J*B - Lancashire work


Extensively finished rough movement in pill box, circa 1850.

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Three-quarter plate hollow-back fusee movement partly finished, the 10-size hollow-back (no brass-edge needed) pillar plate stamped J*B (probably John or James Beesley, Prescot). All the train, the barrel and the grooved going-fusee are planted, with only the winding and hand-setting arbors left long, complete with balance cock and escapement parts, but not yet fitted with a balance-spring. 40 mm diameter. Together with wood veneer 'pill box' on which is handwritten: 8 Ordinary Steel Nuts 2/6.

John and James Beesley were among many Prescot based suppliers of rough movements, on which the best of English watch work was firmly based. English watch manufacturing was split into at least forty separate specialist trades at this time, around 50% who were involved in the manufacture of rough movements, which the Swiss/French called an ebauche. It is easy to see how much work was still needed at this point, but also to see how wonderfully good and crisp was the work of these pre-eminent Prescot specialists.

A rare and complete survival and a good record of a tradition long since passed. Unusual in being so far finished and in good original condition, but with some rust on much of the exposed steelwork.