A P WALSH, London. No 2147, for John LOWRY, Belfast


Top quality free-sprung movement with rare lever escapement, circa 1870.

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London finished half-plate fusee movement, the 16-size JP (Joseph Preston) frame with cap jewels on balance (diamond) lever and escape. Unusual form of double-roller detached lever escapement, with double thickness roller which is slotted to take a square shaped radial jewel and provide for the safety action. Compensation balance, free-sprung balance spring with overcoil. Lovely signed enamel dial with offset seconds and state-of-wind indication, blued-steel hands. 46.5 mm diameter, 9 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

John Lowry 'from London' Hight St, Belfast, retailer of top quality London finished watches and chronometers. NB: Similar forms of lever escapement occurs throughout the 19th century, earlier examples having round jewels while the later tend to be square section - all are rare. I associate this form with the work of the escapement maker Samuel May who died in 1871, aged 58. A short obituary can be found the Horological Journal, June 1871, p118.

Joseph Preston, the most famous of Liverpool watch rough movement manufacturers, supplier of top quality frames to most of the best English finishers.

Lacking up/down hand, dial with hair cracks and balance pivot broken. Otherwise complete and a nicely finished example of a rare escapement in a movement that does it justice - and much more unusual than any spring detent. Not working.