Boulsover & Co

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by David, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. David

    David Most Valued Member

    A few years ago I bought a Boulsover saw blade in an outdoor box lot at a Pennsylvania auction. It had a modern handle on it, which I removed and threw away. My friend Ted, who has many wonderful early saws, also has a Boulsover hand saw and let me take pictures of his handle to copy. I cut my new handle out, adding the horn that was missing from Ted's example, and did some shaping (I still have more shaping to trim down that top horn). I believe I mentioned the find in a post here, at the time, and Mari expressed interest in seeing it when I was done. Well, I'm not done yet with its split nuts and finish, but it's a good time to show it. On this saw the "Boulsover & Co" stamp is surmounted by three crowns. Since Boulsover only made saws from 1760 to a bit past 1774, his saws may be among the earliest examples with three crowns stamped on their blade. It is shown below in two pictures, one of the whole saw and one of the stamp. The third image, of the dark handle, is Ted's saw that I was copying.

    More recently I saw a "French Saw" advertised on that internet auction place. It was immediately clear to me, as it would have been to you all, that the lister had some wrong information. I looked closely at the excellent photos on the listing and could not see a name stamped on the spine, but since this was such a lovely 18c English backsaw I bid on it anyway. I had a momentary thought that it might have a stamp on the blade, but, then, I never have that luck.

    When it arrived I was happy to change my tune about my luck. It was die stamped on the blade "Boulsover & Co" and had three unusual stamps surrounding the name. They look, perhaps, like eyeglasses, or like a cartoon drawing of eyes with long eyebrows. And since Sheffield backsaws with die stamped blades are like the well-known hens teeth, this is a rare saw indeed. It's shown in three images below, a full view, a handle image, and the die stamp.

    By the way, Simon tells us that in Sheffield they pronounce his name "Bowzer".

    boulsover saw full.jpeg Boulsover.jpeg Boulsove saw die stamp.jpeg Boulsover & Co.full.jpeg Boulsover & Co handle.jpeg Boulsover back saw die stamp.jpeg
    Underthedirt and shoarthing like this.
  2. shoarthing

    shoarthing Member

    Such handsome saws . . . . . thank you for sharing.

    Even tho' from a non-icon Age; that stamp on your "French" saw seems likely to me to represent spectacles. Remarkable to have a physical link to such an extraordinarily influential Sheffield figure.
  3. Joe S

    Joe S Most Valued Member

    Certainly couldn't call this "Bowzer" a dog. Magnificent early saw. It would make sense that early Sheffield saws might have stamps on plates as did the early Birmingham makers. Nice find and enjoy!
    Joe S.
    David likes this.
  4. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member


    These are two absolutely cracking saws! Thanks for sharing these beauties.
    Amazing to see such early survivors & good to see that they are in good hands.
    I'm loving that reclining ampersand on your stamped plate, antique saws don't get better than these.