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Richards knife.

Adrian Cook

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Hi there again .just recently brought this knife from a bootfair.really love it .the work on the scales just makes me want to pick it up.Does anyone have an inkling on how old it might be.My very first S/S wostenholm. Thanks 

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I saw on line a nice image of a box and its 6 table knives that I thought some members of the forum might find of interest. I had a quick look to see if they would make a relevant addition to somebody else’s post.

I did at first cause myself a problem by looking for “Wolstenholme George” in the search field but a helpful post I found told me the “e” at the end of the surname had been dropped. I looked carefully at my saved image again and saw I needed to be searching for “George Wostenholm” because not only was there no “e” but also no first “l”. Thus here I am with these, perhaps, less exciting knives but with a fantastic mini catalogue of some of the specialist items the company made. 853133798_1WolstenholmSonsKnivesinbox.jpg.cc82f280d82373172b27666c82eb7a7d.jpg

After trawling for my “G.W” on the forum I found I had a bit of confusion in my mind and felt a little bit of research was still needed. From our own forum I found the reference that “George Wostenholm, cutler's mark granted 22/12/1694”

Then however it also seems that the Sheffield company of George Wolstenholme (born 1717 possibly) developed in 1745 though at Stannington just outside the City. George’s son Henry carried the business on until 1803 when George’s grandson, George 2, took over. The company moved to Sheffield, premises being called “Rockingham Works”, largely making razors and penknives. The difficulty of getting the “Wolstenholme” name on the latter’s small blades necessitated the shorter “Wostenholm” surname being generated. The 2nd George was in partnership with his own son George 3 in 1825 but died 1834 and the original George’s great grandson, George 3 carried on. Although I think there were too many “Georges” in this company, this George 3 installed the company into a new purpose built premises, Washington Works. This name was possibly chosen because of the large number of specialist knives that they sold to the USA. The reference below may be interesting.


The company became “Ltd.” in 1875 but George 3 appears to have died in 1876, leaving a widow and no children. A reference said that for the years 1876-1880 the company gave annual average dividends of 10% on average profits of £10203. Just before WWI a “Thomas Gilbert Wolstenholme” came to the leadership of the company and made changes to take the company further into the 20th century. Things did not all go totally smoothly and there was even a misfortune in that damage occurred to the “Washington Works” due to WW2 bombing.

Below are a couple more images for “Wostenholm and Son”.




We have the cutlery box as shown previously plus another box and markings on the different blades they contained. If you look at the close up of the 2 boxes you can see the manufacturer’s name is described differently. The greenish box with the “Tally Ho!” trademark on has the company name “George Wostenholm & Son Ltd” while the other box lid has the company name “George Wostenholm & Son’s”. This could be dating evidence for the 2 lots of knives. My original thought was that “& Son’s” must have been later but then I remembered my English grammar and worked out it was cutlery “belonging” to only one son.  I think the “Ltd” with the “Firth Stainless” knives is the most recent item but they may in fact not be very far apart in age.

In 1971 another big Sheffield player “Joseph Rodgers” took over “Wostenholm” but in 1986 that pair along with their trademarks were part of the “Egginton Group”. This might be an example of  “what goes around, comes around”. The “Tally Ho!” mark was bought by George 3 in 1860 from  “M.Hunter’s”, he with his father having in 1826 already obtained their knife famed “I*XL” (I excel) trademark and in 1843 he had bought “The Pipe Trade Mark”. That mark being the “oldest cutlery trademark on the Register of the Sheffield Cutlers’ Company” and granted in 1694. Funny that year appears familia!


Now, if the old company’s history was confusing with “Georges”, then the 20th history seems no different to me. Along with the Egginton Group claiming “Wostenholm” history another company established 1993, “TGW International” claims the same history. This latter company had its seed in the Wostenholm’s concern nurtured from 1908 by the “Thomas Gilbert Wolstenholme” noted earlier. Hopefully the “Big Players on The Forum” can sort this out for us.


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I have put a few bits about Wostenholm / Wolstenholm / Wolstenholme on the Sheffield Ebay items section here    -------- 


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Hello no spoons for me again today. Not all bad though. What do you think?


The blades on these scissors are about 3 inches long. We see the "I.XL" mark clearly. On the the other side of the blade pivot area is a less clear mark that I believe says that the scissors are chromium plated.I supose dating the scissors is difficult, but they may well be from the same period as "SteveHB's"  Kelly directories ad.


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