Some Birmingham Information and Advertisements

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:05 am

THOMAS EDGE

Snow Hill, Birmingham.

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Thomas Edge - Birmingham - 1846

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:44 am

JOHN BALLENY

43 & 44, St Paul's Square, Birmingham.

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John Balleny - Birmingham - 1858

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John Balleny - Birmingham - 1863

John Balleny entered his mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 18th January 1865. As can be see above, John Balleny was formerly one of the staff at Elkingtons.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:54 am

BOLAND, PAYN, & BOLAND

19, Hall Street, Birmingham.

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Boland, Payn, & Boland - Birmingham - 1863

William Boland, Henry Payn, and Richard Boland, entered their mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 9th February 1857, from an address at 44, Hockley Street, Birmingham.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:03 am

JOHN FRANCIS

5, Augusta Street, Birmingham.

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John Francis - Birmingham - 1861

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:10 am

GEORGE OLIVER

24, Summer Row, Birmingham.

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George Oliver - Birmingham - 1863

As can be seen, George Oliver was formerly with Elkington, Mason & Co.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:38 am

JOSEPH HOWES

13, 14, 15, Dean Street, Birmingham

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Joseph Howes - Birmingham - 1861

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:43 am

M.L. JACOB

68, Caroline Street, and, 1, Regent Place, Birmingham.

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M L Jacob - Birmingham - 1861

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:01 am

JAMES COLLINS & SON

Cook Street. 23, Suffolk Street. 75, Newhall Street. 57, Frederick Street, Birmingham.

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James Collins & Son - Birmingham - 1863

James Collins entered his first mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 3rd October 1816 from an address at Cook Street, Birmingham. He later moved to Suffolk Street, and in 1830 he moved to Newhall Street. The move to Frederick Street occured c. 1835.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:38 am

BETTS, FAIRFAX & Co.

2, Richard Street, Spencer Street, Birmingham

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Betts, Fairfax & Co. - Birmingham - 1858

Thomas Lilly Betts and Charles Hobson Fairfax entered their 'B & F' mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 5th January 1854 as Goldsmiths.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:02 pm

JOHN NICHOLLS

81, Spencer Street, Caroline Street, Birmingham

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John Nicholls - Birmingham - 1858

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards

Postby dognose » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:49 am

WHITE & HAWKINS

95, Albion Street, later, 15-16, Legge Lane, Birmingham

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White & Hawkins - Birmingham - 1858

Dissolution of Partnership
White & Hawkins, 15 and 16, Legge Lane, Birmingham, Silver- smiths and Electro-Plate Workers. April 10, as regards Charles Henry White. Debts by Francis Henry Hawkins, who continues in his own name.


Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 5th May 1885

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:28 pm

CHARLES BAKER

6, Regent Parade, Caroline Street, Birmingham

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Charles Baker - Birmingham - 1858

Charles Baker entered his mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 26th February 1857.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:21 am

ALFRED BROWETT

14, Dean Street, Birmingham

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Alfred Browett - Birmingham - 1878

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Most sources have the year 1855 for the start of Alfred Browett's firm, but the above advertisement states that they were established in 1830.

This business was later to become Browett, Ashberry, & Co., a partnership between Alfred Browett and Wilford Ashberry. Again, most sources have this business as starting in 1897, but they were established much earlier, as can be seen in the below notice that appeared in The London Gazette:

Notice is hearby given, that the partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Alfred Browett and Wilford Haukrigg Ashberry, carrying on business together in copartnership as Silver Electro Plate and Britannia Metal Manufacturers, at Dean Street, in the city of Birmingham, under the style or firm of Browett, Ashberry, & Co., has been dissolved by mutual consent, as from the 23rd day of December, 1892. All debts due to and owing by the said firm will be received and paid by the said Alfred Browett, who will henceforth carry on the said business. - Dated this 12th day of January, 1893.

Alfred Browett
Wilford H. Ashberry


Source: The London Gazete - 17th January 1893

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Under the name Siderophron (heart of iron), Mr. Alfred Browett, electro-plate manufacturer, of 14, Dean Street, Birmingham, has introduced a new line of spoons and forks, which will, no doubt, largely supersede the common plated brass goods, being a much superior article at the same price. Siderophron spoons and forks have, as their name indicates, a heart of iron–that is, they are formed of tempered steel blanks, which are thickly cased with molten Britannia metal, and finally electro silver-plated. Great strength and lightness are thus attained, while they have all the lustre, finish, and ring of sterling silver. A further advantage is, that they wear always white as long as they are in existence, and their chief constituent, Britannia metal, being anti-corrosive, and one of the most harmless of metals, they never become injurious, even when used with acids. They are made in the usual antique, fiddle, and old-English threaded and beaded patterns. We can say, without hesitation, that they are the nicest goods we have ever seen at such a price.

Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 5th October 1881


See: http://www.925-1000.com/silverplate_B3.html

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:54 am

HOWES & BROWETT

14, Dean Street, Birmingham

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The above 1870 directory listing notes the partnership of Joseph Howes and Alfred Browett. This must be the path Browett took to acquire the Dean Street works (see above post, 'Alfred Browett'). Joseph Howes had been in business there since at least 1861, as can be seen from the below advertisement:

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Joseph Howes - Birmingham - 1861

Sometime between 1861 and 1870 a partnership was formed between Howes and Browett, and then dissolved in May 1870, as can be seen by the below announcement:

Take notice, that the partnership lately subsisting between us the undersigned, Joseph Howes and Alfred Browett, in the trade of Manufacturers of German Silver and Britannia Metal Goods, and Electro Plate Wares, and carried on by us at Dean Street, Birmingham, in the county of Warwick, under the style of Howes and Browett, has this day been mutually dissolved. The said trade will henceforth be carried out by the said Alfred Browett alone, who will receive and pay all debts and liabilities. - Dated this 26th day of May 1870.

Joseph Howes
Alfred Browett


Source: The London Gazette - 10th June 1870

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:39 pm

MILLS & WILKES

167, Hockley Hill, Birmingham

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Mills & Wilkes - Birmingham - 1858

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby Hortog » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:53 pm

I am related to Collins the Silversmith. James Collins was my great great great grandfather. I would love to hear more about him.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:07 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

Hopefully someone may post some more information regarding James Collins. Do you have any images, paperwork, family history, anything, that you can add to this thread?

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:22 am

THOMAS ASTON & SON

12, Regent Place, Caroline Street, Birmingham

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Thomas Aston & Son - Birmingham - 1858

Thomas Aston entered his first mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 7th April 1841.

They were exhibitors at the International Exhibition in 1862.

The business was succeeded by Henry Hyde Aston.

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:26 am

T. & J. BRAGG

18, Vittoria Street, Regent Place, Birmingham

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T & J Bragg - Birmingham - 1858

Thomas and John Bragg entered their mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 20th January 1853.

This important firm of Jewellers, T & J Bragg was established c.1811 by Thomas Perry Bragg, from premises in Northwood Street, Birmingham. The move to Vittoria Street occured c.1850, and control of the business passed to the founder's sons, Thomas and John, following their father's retirement in 1852.

John Bragg retired in 1877 and the firm was continued by the partnership of Thomas Bragg, Joseph Henry Wilkinson, Joseph William Tonks, and John Frederick Bolton. Thomas Bragg died, aged 60 years, on the 7th October 1879, and both Wilkinson and Bolton retired in 1882, with Joseph Tonks continuing as sole owner. John Bragg died, aged 77 years, on the 22nd June 1898.

Joseph Tonks died in 1921. He was born at Birmingham in 1841 and studied at the Birmingham School of Art from 1854 until 1863, he spent ten years in the drawing and modelling department at Elkington & Co., and was employed by T & J Bragg as a designer as from 1866.

In 1916 the firm was absorbed into Fattorini & Sons of Bradford, Birmingham, and London. T & J Bragg were noted as exhibitors at the International Exhibition of 1862, and the International Health Exhibition of 1884.

Further information regarding the firm of T & J Bragg can be found in John Culme's 'The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellers & Allied Trades 1838-1914'


THE JEWELLERY OF MESSRS. THOMAS AND JOHN BRAGG, BIRMINGHAM.

Messrs. T. and J. Bragg, of Birmingham, whose works in Jewellery always command attention wherever they are seen, both from the purity and beauty of their designs and the excellence of the workmanship, are among the most successful of our British Art-Manufacturers in the precious metals. Having a short time back paid a passing visit to their works, we were much struck with the beauty of the various processes which were shown to us, and with the marvellous and intricate nicety of the means employed to perfect the marvels of Art which they produce. We shall not here attempt a word of description of the processes adopted, or of the progress of any special piece of work, from the rough bar of metal to the finished brooch or diadem– tempting though the subject is in every phase–but content ourselves with a few brief lines upon the great advance which Birmingham has of late years made in the Art of Jewellery, and revert to the subject at some future time, so as to speak more in detail of some special Art-productions of this renowned firm.

The noting of the rise and progress of a great industry is one of the most interesting pursuits which can engage the attention of the thoughtful observer; and in no case is this more apparent than in that of the Jewellery trade of Birmingham. From a few score persons who, in the beginning of the present century were, in this "Hardware village" of the Midland Counties engaged in the manufacture of the simplest articles of Jewellery, most of them inexpensive and many of them mere shams, to the eight or nine thousand men, and upwards of a thousand women, now engaged in a trade as various as it is important ; which supplies every quarter of the civilized and uncivilized world with articles of personal ornament, and ministers to the tastes of every grade of society in this country; the change is one of those miracles of which only the nineteenth century can furnish examples. From being what it has long had credit for–the toy-shop of the world–Birmingham has risen to be the largest producing centre of Jewellery of every kind which exists in any nation. It has also become what it has not yet had credit for–the seat of the Goldsmith's Art, and the source from which fashionable London, and the great colonial capitals of our empire obtain their choicest articles of personal ornament. How it has become so may be best told by giving a short account of one of its Jewellery establishments, as the progress of one will give a key to the progress of all; and we have chosen the house which, from its age, as well as from its endeavours to apply Art to this manufacture, has worthily obtained the first place.

In the year 1811, Mr. Thomas Perry Bragg, then a young man. having just attained his majority, commenced business in a small way as a Jeweller. The ideas of what such things as Jewels were in those days must necessarily have been restricted. The brooch, as any of our grandmothers who possess such relics can easily prove to us, was simply a kind of oblong frame, generally set with pearls or garnets, in the centre of which was a plait of the hair of the donor, or of some dear friend, or a miniature likeness painted on ivory or other substance. In process of time the centre became an amethyst, a topaz, or some like stone of colour and brilliancy, set in a narrow mount, of which the gold bore generally but a small proportion to the alloy. Afterwards this was improved upon by brooches of the tube character, very similar to those Scandinavian fibulae which have since become so well known as "Norwegian Jewellery." As with the brooch so with the bracelet. A number of onyx plates or carved pieces of jet, cornelian, or agate, set in frames, or linked together, as Italian Jewellers now mount lava cameos and mosaics; this was sufficient for the majority of the ladies of that period. Earrings were simply carved coral, jet, or other drops, with gold attachments; and gentlemen's scarf pins were grotesque satires upon the heads of animals, dignified with the name of carving, and mounted in common gold.

Such was the condition of Birmingham Jewellery at that period, and from which it began slowly but surely to emerge. Guided by a refined taste, and imbued with the true principles of Art, Mr. Bragg strove to raise the character of his work to a higher level, in preference to increasing the number of his employes; but, when after thirty years' devotion to his business he gave up the concern to his two sons, whose names are at the head of this notice, the development of its resources took place rapidly. The standard of the work was gradually raised, and from the love of art and of good taste which the two sons had cultivated, they were enabled to break through the limits of established custom, and to give a new style to Jewellery. The Exhibition of 1851, in which the firm for prudential reasons (occasioned by the jealousy of wholesale houses), was not directly represented, yet gave an opportunity of comparing English Jewellery with the best productions of foreign nations, and was not without its lessons. From that time the productions of the firm became more remarkable and its business more extensive. A new Art, that of enamelling on gold in various colours, began to be adopted, and many beautiful examples were the result. Messsrs. Bragg were not, however, satisfied with this. They knew that however much the presiding mind might direct the workman in a proper channel, unless the latter had some real art education, no design could be a complete success.

Acting therefore, upon this idea, they made it a rule that every apprentice to their business should receive such Art instruction; and, where the parents of the apprentice were unable to pay for his instruction, it was undertaken by the firm at its own expense. The results of this plan were soon both apparent and profitable. The workmen could not only understand drawings supplied to them, and work from them, but were able to render the true beauty of the lines of every design, and could also give it force and expression.

Another important step taken by the firm at this time was the appointment of a Professional Designer. Mr. J. J. Allen, from all we can learn, has the credit of being the first Artist ever employed in Birmingham in the Jewellery trade, in that capacity; while the Messrs. Bragg have the merit of leading the way in that important reform. As might naturally be expected, therefore, it was found at the Exhibition of 1862 that "Birmingham had achieved a great and unexpected triumph in good gold Jewellery;" and it was acknowledged by the Art Journal in that year (where several examples were engraved), that in this "triumph" "Messrs. Bragg certainly take the lead." Purity of line, and simplicity of form had taken the place of the meretricious placing of gaudy gems and the varieties of unnecessary scrolls which abounded in much Jewellery ot that time, and all the details were artistic and beautifully executed. The firm, in consequence, obtained the only Medal for English Jewellery awarded to a house out of London.

About this time the first Mayor's Chain of Office was made in Birmingham by this house, which has since manufactured many of the most important and elaborate badges of the large towns of the kingdom. M. Alexandre, a French Artist was then engaged as Designer, and was followed by Mr. J. W. Tonks, who now holds the position. In the Exhibition of 1872, the Birmingham Jewellers, for the prudential reasons before referred to, united in exhibiting, but without adding their names to the cases; so that none but those most familiar with the trade could distinguish the works of the different makers. But the Art Journal amply supplied this deficiency, so far as the Messrs. Bragg were concerned, by giving to them two pages (the only ones devoted to Birmingham Jewellery), showing the character and extent of their works. We there find illustrated a gold mounted album, of elaborate workmanship; a mayor's chain; a gold box for presentation of the freedom of a city; vinaigrettes; articles in diamonds and other gems; Egyptian and classic reproductions. A walk through the place, and a glance at the Books of Designs there, show the amazing scope and variety of which the Art of the Goldsmith and Jeweller is capable, and will prove how much has been done by one firm to remove from Birmingham the stigma as to the quality of its manufactures, under which it has so long laboured.

It is one of the popular fallacies of the day. that " Brummagem Jewellery" is a great sham, and that in it the grand old axjom "all is not gold that glitters," is fully exemplified. However true this may be of much that is made in Birmingham, it does not hold good with regard to Messrs. Bragg, who produce only the finest, the best, and the highest class of quality, and the most pure and artistic in design. It has been the fashion of late to advertise "Town-made Jewellery," or "London Jewellery," as the best produced, and to vaunt it as far beyond that made elsewhere, but by "peeping behind the scenes" we are enabled to state that nearly the whole of the "best town-made Jewellery" is manufactured wholesale in Birmingham, and sold readymade and splendidly finished to the London houses, who retail it to their fair and aristocratic customers. We have seen these things in course of manufacture, and watched their progress through various hands, and been amused afterwards in seeing them labelled in London as "real town made!"

Birmingham can, and does, produce the most beautiful, the most costly, and the most exquisitely finished Jewellery in the world, and the establishment of Messrs T. and J, Bragg stands at the head of that successful and purely artistic branch of its trade.


Source: The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist - Volume 14 - 1874


A ROYAL ORDER FOR BIRMINGHAM

The Queen has been graciously pleased to entrust to Messrs, T. and J. Bragg, of Birmingham, the work of mounting a special fan, intended as one of the Royal gifts to the Princess Beatrice on the occasion of her marriage. The desire was that it should be a specimen of English art manufacture. The commission to paint the fan, after a limited competition as to design, was given to Miss Mauly, of the Female School of Art, 43, Queen's Square, Bloomsbury. For the mounting and decoration, Sir Philip Cunliffe Owen, of South Kensington Museum, suggested to Her Majesty the name of Mr. J. W. Tonks, of the above firm, whose designs and productions at the Health Exhibition last year had attracted attention. The Queen expressed her pleasure that the making of the fan should be undertaken by a former student of a British School of Art. The painting is executed upon white silk. A spray of orange blossom forms a feature of the obverse side, the flowers and foliage going below the limit of the silk, and depending gracefully upon the open brins of the fan. In the sky above, a number of young loves are gaily sporting, some with trumpets announcing the happy occasion, others suspending by silken ribbon in mid air the Princess's coronet, having in golden letters beneath it the name " Beatrice." In the distance is an excellent view of Osborne. On the reverse of the fan is painted a stand of bee-hives, with bees approaching another spray of orange blossoms. The framework of the fan is finest ivory, the protecting mounts are in silver, wrought and repoussee work, interspersed with diamonds. The outer edge sloping to the ivory is festooned in a light lace-like pattern in silver cord after the Etruscan manner. The main features of the inner design are boldly raised edges, accentuated at short intervals by diamonds, the largest brilliants finding their places at the leading divisions of tlie mounts. Within these borders the artist in repoussee has had a fair field for the exercise of his best gifts, and has well availed himself of the opportunity. The orange blossom and myrtle have been chosen as the motives of the decoration, and these are continued in flowing lines, each panel being distinct in design, but with equal art in spacing and arrangement, producing a very happy result. The initial letter " B," with coronet over it, appears without undue prominence on the upper mount. A superb ivory box, with initial device, lock and key, is the casket for this specimen of art jewellery. The Royal message respecting it is as follows :–" The Queen expresses her entire satisfaction with and admiration of all its details. It certainly does the highest credit to both the young lady who designed and painted it, and to Messrs. Bragg for the clever and artistic manner in which the mounting has been executed." We are pleased to be able to add that Messrs. T. and J. Bragg have received the Royal Warrant, authorising them to use the words, " By Appointment," for the successful execution of the above order.

Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 5th June 1885

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Re: Some Birmingham Trade Cards and Advertisements

Postby MCB » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:59 am

The 1853 mark entered at Birmingham comprised T&JB in a rectangle; the letter style was roman and there was a pellet (dot) after letter "J".
In common with many Birmingham manufacturers T & J Bragg also entered a makers' mark at the Chester Assay Office. The mark was entered around 1890 and comprised T&JB in a rectangle, the letters without serifs.
The Directory of Chester Gold & Silver Marks 1570-1962 by Ridgway & Priestley (p.414) indicates T & J Bragg entered the same style of mark at Birmingham Assay Office in 1917.
Joseph William Tonks had become sole proprietor in 1882. The firm's address was 55 & 57 Vittoria Street.
The opening of offices at 15 Thavies Inn, Holborn Circus resulted in a maker's mark being registered at Goldsmiths Hall in 1888 comprising JWT in a rectangle; there were pellets between the letters which were without serifs.
Mike


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