VALE & Rotherham, Coventry. No 6224


Interesting 'EMP' stamped Massey lever movement, pre 1820.

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Top quality 18-size capped fullplate fusee movement with the foot of the cock engraved PATENT, the cap stamped 'JF' and the underside of the cock foot stamped 'D' as well as 'EMP 2265,' almost certainly standing for Edward Massey's Patent together with Massey's production number. Now converted to single-roller but no doubt originally with Massey type-1 detached lever escapement. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. Solid two-colour gold engine-turned and matted dial with raised pink gold numerals, weighing 7 grams. 47.5mm, 14 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

Vale & Co, becoming Vale & Rotherham around this time, a most important partnership that itself predated the Coventry based firm of Rotherhams that became one of the best and most important suppliers of machine-made watch movements in England. Most of their work carries the name of its retailer, even at this early period, so it is unusual to see examples bearing their own name. This movement shows just how good was their work by 1820, and that they were a major (I believe the major) finisher of Massey's earliest lever movements. Note also the unusual engraved lion mask on the cock.

Edward Massey, escapement manufacturer and Patentee of the first extensively used detached lever escapements. Catalogued in recent times by Alan Treherne, the various types have come to be called from 1 to 5. Types I and 5 are the earliest and now very difficult to find in good condition, followed by type-2 and then type-3. Type-4 is a seconds beating-variant, usually fitted with a type-3 roller, and is very rare. 

Escapement converted, otherwise in good original condition. Not cleaned by me and nothing broken, but balance not fully free and unwilling to tick - sold as not working. The dial is likely to be at least 15ct and must be worth around £100 in scrap alone.