help identifying old pocket watch
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  1. #1
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    help identifying old pocket watch

    Hi! I was just rummaging through some old drawers and found a jewelry box hidden in the back. Now I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt but I can't figure out much more. The box is marked from "sibley Lindsay & Curr, Rochester NY, which I understand was a high end department store back then when Rochester was booming.

    The pocket watch, unfortunately, has limited markings on it. The B&C marking seems distinct, but all I could find online was that B&Co plus any number of stars could be various brands, but the mark is clearly just B&C. That being said, through all my searching I haven't been able to find anything this old. The stamp on the back says 1809. Also right above it seems to be another really small symbol. Either an 8 or 18 with some background engraving that I can't identify. There are upwards to 6-7 other numbers engraved, but they are VERY small and the engraving seems sloppy.

    Any ideas? I'd really appreciate some help.

    Thanks for your time!


    Peter
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  2. #2
    Member tinknocker's Avatar
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    I think a picture of the movement would help.
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  3. #3
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    I agree, I think it would probably tell me a lot more, but there doesn't seem to be an obvious second lip or any other way to open beyond the front and back. If it's worth something I don't exactly want to start wedging a knife until I find the right place haha.

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  5. #4
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    I was able to very gently open the watch. the opening to the movement was in the front. I don't post too often so I'm not sure if these images are going to be large enough. apologies!

    the words I could make out, even with a magnifying glass are "patent", then "D BROTHERS 1809" and then in a more cursive it says something like "Swirrvool" or something. I'm not familiar with the font so I'm not sure.
    hope this helps.


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  6. #5
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    It's "Liverpool". It's just the font that's hard to read. It's an English PW. The box is irrelevant- no connection to the watch at all. The case... Brown & Clark of Birmingham? I just don't see any hallmark I can identify... Besides, Brown & Clark were silversmiths, so it's a long shot.
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    Does anyone know what the long lever at the top of the movement is that's connected to the small looking cog? I'm assuming this is a verge movement? But most of those movements don't have this arm? Also, any idea why this has "patent" written on it? what exactly is it patenting? And why does the case mark say "B.C." but the movement has "D.Brothers"?

    If anyone knows better than I do, let me know. How does one go about safely appraising something like this? I would rather like to avoid getting ripped off or something...

    Thanks all

  8. #7
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by pstastka View Post
    Does anyone know what the long lever at the top of the movement is that's connected to the small looking cog? I'm assuming this is a verge movement? But most of those movements don't have this arm? Also, any idea why this has "patent" written on it? what exactly is it patenting? And why does the case mark say "B.C." but the movement has "D.Brothers"?

    If anyone knows better than I do, let me know. How does one go about safely appraising something like this? I would rather like to avoid getting ripped off or something...

    Thanks all

    Hi,

    Your watch is not a verge movement, it is a lever movement.

    The long lever you describe, is simply a spring which holds the click to the barrel ratchet.

    The 'patent' most likely refers to an escapement variant such as a 'Massey Lever', of which there are several
    types.
    Liverpool makers were fond of these variants and Massey levers are often to be found in good Liverpool watches.

    To have it safely appraised you need to take it to someone who 'knows' and understands old English pocketwatches.
    Escapement variants usually add value.

    Edit

    Oh, and the case maker and movement maker were different manufacturers and so they put on there own marks.
    The serial numbers on the case and movement should match though.
    Last edited by radger; August 21st, 2015 at 10:51. Reason: add

  9. #8
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    There have been watchmakers called Brother S. & Sons in Liverpool, Lancashire, around 1820, which would timely coincide with your lever escapement (pointed tooth escapement?) watch. Is it running / how long / keeping time? It is key wind and key set and you need the right key for that. You can get them cheap on the Internet but be careful, they usually vary a bit within their designated size. The material of these new keys is much harder than what to square shafts are made of (for winding on the movement, for setting on the dial directly on the hands). Carefully find out the direction of winding (clockwise/counterclockwise) before applying too much pressure. Never use pliers etc.! The regulator has been moved far towards 'faster', which means that something (whatever cause/causes) needs to be compensated.

    It would certainly not be a bad idea to show it to a watchmaker, especially if you don't have too much experience in handling such a watch.

    The B & C marks looks like D & C to me (or something else). Can you identify other marks and provide sharper images? The 18 could be 18K. I have never seen identical numbers (here 1809) on the case AND on the movement, which are normally separate things.
    Last edited by Border-Reiver; August 21st, 2015 at 12:25.

  10. #9
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Border-Reiver View Post
    I have never seen identical numbers (here 1809) on the case AND on the movement, which are normally separate things.
    I have saw very many, but only on Antique English watches.
    If the serial number on the movement and case do not match, then it is usually a sign of a re-case.

  11. #10
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: help identifying old pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by radger View Post
    I have saw very many, but only on Antique English watches.
    If the serial number on the movement and case do not match, then it is usually a sign of a re-case.
    No, that has absolutely nothing to do with each other. Cases and movements have been made separately in most cases. To the contrary, it is unusual that you have the same number on both.

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