Rare caliper of English rough movement, circa 1880.
Unusual full plate hollow-back movement, of the type closely associated with the work of E F Ashley, ready to be 'scaped and finished, the pillar-plate stamped with its Liverpool size 4 x 0/7 (0/7 being the distance between the plates). Complete with flat cock, barrel-bar and the keyless work fitted, but no train or escapement parts. 34 mm diameter.
This will be by one of many Lancashire 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, mostly Prescot based, specialists.
Edward F Ashley (1835-1908), a very well respected Clerkenwell watch manufacturer who is said to have personally overseen the manufacture of all his watches and to have sprung them himself, some heading the Deck Watch Trials at Greenwich and Kew.
A rare survival and a good record of a tradition long since passed. In good original condition and much cleaner than most such rough movements that survive.
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