D(ewsnap?) & S(on?) (manufacturers)

(Trade catalogue of teapots, coffee pots, candlesticks, cruets, etc.)

(No publication details, but Sheffield? c.1820?).

Reference: 04039
Price: £3 [convert currency]

Full Description

4to. 37 engr plates (2 double-page). With a printed price list, captioned “A list of the prices of tin patty pans, scollop shells, tart pans, and tin plates”. Original paper wrappers, rebacked with paper spine. The catalogue is priced throughout in ink in a contemporary hand, and there is an explanatory note in ink on the verso of the upper cover. A good copy, preserved in a cloth box.

A pleasing copy, in fresh and clean condition, of an exceptionally rare English trade catalogue issued c.1820 (?) by a manufacturer of tea urns, teapots, coffee pots, candlesticks and kitchen utensils. It provides careful outline engraved illustrations showing the shapes and ornamentation of numerous types of teapot and coffee pot, with the different prices for different sizes added by hand in ink. Other plates show candlesticks, cruets, ladles, other cutlery, and “Britannia Metal boxes, the same price japan’d as natural colour”. A note in French in ink inside the front cover makes it clear that all these objects were produced in white metal, i.e. in pewter or in so-called “Britannia metal”, and an accompanying printed price list shows that this manufacturer also supplied metal cake tins, baking tins, and plates. We have not seen any trade catalogue of this date in which the predominant items illustrated are teapots and coffee pots, and the extreme rarity of such catalogues in public collections has gravely impeded scholarly research into questions of dating and manufacture. Although the engraved initials D & S at the bottom right-hand corner of many of the plates must denote the manufacturer originally concerned, it is interesting that the note in French inside the front cover identifies this catalogue as “Livre 63090 W & L”, suggesting that another firm, W. & L., had either taken over the D. & S. business or were acting as D. & S.’s European agents. Pigot’s Commercial Directory for the year 1816/7 has an entry for John Dewsnap and Son, Arundel Street, Sheffield, “silver and plated manufacturers”, and although there can be no absolute certainty that the D. & S. business is to be equated with these Sheffield manufacturers, the identification seems plausible. If it is correct, this would be an important step forward in identifying the products of a forgotten but evidently significant Sheffield manufacturing firm of the period.

Leave a comment