Andy is coming here tomorrow for a chat - but he will be bringing a mutual friend with him so due to the covid situation it's best not to crowd my tiny flat too much... However, we could arrange for you to visit in the not too distant future when Andy could also be here. The meeting up could be referred to as The Bristol Babbers Ride Again.Wow - now..err seeing as I'm a mate of Andy T's and I live in Bristol..... any chance of a face to face meet with this treasure in the future? Covid situation not withstanding. Actually I can think of another woodworker who is a friend of Andy's also in Bristol that would definitely want to see this.
Wow, what a piece of beauty, thanks for sharing and i will be ordering this tomorrow, thanks again2 years 9 months and 43 days ago (I'm good with numbers) I was lucky enough to be the winning bidder on this remarkable tool chest and on the day of its arrival at my home I decided to open the chest (for the very first time) with one hand whilst holding
a video camera in the other; very nearly a big mistake because what I saw almost made me drop the
camera! The sunlight coming through my living room window was shining directly on the gorgeous
marquetry work of the inside of the lid and the tills revealing all the colours of the veneer work in
all of their beauty. I felt like I’d just opened a treasure chest!
I’d bought what proved to be a unique piece of workmanship, and furthermore, it contained a time
capsule of tradesman’s tools from Victorian times. This is the story of what has come to be known as
“The Warrington Chest” and the people behind it... I love it!
The tool chest was made by Ernest Warrington a young 18-year-old Sheffield foundry patternmaker in 1888. The chest was placed in storage in 1955 but was now being sold complete with all of the original maker's tools and realising its historical importance I managed to beg and borrow enough money to buy it - auction lots of chests and tools are often bought by someone who breaks them up to sell on eBay, and I was determined that this remarkably important find was not going to suffer the same fate.
Because of the obvious historical importance of the chest and the Warrington family tools within (think Seaton chest but 19th rather than 18th century) it seemed essential to me that everything should be recorded in a book. I contacted my friend, Andy Tuckwell, a fellow TATHS member, and antique woodworking tools enthusiast, and over the next few months, we were able to gather together a wonderful team of co-authors and contributors, and together after many hundreds of hours of painstaking research we finally came up with the book and it's now been published by the Trades & Tools Historical Society.
The list of co-authors and contributors below reads like a who's who in the list of woodworking and antique tools enthusiasts, and all of them did it just for the love.
My thanks and gratitude go to Andy Tuckwell, Hugh Thompson (research and writing) Nick White (technical drawings) Jack Metcalfe (marquetry work) Simon Barley (Sheffields 19th-century industrial history) Jane Rees (editor), and Derek Jones (proofreading).
You might all say, okay, so you got a book, but what are you telling me for? Answer: I'm telling you because I want you all to help spread the word about the book - and to dig deep into your grubby little pockets and buy the book!! Big Grin!
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As I haven't been out anywhere except to have my two covid vaccinations, it might be quicker if the North came to me. Grin!Perhaps you could bring it up north sometime perhaps to the harrogate woodworking show??
Must buy the book.
A tool chest is Defo on my to do list next winter!
Hi, Danny, many thanks for your comment, my friend. I rather like that tool chest of yours and I agree with you that it's a patternmakers tool chest. Interestingly, a friend of mine who is involved with the Hawley museum was at my home only yesterday.Wonderful -- look forward to reading -- I often go back to the Seaton book.
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Here's a pattern-maker's chest, owned by me, which I believe to be mid 20th century -- unfortunately doesn't have the provenance of yours or Seaton, but certainly a very carefully fitted chest of traditional style (which apprentices made up to at least mid-1970s - I briefly had one from a Tech Coll/Clay Cross foundry apprentice of 1976, who unfortunately switched trades - not a masterpiece, but same style - made at college).
This one I bought at low price from a seller who 'believed it to be from a Sheffield worker', didn't know about trade. But it has all the marks of a patternmakers, with several layers of carefully fitted trays. As confirmation it has an owner-made pattern-makers style interchangeable sole plane with a set of blades of different radii and soles to match. Unfortunately this was the only tool left, apart from a fine square and a couple of other items.
(the plough or filletster to the side is not from the box - anyone got a spare Matthieson boxwood 'nut' for the arm?)
The tools wouldn't be original, but I'm tempted to start refilling the fitted spaces in this box - maybe with tools from a couple of Sheffield makers of the right era - hopefully some future museum (being a Sheffielder I do donate some rarities to the Hawley Trust collection), wouldn't think they were original - would have to write on a message to that effect.
if it was SB, give him my best regardsHi, Danny, many thanks for your comment, my friend. I rather like that tool chest of yours and I agree with you that it's a patternmakers tool chest. Interestingly, a friend of mine who is involved with the Hawley museum was at my home only yesterday.