S. Hovey & Company

Hovey Pocketwatch

Stanford Hovey Pocket Watch

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 good quality watch that was likely finished in Liverpool and imported by Hovey to his specification.

Hovey Watchmaker

Stanford Hovey Movement

Massey Lever Movement

High quality 21 jewel Massey lever fusee movement, serial number 12381, with compensating balance, gold timing screws, and Liverpool jeweling. Enamel dial with seconds is signed. Unusual intricate hands with inset. Movement engraved S. Hovey & Co. 56 Elm Street, Manchester, N.H. Dust cap with maker's initials "TW" and interesting raised winding guide attached with a screw. Silver consular case with Chester assay date mark for 1853-54 and maker's mark "RS", for Ralph Samuel of 54 Wood Street, Liverpool.

See Thomas Blundell, A. Hews Jr. & Co., or B. & M. M. Swan for other Ralph Samuel cases.

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 18 carat cases. Ironically, this casemaker (Ralph Samuels) was caught with fraudulent substandard Chester assayed 18K cases (Priestley, 298, 333). See Baldwin & Jones watch dated 1815.

Ralph Samuel Casemaker

RS Case Maker's Mark for Ralph Samuel

Additional References and recommended reading:

  • Philip Priestley, British Watchcase Gold & Silver Marks 1670 to 1970, National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, 2018

  • William Erik Voss, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~silversmiths/makers/silversmiths