Thursday, March 15, 2007

Treasure Hunt

I'm beginning to wish I'd never bitten off this combination plane thing; it's proving hard to chew and chances of swallowing it without a helpful slap on the back are remote. But I'm plugging on. Could turn into a multiple-parter for my own sanity...

Anyway, a break seemed called for but as I'm sure you're all worried enough as it is about my recent Normite slide I'll just tell you about the wooden moulders. Somewhere in the US of A there now resides a dinky profiled moulding plane made by Peter Madox some time between 1748-1775 and now back in use as I understand. Meanwhile somewhere in Cornwall are the 10 other moulders that came with it doing not a lot, but finally I got round to looking at them more closely.

Nothing as old as the Madox (I picked the plum out first shot) but interesting none the less, although the further interesting small furniture-sized mouldings I was hoping for to also wing their way across The Pond were a no show. Heigh ho.

One that I like and collectors wouldn't is the user-made hollow in oak. It's very nicely done and the proud maker has stamped his name on it numerous times to show he was as pleased by it as I am.

Next out of the box was a 3/8" side bead, marks somewhat obliterated but the goat's head trademark just faintly visible gave the clue to the not-quite-legible maker's name - Cox, Luckman & Son, Birmingham. Judging by the information in British Planemakers the dates can tentatively be narrowed down to 1883-1914. Nice; haven't got one of their's before and I sorta collect tools with animal trademarks.

What's next? Ah, a #18 round and an easy one; Sims, Queen St, Westminster, London. In theory Joseph Sims only made planes for about 20 years between 1814 and 1834. In practice they must have been good ones because the name held sufficient caché to be used by subsequent makers including Atkin & Sons of Birmingham so they're as common as muck. Possibly Birmingham again though; that's interesting.

So now we have, what's that say? W Parkes "Warranted", #12 hollow. Another Birmingham maker, common and a huge possible date range of 1815-1921. I'm betting more the latter...

Now what's this? Another side bead, but joy, an almost local connection - Thomas White, Union Street, Plymouth. BPMs says 1883-1919, I say I sorta collect locally made planes (well locally sold anyway; not many (any?) makers round here) Missing some boxing though, so I'll have to look into that.

And another dealer next - a useful 1 3/8" skew rebate stamped R T Smith & Co, Whitchurch. But which Whitchurch? BPMs says Castle Hill around 1868-1885 give or take either way. Multimap says Shropshire. Cool; a new one on me.

Rather more prosaic, a hollow from the frequently-found Moseley & Son, London. I'll have to double-check that mark but if it's exactly what I've written down then that's 1819-1830. Different permutations and addresses alter the likely date accordingly. Very detailed info on them really.

Sigh, gets worse. Marples 5/8" ovolo with a decal almost all present on the side. Bit boring. Can it get worse?

Yes. Greenslade 3/8" side bead. Ack. As BPMs puts it "NU" or "Numerous". I may have one already myself!

FInally... Oh poo, #2 of a pair of ogee sash planes. One of these days I'm going to have to try turning a sash plane into something a bit more useful. The mark's a puzzler though. Appears to be Bullen Bros. but I'm coming up empty-handed. Hmm. Does the sort of half a sunburst pattern on the side mean anything? Who knows. Tsk, knew I was doing too well at the identification; this'll keep me guessing for a while.

So there we are. Nothing to set the world alight but it kept me out of mischief for a while. The odds of a group of wooden planes in England containing only one known Sheffield-made one must be pretty high though; wonder what the story was behind them? And of course I've sorta added to two of my sorta collections...

1 comment:

  1. Now that is a money shot if I ever saw one. Great picture of the molders, Alf!

    And yep, somewhere...that Madox resides. It just feels so right. Love it. Got the first piece started for which it will do some of the molding.

    Take care, Mike


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