W R Groves & Son back saw

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by rob1713, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. rob1713

    rob1713 Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    I spotted this saw today amongst some tools for sale, judging by the narrow depth of plate, it's had a hard working life but I thought it is a Groves and it was cheap.
    Once I got home to have a better look at it I noticed that it is marked W R Groves rather than R Groves.
    I looked it up in BS&SM and found that it might be a bit of a rarity ( or it was when Simon wrote his book) with the only other known example being recorded in Canada. One line of thought suggests that saws marked like this one were produced for export.
    Mine was found in East Sussex so it's either returned home or it was sold here back in the 1860's ish.
    I'm going to have to keep looking for an affordable usable Groves tenon saw as this one deserves a gentle retirement.
     

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  2. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,060
    Hi Rob.

    There is another W.R. Groves on this site, but that also comes from Canada.

    http://www.backsaw.net/forum/index.php?threads/groves-and-sons-london.36/

    The sections on W.R. Groves start at post no.9 and may be well worth a read, as is the start of the thread.

    Fred

    Edit. I cannot see if there is a crown on your saw, but on the WRG post referred to, it is interesting to note that the full crown is present on the back and not the candlestick/abbreviated crown. The style of the rest of the mark is remarkably similar to the R Groves mark of the same era, but the full crown should set it apart from the R Groves firm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  3. rob1713

    rob1713 Active Member

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    Thanks for that Fred, I did look at this thread and I think that is the same Canadian saw that Simon used for an example in BS&SM.
    There is a faint trace of what may be a crown on my saw which I have pictured below, it seems to be completely different in style to the Canadian sawa D there is no trace of the letters WRG.
    Mine also differs in the fact that it is only stamped 'silver steel' rather than 'cast steel' 'warranted' not 'warranted good' which I assume means it is a slightly inferior quality steel.
     

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  4. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,060
    Hi Rob,

    It is fascinating that there is only one crown on your saw, and offset from the middle at that. I would normally expect one central crown or another two to complement your offset one. It is perhaps an attempt to place it in the position that the candlestick is on R Groves saws, but for some reason without success.

    It is also, perhaps, not too good an idea to take too seriously the wording of some "quality" marks on saws of this era. They were more marketing ploys than they were indicators of quality. I am not sure that "Silver Steel" i.e. steel with a small addition of silver, ever existed in mass produced saws, although if it had existed, it would probably denote a better quality than "Cast Steel" only.

    If you look on page 9 of BSSM, the pricing indicates the quality of steel that the saw was made from. There is definitely a hierarchy of steels here, but it must be noted that these were quite early saws, made in a different era to yours. There is a shorter list taken from a Tyzack catalogue on p.62 which is a lot nearer to the time that your saw was made. Again there is a hierarchy reflected by price and covering most of the stamped types found on saws at the time.

    If you read from the last paragraph on p.64 of BSSM to the end of the second paragraph on p.66, this explains it a lot better than I can and you can consequently ignore everything that I have written.

    Fred
     
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  5. rob1713

    rob1713 Active Member

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    Thanks again Fred, it seems that as more of these saws turn up we will find more odd adornments to what we thought were standard markings.
    This is the second Groves saw with an odd marking I have come across recently as I found a Groves rip saw with a star stamped on the plate which I posted earlier this month.