From the Collection of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village 89 Merri Street Warrnambool Victoria
- Moulding Plane
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- A moulding plane is a specialised plane used for making the complex shapes found in wooden mouldings that are used to decorate furniture or other wooden objects. Traditionally, moulding planes were blocks of wear-resistant hardwood, often beech or maple, which were worked to the shape of the intended moulding. The blade or iron was likewise formed to the intended moulding profile and secured in the body of the plane with a wooden wedge. A traditional cabinetmakers shop might have many, perhaps hundreds, of moulding planes for the full range of work to be performed. Large crown mouldings required planes of six or more inches in width, which demanded great strength to push and often had additional peg handles on the sides, allowing the craftsman's apprentice or other workers to pull the plane ahead of the master who guided it.
The Holtzapffel dynasty of tool and lathe makers was founded in Long Acre, London by a Strasbourg-born turner, Jean-Jacques Holtzapffel, in 1794. The firm specialized in lathes for ornamental turning but also made a name for its high-quality edge and boring tools.
Moving to London from Alsace in 1792, Jean-Jacques worked initially in the workshop of the scientific-instrument maker Jesse Ramsden, Anglicizing his name to John Jacob Holtzapffel. In 1794 he set up a tool-making partnership in Long Acre with Francis Rousset and they began trading under the name of John Holtzapffel.
From 1804 he was in partnership with the Mannheim-born Johann Georg Deyerlein until the latter died in 1826, trading under the name Holtzapffel & Deyerlein.
Holtzapffel sold his first lathe in June 1795, for £25-4s-10d, an enormous price at the time. All of Holtzapffel's lathes were numbered and by the time he died in 1835, about 1,600 had been sold. The business was located at 64 Charing Cross, London from 1819 until 1901 when the site was required "for building purposes". The firm then moved to 13 and 14 New Bond Street and was in premises in the Haymarket from 1907 to 1930.
John's son, Charles Holtzapffel (1806–1847) joined the firm in 1827, at around which time the firm became known as Holtzapffel & Co. Charles continued to run the business after his father's death. He wrote a 2,750-page treatise entitled Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, published in 1843 which came to be regarded as the bible of ornamental turning. The final two volumes were completed and published after his death by his son, John Jacob Holtzapffel (1836–1897). When Charles Holtzapffel died in 1847 his wife Amelia ran the business until 1853. John Jacob II, the son of Charles and Amelia, was head of the firm from 1867 until 1896. A nephew of John Jacob II, George William Budd (1857–1924) became head of the firm in 1896. His son John George Holtzapffel Budd (1888–1968) later ran the business. By the early twentieth century, ornamental turning was going out of fashion, and the firm sold its last lathe in 1928.
- Holtzapffel & Co (Maker)
- A vintage tool made by a well-known firm made for firms and individuals that worked in wood. The tool was used before routers and spindle moulders came into use after World War ll, a time when to produce a decorative moulding for a piece of furniture or other items this had to be accomplished by hand using one of these types of planes.
A significant item from the mid to late 19th century that today is quite rare and sought after by collectors. It gives us a snapshot of how furniture was made predominately by hand and with tools that were themselves hand made shows the craftsmanship used to make such a unique item.
- Holtzaffel 64 Charing & Owner J Heath 9/16" marked opposite end
- 23 Aug 2020 at 10:18AM