LEAH, Old Street, London. No 4862


£ 195.00

London retailed Lancashire movement with interesting early single-roller features, circa 1820-5.

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Nicely finished 18-size capped fullplate fusee movement jewelled to the 3rd, with cap jewels on balance and escape, the cap stamped 'IS' and with 'WN' stamped under the cock foot. Early single-roller detached lever escapement, the roller with passing-flat, the lever with rack-type counterpoise and with very early use of horns. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. Retraining the brass-edge but lacking dial. 47.5 mm diameter, 13.5 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

Samuel Henry Leah, retailer, known to have sold watches with a variety of escapements, from verge to detached lever.

NB: Rack-type counterpoises, as found with the very earliest Savage escapements, points to an escapement maker, or makers, experienced in making rack-lever escapements and, whilst both Savage's and Massey's detached lever escapements date from some years earlier, this movement is from the first few years of the beginnings of the single-roller (or table-roller that was soon to dominate English work. Just who was first to make the escapement is unknown, but this movement, with the counterpoise favoured by Savage but not used by Massey, perhaps points to the former having something to do with it. The earliest use of safety horns is yet to be properly recorded.

Lacking dial and hands, cap bolt broken, brass-edge filed to take a larger dial at some point and all a bit scruffy. Otherwise complete. Not cleaned by me but will just about tick when wound. Sold as needing at least a service and fresh oil to work correctly.