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Is this a Mathieson plane - update

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Flartybarty

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Update - I still don't know who made the plane but you may find the following interesting. (For original listing - see a few postings below).

Under the frog were two folded up bits of newspaper. One disintegrated completely but I was able to unfold the other.

Enter the Internet.

The paper was evidently part of an advertising sheet and advertised two books. One was "Emerson in Concord" (Concord being in Massachusetts) and the other was "Dry fly fishing in theory and practice" by Frederick Halford (1844-1914) (Special edition, 109 copies printed). I checked up both. The first book was by Edward Waldo Emerson (1844-1930) who was a physician and wrote this book in 1888. Halford's book was printed in 1889 with subsequent editions in 1899 and 1902. In fact, this book was last printed this very year as a print-on-demand book.
The publisher is stated as "Sampson Low, Marston ...." (the rest is gone). Sampson Low (1797–1886) was a bookseller and stationer from 1819. Edward Marston, Samuel Warren Searle, William John Rivington, and Marston's son Robert Marston became partners in 1856, 1872, and 1883. The advert was for "New Books" so the last date roughly coincides with the publication of the books.

The plane itself uses the Bailey frog and yoke. This was introduced after 1869 but the screw and fork arrangement for cutter adjustment was widely copied so this is not necessarily an actual Bailey frog, particularlu as the base is dead flat and the overall appearance is somewhat clumsy and definitely over-engineered. Furthermore, a Stanley cap iron has to have the lower slot filed open a bit more to accommodate the securing screw. Also the lateral adjustment lever is not present - this did not appear until about 1888.

So putting two and two together, I think this plane dates from 1887/1890 when all the premier infill planemakers were at their most productive. An OEM frog was obtained and fitted to a DIY body purchased from one of the many planemakers of the time. I have a suitable blade and cap iron and will now source an early Stanley lever cap to return this old soldier to duty once more.

Of course the newspaper fragment could have come from any old paper and the plane was modified last year :D

Sorry for the history lesson but it was surprising fun to dig out the info.
 

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AndyT

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Brilliant!

I'd been meaning to look again at the frog and see if it was dateable. Your dates do all fit together nicely.

I am well aware that my knowledge of planes like yours is sketchy and that there are dealers and collectors who would be more certain but I've seen that moulding round the toe somewhere else. I think it's rather nice and presumably distinctive to one maker.
 

Flartybarty

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Andy - I'm inclined to continue to think it is indeed a Mathieson plane given where it was bought and the other planes that came with it. It is in need of some TLC - if it were otherwise (i.e. in perfect nick) I would not be so sure that it was sourced at or near its original home. If you see what I mean. It's all circumstantial so without either a mark or an entry in a catalogue somewhere, there's no way to be absolutely certain. AFAIK there's no definitive work on Mathieson planes or the business in general - just bits and pieces here and there. In fact, the same could be said for infill planes in general. Brunners book is useful but it's primarily an auctioneers guide and doesn't go into great depth.
 

Jarno

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I saw that, and figured it went unnoticed, that was a mistake :D
In the last ten seconds it jumped from about 30GBP to 77GBP, I think I went up to 42GBP or so.
 

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