Mid-1800s Tobias Liverpool Key Wind Pocket Watch
MID-1800s TOBIAS LIVERPOOL KEY WIND, SWISS FAKE POCKET WATCH – This Civil War period pocket watch is in generally good condition, with some spots of loss to the porcelain dial; it seemingly needs some cleaning to put it into working condition. M. I. Tobias was a well-known watchmaker who made mid to high grade watches (mostly fusees) in the early to mid-1800′s. During his lifetime, a number of well-made forgeries of his watches were made by various English and Swiss makers. In addition, at some point around the mid-1800′s, watches started appearing with obvious Swiss movements, Swiss cases, and with the name “ M. J. Tobias” on the dust covers, instead of “M. I. Tobias”. Many, if not all, of these were made for export, and the general consensus among experts is that these are basically “Swiss fakes” that used the name “Tobias” as a marketing ploy. There is such a wide variety of quality and workmanship of watches so marked, that it is clear that many different companies were involved. This example is housed in a half, floral motif case, which appears to be made of coin silver. Age and usage marks are visible, as well as a general age patina, typical of silver. The crystal dial cover is in overall good condition, with what appears to be a surface scratch; the hinges are in working order. The porcelain dial is unmarked; both time hands are in place. The movement dust cover plate is inscribed with “M. J. Tobias Liverpool” with the hands winder marked. This is a good example of a Civil War period pocket watch.