Pocket watch

Jan 29, 2020. 14:42 UTC
Pocket Watch
United States of America

Pocket watch

Acquired from

For sale

S Van Wyck movement. Possible case by Henry Espich. There is a paper inside with H Espich on it. He was active in Germantown Ohio from 1853-1859. Case has some small dents. There is also another paper inside but can't make out what it says. Don't know if it runs or not.



$900 - $1,200 (United States Dollar)
Answered within about 8 hours
Jan 29, 22:33 UTC
By David

Hello Don,
Thank you for sending in this silver pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Gent’s Sterling silver, key wound, verge, fusee, open face pocket watch, made in England, made on special order for the New York City marketplace and retailed by Stephen Van Wyck (working 1796-1825), 275/267/240 Pear Street & 49 Fulton Street, New York City, circa 1801.
CASE – This is a Sterling silver, open face pocket watch with telescopic stemmed flat round pendant and missing its bow (style relates to the late 18th or very early 19th century) placed at the twelve position relative to the dial. The back cover is not engraved and this may have been part of a pair case pocket watch originally, but now missing the outer case. The interior of the back cover has English hallmarks: the Lion Passant for Sterling silver, The Leopard head with crown for the London Assay Office prior to 1822, the Date letter mark of an upper case ‘F’ for 1801 and the casemaker initials of ‘EL’ in a rectangular cameo, silversmith Edward Leeming (various addresses in London). Edward Leeming was a watch casemaker, 1778-1779 (registered Mar 1777 & 1785), 1783 (registered Apr 1781 & 1796) and 1798-1801 (registered Apr 1796 & 1800). SEE: https://www.silvermakersmarks.co.uk/Makers/London-EI-EM.html#EL
There is a watch paper of ‘H. Espich of Germantown, Ohio’, watchmaker and repairer, working circa 1845, the man who likely repaired this particular pocket watch.

DIAL – Round white enameled dial with black upright Arabic hours, open dotted minute ring to the outside, brass cut ‘Spade’ hands in the English style with rather plump heads. One of the hands has an open stem. The dial is unsigned.

MOVEMENT – Gilt brass full plate movement with large fenestrated central balance bridge in a swirl and flourish foliate pattern jeweled to the center and having an ornament, perhaps a gilt bowl or a lighter-than-air balloon at the base of the bridge where it meets the flared engraved footing, the footing width roughly equal to the width of the balance cock. There is an adjacent silver regulator with stars and Arabic markers for adjusting the speed of the movement. What is not shown are the sides of the movement, the type of pillars, the contrate wheel, the fusee and the verge escapement, but will assume that this watch has a crown wheel escapement with chain driven fusee spring. This is a fairy traditional English watch movement circa 1800+/-. The plates are signed by the retail jeweler, Stephen Van Wyck, New York no. 3851

CONDITION: Case – Fair. Broken bow on the pendant. The simple 48 mm diameter silver case has, of course oxidized and is speckled with white spots and the inside of the cover has a plethora of scratches. I do not think that this watch, as it is currently configured was sold in NYC, and I believe it is the plain silver inner case of what must have been a resplendent sterling pair case watch with the outer cover quite beautifully engraved, possibly with filigree work. The diameter would have been in the 50-60 mm range of the outer case. Still quite an important watch on its own, if no longer glamorous. Dial: Bulls eye crystal overlies a rather simple dial, but one which shows some age and remain in very good condition. I am uncertain if the Spade hands have been changed from the originals, but Spade hands seem to have been developed later than 1801. Movement – The back plate is excellent and I wish I could have visualized more of this movement as well.

Here is where the watch shines. Stephen Van Wyck was a watchmaker and retail jeweler in downtown NYC (then the heart of that city). He succeeded Effingham Embree the famous NYC clockmaker @275 Pearl Street. Embree made his own clocks but imported most of his clocks directly from England and put his own name on them. I believe that Stephen Van Wyck did precisely the same thing and although he could make watches like Embree could make clocks, they both served a wealthy clientele who sought out European goods. Van Wyck had an advertisement in the May 26, 1797 issue of the New York Daily Advertiser.....“Has received by vessel…elegant assortment of gold and silver watches….French plain and gold watches….handsome assortment of clocks.” In 1799 he advertised for a stolen silver watch with his name on it in the same journal.

https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/2-early-silver-english-pocket-watches-18th-century-ZybWtKULg (sold for $859 for two watches)
https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/pocket-watches-2-two-english-fusee-for-clement-X4cnOboE-B (sold for $150)

Although in the same category as the examples cited in the Comparables, this watch has the name of a more prominent maker working in NYC and following in the steps of Effingham Embree, most famous clockmaker of NYC c. 1770’s to 1796, and taking over his workshop. It also includes the watch paper showing how the clock traveled to the pioneer west. It is still, after all is said and done and English verge fusee watch, not American made. I think if offered at auction it would achieve a fair market price of $900-$1200. Retail prices, of course would be higher.
I hope you received what you had hoped for in terms of the appraisal. Thank you again for contacting mearto.com for this appraisal work.
My Best,

Hello Don,
Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry. So that I may best assist you, can you please upload a clear image of all of the hallmarks on the inside of the case, with the same clarity that you use to show me the movement. What I need to see most clearly is the London Assay mark of the Leopard head.

If you wish to simply answer a couple of questions instead could you tell me (1) whether we are looking at an upper case F or P for the Date Letter mark, AND, (2) does the Leopard head wear a crown or not. I also need the diameter of the case for purposes of being complete (without the pendant please)

Don kraeft Jan 31, 13:55 UTC

Thank you for the fast service.
How would I go about consigning this item?

David Jan 31, 15:19 UTC

Although we are purely an appraisal service, and do not buy or sell items for sale, I can tell you the following:
By selecting "yes" or "maybe" when asked if the item was for sale, it automatically enters our database, which is accessed by a number of regional and international auction houses, and that - if there is any interest - they will be contacted by the auction house directly. This may take a while. if not contacted you may want to reach out to a local auction house to sell directly through them. I know there are several good auctions in Houston which is not far from you and you may want to call them about their selling of such watches. Look for an auction with a Watch department or at least with a watch expert on staff.
The auctions I have heard of in Houston are: Lewis & Maese, Houston Antique Auction which uses live auctioneers website to advertise, and Simpson Galleries. I do not know if any of these actualy sell watches but you need to inquire. the auction house in Texas that I have referred to is Heritage Auction in Dallas

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