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Abraham Hews Jr. & Co
Abraham Hews was born in Weston, Massachusetts in 1797 and worked as a silversmith in Boston from 1823 to 1867. He is listed in city directories at 243 Washington Street in 1845, 217 Washington Street in 1855, 151 Washington Street in 1860 and 456 Washington Street in 1865. More research is needed to determine if the address changes were due to renumbering or actual physical moves. The firm A. Hews Jr. & Co., a partnership with Augustus H. Hews that existed when this watch was sold, is listed as a silversmith and jeweler from 1850 to 1855 (Voss).

Liverpool watches like this example were imported and sold by watchmakers and silversmiths throughout America. For a similar, average quality example, see the watch signed B & M. M. Swan, Augusta, Maine.
 
Hews Watch
 
Hews Watch

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
A. Hews Jr. & Co.
8689
Boston, Mass.
1850
Description: Full plate Massey III lever fusee movement with three arm uncut steel balance, enamel dial with seconds and stop feature. Signed dial reads "A. Hews Jr. & Co. Boston". Unmarked dust cap. Silver consular case with Chester assay date mark for 1850 and maker mark "RS", likely Ralph Samuel of 54 Wood Street, Liverpool. 

Ralph Samuel appears to be one of the larger Liverpool case makers producing about 600 gold and 800 silver cases a month. He testified to the House of Commons in 1856, "There is an immense trade in uncased watches, or movements, sent to the United Sates in tin boxes, and there they are cased", highlighting a concern that American case makers were forging London and Chester 18K gold marks on substandard 8 carat cases (Priestley, 52). While this watch is cased in silver, the testimony by case maker Ralph Samuel evidences the large trade in both movements and complete watches to America in the 19th century.

 
Hews Watch
 
Hews Watch



References and recommended reading:
  • Philip Priestley, Watch Case Makers of England, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin Supplement No. 20 (1994)
  • William Erik Voss (see references on Home page)