Aug 06, 2012, 07:14 AM
Cool find! 1800s jeweler's/clock-watch makers embosser?
NJLargeCent and I were at it again in the heat, back to Mount Holly, NJ for 7 hours in the heat and humidity. Not much other than junk, a wheatie, and NJ's TBD Indian, and some other oddities we still have to identify.
However, during the last-hour stretch, I dug deep and deep, and wouldn't let this signal go as it was ringing up $0.25/$0.10 on my Ace 350. Silver maybe?
About a foot down I pulled out this heavy piece of metal. Saw the flat side first and thought, damn. Then flipped it to see a design. After closer inspection it revealed writing, in reverse type! So it's a stamp or embosser of some time for a clock and watch maker named John Mecke. Last night's research found him in a Philadelphia directory from 1839 under silversmiths: Makers: 1839 Philadelphia Directory
See below pics. I reversed one for easier reading.
Anyone know for sure what this is? If not, I'll post on the What Is It forum. I may hit a jeweler later to ask someone there as well. Very nice design, in great shape too.
Full story and cleaned up pics of all our finds to come this week. I'm a tad tired from yesterday!
Aug 06, 2012 07:14 AM
Aug 06, 2012, 07:30 AM
That is an awesome piece of history. I am guessing stamp but could be embosser as you stated. Either way that is the type of find that really trips my trigger. I like coins but that is the type of find that makes me wish I could go back in time and walk into his shop. Looks like Dave at First Texas would get to work making one of those time machines for us and we would not have to go around digging all the time.
Aug 06, 2012, 07:38 AM
Thx TNGUNS. I agree... this is exactly why I love this hobby. Not only do you never know what you may find, when you find something like this it transports you to another time and place, and turns you into a detective of sorts as you being your journey to ID. I'd love to find the family of John Mecke, but that'll be round two of my discovery.
Aug 06, 2012, 07:39 AM
Aug 06, 2012, 08:53 AM
Originally Posted by granthansen
Very cool. Not all good finds are coins.
Aug 06, 2012, 09:27 AM
The thing that fascinates me the most is the craftsmanship of the time. Can you imagine what must have went into making clocks and watches. The engraving that was done by hand. Probably took many hours to make such a piece. The thought that you have the only one that ever existed and if a replacement was made it would be nearly impossible to replicate the first. Like I said I do love coins, but the unique stuff is the real find for me.
Aug 06, 2012, 09:35 AM
Ohhh Mt Holly
I live near there. I see I missed something, oh well, can't find it all!
Great find though
Aug 06, 2012, 12:10 PM
Not sure what you mean by embosser, but it is a stamp for probably stationery (paper), ie invoices or customer reciepts of work done.
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Aug 06, 2012, 12:36 PM
It is a wonderful find. It is something that would likely not be found in the far west where I live. My quess is that it may be a imprint plate for a newpaper advertisement. The holes in the surrounding metal of the stamp itself gives me belief it may be. Is it made of lead? I know this is a little different than the others have guessed at but, it does have that appearance to me. The engraving is superb sfter all these years. A great find.
Aug 06, 2012, 01:26 PM
Thanks Mr. Bond. I'm going to bring it to a jeweler in a bit in hopes they can help me identify. I'm not sure what metal it is to be honest! I'm hoping to find that out too, and perhaps get it professionally cleaned.
An imprint plate is a good guess! That gives me something else to search for.
Aug 06, 2012, 02:42 PM
I remember years ago I hunted the friends meeting house. I think it's on main street. I also hunted the old jail. I bet if you did it now they would arrest you. I did the hill or mount if you will, too.
Last edited by ticm; Aug 06, 2012 at 02:50 PM.
Aug 06, 2012, 03:36 PM
This might give you a idea of what your find was used for. It should be right up there next to the bronze bull.
BibliOdyssey: Watch-Paper Prints
Aug 06, 2012, 03:48 PM
This is a huge lead, thank you! I've been searching all day: watch maker's marks, clock maker's mark, hallmarks, etc. One time I got really excited because I saw an image that looked identical to my find -- and it WAS my find! Treasurenet is indexed fast by Google!
Aug 06, 2012, 03:51 PM
This article gives a good description of what they were used for: Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie: Watch Papers
Aug 06, 2012, 03:52 PM
tcim, we were on private property. I'm not ballsy enough to show up places unannounced
Aug 06, 2012, 04:04 PM
Been watching this thread and periodically searching for the best answer-way cool find and cool id RodgerDoger.
I'm close by Mt. Holly too-nice area to have permission to hunt. There are a few places near there I have on my list to check out.
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Aug 06, 2012, 04:05 PM
CANE FIELD BANDITS and IRON BRIGADE MEMBER
That is a fantastic find. Makes me a bit jealous, honestly. But it will look great in a display case. Would be even better to make a display with an original watch paper stamped with it, if it could be found. Of course, you could research the method and type of paper used, and ink it yourself and make a watch paper for the display.
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18th c. Engraved Silver Friendship Pendant
1722 Colonies Francoises French 9 Deniers Copper
"Le Bon Temps" Pocketwatch Winder
1774 Two Reales
1797 One Real
1831 Mexican Republic One Real
Four dateless Half Reales
1740, 1799, 1807, and 1811 Half Reales
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1847-O Seated Quarter with AU-50 details
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GS Eagle Button
.31 cal. Brass Bullet Mold
1873, 186?, and 18?? Shield Nickels
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1908-D Barber Dime
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Any relics, coins, or other items appearing in my finds signatures were found on PRIVATE PROPERTY with total consent and permission from the owners of said property.
Aug 06, 2012, 04:20 PM
Thanks guys. Tomorrow I'm going to reach out to the National Watch & Clock Museum. Yes, there is one! And it's in PA, where John Mecke is from. I'm hoping they can give me some more info, and maybe they'll want to display it, if it is indeed worthy. Luckily I wasn't dumb enough to take my cleaning further than gentle soap and water, though I was tempted!
Aug 06, 2012, 05:59 PM
Originally Posted by granthansen
Yeah like I said that was years ago times are different now.
Aug 06, 2012, 06:04 PM
Mr. granthanson you went deep and pulled something historical BANNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
About a foot down I pulled out this heavy piece of metal. Saw the flat side first and thought, damn. Then flipped it to see a design. After closer inspection it revealed writing, in reverse type! So it's a stamp or embosser of some time for a clock and watch maker named John Mecke. Last night's research found him in a Philadelphia directory from 1839 under silversmiths
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