Groves and Sons LONDON

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by Joe S, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. ray

    ray Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Rog,

    Do you have any scans of the inside of that Groves catalog?

  2. Joe S

    Joe S Most Valued Member

    Neat saw but very cool Catalogue

    Hey Roger
    Nice looking saw. I am sorry I missed the TOTT show, first time in a very long time. WIA called. As Ray said, it would be very interesting to see what was inside the catalog. I loved the little word game they used on the front of the catalog. "Of all the saws I ever saw saw I never saw a saw saw as this saw saws".
    Joe S
  3. pmcgee

    pmcgee Most Valued Member

    I have been reading "Early Planemakers of London" - Don&Anne Wing.

    On page 27 it shows moulding planes from early 1700s that have user initials stamped, with a crown above each initial - presumably part of the letter stamp.

    They look like the \'USE'\ crown - although I had previously taken that to be maybe a trident shape.

    It says "Crowned initials can be found on 18thC objects ranging from edge tools made in Sheffield to wooden planes to pewter plates like this one by Robert Nicholson, who apprenticed in the Pewterers Company in 1680."

    And yet the \'USE'\ symbol doesn't come up until 1850?60?xx???? right?

    An appeal to nostalgia/tradition??

  4. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Groves & Son

    Coming to this thread long after it started, I can add a bit which I hope it helpful.

    The original Groves/London saw looks pretty early to me - handle, screws and style of ampersand suggest (not long) pre-1830, I think. The puzzle is the word London; its use was indeed at first (and much later also) an attempt to suggest quality, and is sometimes short for Warranted London Spring, which was the top quality, better than simple Cast Steel. The (not many) Sheffield-made saws of this and earlier dates with London (and not Sheffield) on them have London and the maker's name widely separated, confirming it as quality mark. The style here, of maker/London bang together is new to me. What is absolutely clear is that Groves never ever made saws in London, even though later they had a London office address, and an agency address in Glasgow in the 1850s.

    The WRGroves and Son saw has indications of a make around 1850, maybe a bit before. It's also a new style to me, and I think it's significant that it's posted from Canada: I think the mark is an export one, and is different from the ones we've seen in UK (Taylor Bros and others did the same for export models). There were certainly William Richard Groves-es in more than one generation, but I think the actual choice of the words on the mark does not necessarily mean that when it was made there was a WRGroves and a Son at work (again, others did that sort of fictionizing on export models). Likewise the crown + WRG in place of Groves' usual chamberstick+USE is suggestive of an export line. One Groves medallion I've seen has Beehive Works on it - the only one of dozens of Groves saws, and it was acquired from the USA.

    The word USE defies meaning! With the addition of the chamberstick it is a throwback to the 18th century style of the marks that Sheffield cutlers put on their products (for examples see the 1787 trades directory, which is fairly widely available, I think).
  5. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Groves and Sons

    The picture and "old saw" is from the only catalogue known to me, dated 1915 and in the Hawley Tool Collection at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield (copyright, so I'm not in a position to put the rest of it up - SORRY!). The contents are not very different to other makers of the same sort of date - eg the Spear and Jackson one in The Handsaw Catalog collection (Astragal press).
  6. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Groves and Son London

    I've kindly been sent more information by the family member working on the genealogy; he says this:
    William Richard was quite distinct from Williams snr and jnr.
    Samuel would have completed his apprenticeship in the 1840s and the only William Richard Groves in the 1849 trade listings appeared as “sawsmithâ€￾ at 222 Allen Street (the family home). By 1851 William Richard and Samuel were saw manufacturers but it is more than likely any collaboration would have ended in the 1850s, as I think that by early 1858 both had died within a year of each other.

    Does that clarify?? Let's hope so.