Gold engine-turned case with typical ‘American pendant,’ stamped with the American eagle over 18K, numbered as the movement and bearing the name of its New York agent/retailers: AKERLY & BRIGGS, 158 BOWERY. Lancashire style of half-plate fusee movement with sprung cap, jewelled to the 3rd with diamond endstone. Massey type-2 detached lever escapement with 30-tooth escape. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring with regulation through the table of the plain cock. Yellow gold dial with pink gold numerals and hands, the finely engine-turned dial engraved with a copy of the infamous ‘horse’s ass’ portrait of George Washington. 47 mm diameter.
Akerly & Briggs, described as ‘”watch makers” in Doggett’s New York City Directory of 1845.
Robert Roskell, at this time in Woolton, famous Liverpool watch, clock and chronometer maker, one of the most influential of Lancashire watch manufacturers, and one of the most respected suppliers of watches into the then burgeoning American market.
Edward Massey, Newcastle, Coventry and Liverpool, 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 least common, 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. Good clean examples of type-2 are now difficult to find.
NB: The engraving of George Washington is based on Gilbert Stuarts’s original 1806 painting now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston entitled ‘Washington at Dorchester Heights,’ the scene of one of Washington’s battles with British forces in 1776. The meaning of Stuart’s depiction of Washington in close proximity to the ‘horse’s ass’ has been the subject of much discussion.
The case showing almost no signs of wear and the bow still tight, the movement in similar fine condition, the dial showing a few age related marks and light scratches. Otherwise a really fine Liverpool lever watch in good original condition in a lovely example of an early American case, together with the wonderful iconography of the dial. Serviced and guaranteed.