The finest example of an American cased Liverpool watch known to me, circa 1840.
American made gold with chased band, bow and characteristic American ‘oval’ pendant, the New York casemaker’s stamp ‘JOHN Y SAVAGE, 92 FULTON ST,’ also with a mark for 18 carat gold, the front and back covers beautifully engraved with allegorical scenes representing the Old and New Worlds. Capped fullplate fusee movement with ‘Liverpool window’ jeweling to the fusee, the cock engraved PATENT and the cap stamped CS. Single-roller detached lever escapement with passing-flat. Compensation balance, spiral balance-spring. Signed enamel dial, gold fleur-de-lys hands. 55 mm diameter.
Richard and George Beesley, watch and chronometer makers, recorded as working at various addresses in Great Hall St and Boundary St, Liverpool, from 1827 to 1881. Beesley were one of the earliest Liverpool manufacturers to establish a top reputation for their watches in the American market. See also the Your Time catalogue of the exhibition of Liverpool and related material held at the old Prescot Museum (now sadly closed) in 2008, page 48, where this watch is shown.
NB: Case making was one of the first of the watch finishing trades to have been taken up in America and I, and no doubt others, look forward to someone in the United States conducting and publishing research into the various firms and individuals involved, many of course who will have learnt their trade in England, Switzerland and France.
Dial with faint hair crack running from the centre to 6, as is often the case with these sunk seconds dials. Otherwise a most wonderful watch, with the best engraving of its type I have seen, and in almost mint condition. Once in the collection of the late Dana J Blackwell, and, so Dana told me, “originally the property of a New York banker.” Cleaned and guaranteed.
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