapement maker, originally from Newcastle-under-Lyme, later Coventry, then Liverpool and London. Inventor and patentee, in 1812, of a detached lever escapement. The escapement is known in five forms, with four different rollers. These were first catalogued by Alan Treherne, the earliest being types-1 and -5, followed by types-2 and -3. Type-4 is a seconds beating watch and is usually fitted with a type-3 roller. NB: Complete watches in good condition with the earlier type-1 or type-5 rollers are now difficult to find.

Mismatched hands, otherwise a good and unusual example of a type-1 Massey showing just a few signs of use, and a fine candidate for further Anglo-American research. Cleaned and guaranteed.