Existing horological reference sources were muddled on Gout. My Third Edition Baillie refers only to Ralph, with the dates 1770-1836. Loomes (First Edition) added David Ralph 1832-57 and Ralph (?II) 1863. Britten’s included Ralph 1858-67. Most of the watches I was able to trace – usually signed Ralph Gout, London – appeared to stem from dates after Ralph’s death in 1828.
Ralph was an innovator. He didn’t just make easily saleable watches for the English market. He experimented with dual-functionality, took out relevant patents and created beautifully cased timepieces for the Ottoman market. In so doing he found himself made bankrupt, but he also established a fine reputation for quality in Turkey. As a result, his name on watches, made after his own lifetime by his son and an associate, guaranteed their marketability in Constantinople and Smyrna. Thus, a brand was established that was so powerful that even a name of the stature of Frodsham was found to be ‘borrowing’ it illicitly!
This is the verge, #21915: