Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Watch No. 7121 - sold on eBay in August

I just found this Kover watch that was sold on eBay in August. I believe it is the watch that was bought by a reader, Sam Walker of Colorado (see previous post Watch No. 7121 - bought by a reader):

Antique Pocket Watch, silver pair cases, verge - Kover, London, 1742

An unusually small, mid 18th century verge, in original silver pair cases, that needs work.
MOVEMENT : Signed (I. KOVER, London) and numbered (7121). Gilded verge movement with engraved and pierced balance cock. The balance is absent and the contrate wheel is bent. The crown wheel and the rest of the going train seem ok.
DIAL : 32.5 mm, white enamel. Perfect condition but a later replacement.
INNER CASE : 38 mm. Silver hallmarks for London, 1742, maker HR, and the serial number (7121). The marks are rubbed but readable. The case is in very good condition. The hinge and catch are fine and the case snaps shut nicely. The high dome crystal is fine.
OUTER CASE : 44.5 mm. Matching hallmarks to the inner. Again in very good condition with just a few tiny dents. The hinge, catch and catch button are fine and the case snaps shut correctly.
Kover is listed in London between 1720 and 1760.


There are some nice photographs of the watch on the original listing on eBay and on the website of Cogs and Pieces, dealers of fine antique pocket watches.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Watches in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

In my previous post regarding Watch No. 8346 I reported that I had contacted the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague who said "unfortunately, there are no any watches with a signature of Kover in the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague."

Since then I have had further correspondence with the Museum and they have sent me pictures of three watches that are displayed in the Museum and are similar to a Kover watch. Unfortunately the pictures "can be used for study purposes only, they can´t be published".

Descriptions provided by the Museum of the three watches follow:

Pair-case watch, 2nd quarter of the 18th century
Thomas Moore, London
sign. T. MOORE LONDON 1922
gilded base metal, enamel; mechanism: brass, steel
verge escapement, monometallic balance, Tompion´s regulation
inv. no. 45607

Pair-case watch with striking mechanism, 18th century
Cabrier, London
embossed gold, pierced and engraved, enamel; mechanism: brass, steel
verge escapement, monometallic balance, Tompion´s regulation
inv. no. 68392

Pair-case watch, around 1750
Chr. Siruam, London
embossed gold, chased and engraved, pierced steel; mechanism: brass, steel
verge escapement, monometallic balance, Tompion´s regulation
inv. no. 83131

My correspondent at the Museum says "Unfortunately, I don´t have pictures of the mechanisms for you. All the watches are on display, forming part of our museum´s permanent exhibition. They are locked in a special showcase which is very uneasy to open. If we open the showcase once I will send you the pictures (in 2012 or 2013?)"

I intend to study the pictures in order to identify the similarities and differences between these watches and the Kover watches of which I have pictures. I will report my findings in a future post. I also intend to try to discover further information about the watchmakers Thomas Moore, Cabrier and Chr. Siruam, all of London.  

The picture below was kindly sent to me by Luis Sanchez Biosca, the author of the book "The Art of Religeria" together with the following information:

"Watch with gold chain of 4cm in diameter. Chr Siruam, London 1750, chain of the same era, gilded brass. Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

As I promised you sent the photograph on page 193 of the book "The Art of Watchmaking" LIBSA Publishers, which represents a clock very similar to the chain even Kover, called "Chateleine" which also is very similar to that wearing the watch on pages 89-90 Kover's book "The Machine Prodigious."
With regard to this book, I have to tell you that it is sold as is called "The Art of Religeria"". 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Watch No. 7629 - a slight diversion - third instalment

Its over a year since I started this blog and I'm afraid that I've been silent for a long while. However I have been doing a little more research into William Henderson, Watchmaker, Dundee whose watch paper is in the outer case of my own Kover pocketwatch.

My previous posts relating to William Henderson are:

Watch No. 7629 - a slight diversion - first instalment
Watch No. 7629 - a slight diversion - second instalment

I have now discovered the following:

William Henderson was only 28 when he died at 32 Nethergate, Dundee on 27th (or 28th) April 1852; here is the announcement from the Dundee Courier of 5th May 1852:

I have, so far been unable to find any burial record for Mr Henderson. However I have found his testament which was lodged at Dundee Sheriff Court on 14th May 1852. Unfortunately the image that I have of the testament is Crown Copyright so I can't reproduce it here. I find the will quite difficult to read because of my unfamiliarity with 1850s handwriting but here is a summary of what I have discovered so far:

  • The date of death is given as 28th April 1852 - this differs by one day from the date given in the Dundee Courier.
  • The testament was lodged in the presence of John Irving Henderson Esquire, Advocate Commissary Depute of Forfarshire Dundee District and Mr James Shield Writer in Dundee.
  • Valuation, by John McLean Beatts, Licensed Appraiser Dundee, of Stock In Trade, Household Furniture, Shop Fittings and Other Effects belonging to the deceased amounted to £343 8s 5d.
  • Book debts due to the deceased totalled £63 19s 7d. - made up of 76 individual debts. There is the following note: "From the circumstances of many of the debtors - contra accounts had by them against the deceased (??) otherwise the total account recoverable can not be estimated at more than £30".
  • William's Mother is named as Christian Marshall or Henderson residing in Stirling; she inherited everything remaining after payment of all just and lawful debts.
I intend to look through the names of debtors and try to find a burial record for William in Stirling as I have discovered nothing relevant in the Dundee Burial records.