*** OUR SITE HAS MOVED ***
S. Hovey & Co.
Stanford Hovey was born in Weare, New Hampshire in 1823. He worked as a watchmaker and jeweler in Manchester for W.H. Elliot from 1844 to 1846, for D.R. Dane from 1848 to 1850, and partnered with Amos Parker in the firm Hovey, Parker & Co., from 1850 to 1852. The engraving on this watch, "S. Hovey & Co." is for his own firm, Stanford Hovey & Co. which existed from 1854 to 1869 (Voss). The address, as engraved on the movement, is 56 Elm Street, Manchester, N.H.

This is an example of a high quality watch that was likely finished in Liverpool and imported by Hovey to his specification. For a similar example, see the watch signed Ellis Gifford, Fall River, Massachusetts. 
 
Stanford Hovey Watch
 
Stanford Hovey Watch

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
S. Hovey & Co.
12381
Manchester, New Hampshire
1853
Description: Full plate 21 jewel Massey lever fusee movement with compensating balance, Liverpool jeweling, signed enamel dial with seconds. Intricate hands with inset. Movement engraved S. Hovey & Co. 56 Elm Street, Manchester, N.H. Dust cap with makers initials "TW" and unique raised inset winding guide attached with a screw. Silver consular case with Chester assay date mark for 1853 and maker's mark "RS", likely Ralph Samuel of 54 Wood Street, Liverpool. 

 
Stanford Hovey Watch
 
Stanford Hovey Watch

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).

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