Disappointing Brittain backsaw.

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by fred0325, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Hello all,

    It is very, very hard to use the words disappointing and Brittain in the same phrase, but I am afraid 'tis so. And on two counts as well.

    The first is really just a niggle in that the back has been scratched by this saw being a little too intimate with another at some stage in its recent career.

    The second is a little more noteworthy. When I saw the saw on Ebay there was no close-up of the medallion and so I assumed that I was going to get a lovely ornate one as those are the only type that I have seen. Instead I get a George and Dragon "warranted superior".

    Had I known that it had a W/S I would probably still have bid for it and I must admit that I paid very little for it as far as F. Brittain's go. Perhaps others asked the question and knew it whereas I didn't, hence the price. (And,of course the chavelled top horn as well).

    But, of course this raises the question:- "Why a W/S and not an ornate one.?

    Were the ornate ones earlier, later or contemporaneous with this W/S, and if contemporaneous with, was this a lesser quality saw? Simon I see puts this style of lettering around the 1860's which would be the earlier part of F's career, or was the lettering style used later on as well?

    Any ideas anyone?


    PS. I've just looked back through the threads and seen an image put on by Simon of this medallion. I had forgotten about it completely. But he didn't address the date question, if it is possible to address it.

    Attached Files:

  2. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

    Since its reputed that F Brittain took over SS Brittain, and Simon has said S S Brittain always used the George & Dragon medallion (it was the St George's Works after all), your saw might be an early F Brittain example,
    or maybe not, (as the S S Brittain line seems to have continued).
    Hope that helps.
  3. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Thanks for the reply Kiwi,

    F. Brittain took over Samuel Swann in 1868 and in 1876 is recorded at the St George works whereas Samuel Swann was there from 1841.

    But, on all the (back)saws that are pictured here, there is a swan on the back and which I assume rightly or wrongly when on F's saws will be a reference to a time after he took over Samuel's company, i.e. post 1868.

    Does this hold water,or did F. use the swan logo independently of Samuel. I realise that this is probably unanswerable, but it is something that has puzzled me. And I don't think that it adds anything to any putative timeline re medallion use either unfortunately.

  4. lui

    lui Most Valued Member

    Hi Fred,

    Your saw is lacking the latin moto " NEPLUSULTRA", compared to mine and some others I've seen.

    Two posibilities spring to mind.

    1. It's an early saw at the beginning of the F. Brittain saw makeing, prior to the moto being introduced. This would also explain the G&D medallion, left over from the days of SS prior to the patterned medallions.

    2. It's a second line saw, not worthy of the moto or the fancy style medallion. Looking at the saw it doesn't stand out as inferior, infact it's a good looking saw.

    The real question is, did SS Brittain use the moto? I don't have an SS Brittain saw, so can't answer that one.