Early Australian Silversmiths

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:57 am

EVAN JONES

Sydney

Some images of a silver plated mount for an emu egg manufactured by Evan Jones of Sydney.

Mounted emu eggs were a very popular subject for the 19th century Australian silversmith. The eggs were used to make trophies, cups, jewel caskets, ewers, goblets and a variety of other objects. Few had survived intact, and those that have, have lost their original bright green colour. This example, another victim of their fragility, at least shows us the constuction method used in the manufacture of these exotic items.

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Evan Jones was one of the great Australian silversmiths. Of his early life it appears not much is known, but he was likely to have arrived in Sydney from England at an early age. He served his apprenticeship under another of Australia's finest silversmiths, Christian Ludwig Quist in the 1860's, on completion of his apprenticeship, Jones took over the premises of Quist's workshop at 15, Hunter Street, Sydney. His output was prolilic and he opened up several branches in Sydney during the 1880's, with the principal workshop being located in Erskine Street in the 1890's. Perhaps one of his more well-known pieces is the gold crown made for King George of Tonga.

Evan Jones died in 1917, below is his obituary that was published in the Sydney Daily Telegraph of the 11th May 1917:

Alderman Evan Jones, a prominent figure in the municipal life of Sydney died at his home, Bingley, Wudgong Street, Mosman, yesterday morning after a protracted illness. Alderman Jones reached the allotted span on August 31st last year. He arrived in Australia from England whilst a lad and was educated at the Fort Street School. At the age of twelve, he went to work with Messrs. Hardy Brothers, Jewellers, Hunter Street in the city and later was employed by the firm of Hogarth & Erichsen. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to Mr. C.L. Quist from whom he received his training in the jewellery trade. Many valuable trophies remain as monuments to Alderman Jones' skill as a jeweller, among them being a silver mounted waddy which belongs to King Thakambau of Fiji on which, on the surrender of Fiji to the British Crown, was handed over with the kingdom and is now in the Tower of London. Alderman Jones first entered municipal life in 1882 as a representative of Denison. In 1866 he was appointed one of the Commissioners for The Colonial and Indian Exhibition held in London and a year later was appointed to a similar position in connection with the Adelaide Jubilee International Exhibition. In 1893 he was Commissioner at the Chicago Fair for Australia...he was also president of the Manufacturing Jewellers Association. In all he sat on the City Council for almost 23 years and several times might have occupied the mayoral chair had he accepted the advice of friends and council to contest the position. It was owing to his exertions that we have a Rotunda in Hyde Park which has been such a distinct benefit to the instrumentalists. He leaves a Widow and six children.

Source: Nineteenth Century Australian Silver Vol.1 & 2. by J B Hawkins

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Evan Jones - Sydney - 1881

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:11 pm

WALKER & HALL

Adelaide

Details of Walker & Hall's Adelaide Branch.

E. W. LANGDON, manager in South Australia and Western Australia for Walker & Hall, manufacturers of gold and sterling silver goods, cutlery, electroplate, etc., Sheffield,. England, arrived in Adelaide from England in 1878, under an engagement to Messrs. George P. Harris, Scarfe, & Co., with whom he remained for twenty-five and a half years.

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Early in 1904 Mr. Langdon severed his connection with the above-mentioned firm, and assumed the management of Messrs. Walker and Hall's branch wholesale stock and show-rooms in South Australia, situated in Flag Building, Grenfell Street, Adelaide, the head office in Australia being at George Street, Sydney. It is principally through his wide experience in the electroplate trade, his large circle of friends, his personality, and his straightforward dealings that Mr. Langdon has made the branch establishment of Messrs. Walker & Hall in the western States of the Commonwealth so successful.

The distinctive industries of Sheffield–the industries which instantly occur to one whenever the city is mentioned–are silver and electro-plate and cutlery. Not only do these branches of manufacture demand the services of many thousands of highly-skilled artisans, but the finished productions, in quantity, in variety, and in quality, excel those of any like district in the world. It was in 1742 that the idea was at first conceived of welding silver on a copper basis, by means of rolling, transforming the metal into sheet form. The articles produced from this combination of useful and precious metals were known as Sheffield plate–now the most prized "Old" Sheffield plate– and their manufacture gave a wonderful stimulus to the city's industry. But even more important was the discovery of the electro-deposition of the gold and silver, for one has only to reflect for a moment on the universal use of electro-plate at the present day to realize what a mighty trade was thus originated.

The most striking illustration of the expansion of this branch of Sheffield's trade is afforded by the history of Walker & Hall's sterling silver cutlery and electro-plate works. Over fifty years ago, only nineteen hands were employed in the industry, their operations being carried on in a building which would be lost in a single department of the present works; today over 2,000 employees with a productive capacity enormously increased by the use of the most improved methods and machinery, are required. In 1903 the certified length of work-benches and plating-vats was 2 miles 128 1/2 yards. But, apart from mere size, the firm of Walker & Hall has several claims to distinction. It was the founder, Mr. George Walker, who plated the first useful article ever electro-silvered in the world, and assisted Dr. Wright, of Attercliffe, a suburb of Sheffield, in the discovery of the invention. In the face of obstacles which must have many times tempted Walker & Hall to consign the new process to oblivion, the firm created so great a demand for electro-plated goods that scores of firms and millions of capital are now engaged in the industry the world over. With a single exception, they have gained the highest possible award at every exhibition at which the goods have been placed in competition, while, wherever honest material and beauty of design and finish are appreciated their workmanship is highly prized by all those who possess life's greatest treasure, a love of the beautiful. In entering the showroom of the Adelaide branch establishment, the visitor's attention is arrested by a large photograph of the Sheffield works, which is the firm's headquarters, from whence gold goods, sterling silver and electro-plated ware are distributed to their sixteen branches over England, Scotland. Ireland, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Walker & Hall have a distinct advantage over other similar firms. They manufacture their goods in such enormous quantities that the cost is thereby reduced to a minimum. In the showroom there are numerous cases containing a diversity of electro-plate, silver, and sterling silver and solid gold goods. Stretching the whole length of the showroom are two long tables, with beautiful plush coverings, with lace edging. These tables are laden with most exquisite pieces of plate and cases of goods, which, when the electric light is turned on, dazzles one's eyes. At the end of the showroom is a beautiful mirror which stands nine feet high and six feet wide, in front of which swings an elegant pair of electro-gilt and silver altar gates. At the other end of the showroom is the finest cabinet of goods ever seen in Australia. It stands six feet high and five and a half feet wide, and contains a full suite of Old English spoons and forks, table cutlery, fruit and fish knives and forks, tea and coffee service, entree dishes, etc., etc. This cabinet alone is worth going to see, and Mr. Langdon and his obliging staff are only too pleased to show visitors through the well arranged and up-to-date showroom.


Source: The Cyclopedia of South Australia ...: An Historical and Commercial Review. Descriptive and Biographical, Facts, Figures, and Illustrations. An Epitome of Progress. Volume 1. By Henry Thomas Burgess - 1907.

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(For details of the Sydney branch of Walker & Hall, see above)

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:00 pm

J. WALKER

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There are two possibilities for the maker of this spoon. John Walker was in partnership with Timothy Jones as Walker & Jones, 338, George Street, Sydney, from 1858 until 1861-2, or John F. Walker, 371, Bourke Street, Darlinghurst, or of course there is always the possibility that both men are one of the same.

Source: 19th Century Australian Silver Vol. 1 & 2. By J.B. Hawkins

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:54 am

J. BOLAND

Stanley Street, South Brisbane.

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J. Boland - Brisbane -

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:59 pm

A. HERGA

Queen Street, and later, Edward Street, Brisbane.

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A. Herga - Brisbane - 1891

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A. Herga - Brisbane - 1897

Silverly noted the following: Alphonse Herga is listed as a watchmaker in the 1903 Australian Electoral Rolls for 1903 at Nundah, Moreton, Queensland.

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:19 pm

DENIS BROTHERS

Watchmakers and Manufacturing Jewellers, Opticians, and Importers,
257-259-261 Bourke Street, Melbourne.


This well-known and old-established firm was founded by the late Mr. Sylla Denis, who arrived from France early in the year 1853. After spending a short period at the gold diggings at Ballarat he returned to Melbourne, and started business as a watch and clock repairer in a small room on the west side of Swanston Street, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane. Business increased rapidly, necessitating his removal to larger premises at the corner of Bourke Street and Royal Lane, and whilst there the great fire took place at the old Varieties Theatre (where Rickards' Opera House now stands). On that memorable occasion many of the old residents have a distinct recollection of Mr. Denis standing at his shop door, revolver in hand, keeping back the crowd who wished to assist in the salvage operations. Later on he removed to the extensive premises now occupied by the firm, where the business has been conducted ever since.

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The splendid shop frontage to Bourke Street is one of the sights of the city. In the centre window stands the famous large clock with its many dials, showing the time in various parts of the world. This timepiece is known throughout the whole of Australasia and New Zealand, and is a source of admiration to the many thousands of people who pass by daily. The "Big Clock" is one of the landmarks of the city, and is inseparably connected with the name of Denis Bros.

Mr. Victor Denis joined his brother in the business in the year 1866, and subsequently Mr. Gustave Lachal, a nephew of Messrs. Denis Brothers, was admitted as a partner. The members of the firm have always had a splendid reputation amongst an immense clientele all over Australasia, and are well known to almost everybody. Although not taking any active part in public life, the members of the firm have shown a very keen interest in the affairs of their adopted country. Mr. Lachal retired from the business in 1888, and the Messrs. S. and V. Denis died within a few months of each other in 1889. Their loss was severely felt by a large circle of friends, both French and English.


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Mr. Fernand Denis, only son of the late Mr. S. Denis, has succeeded to the business, and is now carrying it on at the same address, and on the same lines upon which it has been so successfully conducted by his late father and uncle. Mr. Fernand Denis has been practically born and bred to the business, and may be relied upon to worthily uphold the old traditions of the establishment. A speciality of the business is the splendid stock of ecclesiastical goods which are used in connection with the celebration of Divine service by the Roman Catholic Church; and the various articles of adornment, together with the beautiful vestments etc, make a rich and artistic display.

Source: The Cyclopedia of Victoria: An Historical and Commercial Review, Descriptive and Biographical, Facts, Figures and Illustrations : An Epitome of Progress. - Volume 2 - 1904


Denis Brothers won a First Order of Merit award for gold and silver jewellery at the Melbourne International Exhibition - 1880-1.


The detective police are still actively engaged in hunting up the burglars who on the 5th instant swept the premises of Mr. Dennis, jeweller and watchmaker, of Bourke-street, of more than £300 worth of property. The four prisoners in custody were examined at the police court on Wednesday, when two were committed for trial. One (a woman) was remanded and another, against whom there was not a shadow of a case, was discharged. The whole gang are not yet apprehended, but soon will be. More than half the property has been already recovered.

Source: The Lyttelton Times - 29th July 1857

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:17 pm

T. R. PROCTER

Oculist, Optician, and Ophthalmologist
476 Albert Street, East Melbourne


Born at Calstock, Cornwall, England, in 1826, and educated at Lang's College, Beeralston, on the Devonshire side of the river Tamar. In his youth he displayed a remarkable aptitude for mechanical engineering and chemistry. In September, 1848, he left England for South Australia, arriving in Adelaide on 3rd January, 1849. There was at this time a strike among the miners at the Burra Buira copper mines, but the arrival of about 300 Cornish miners speedily put an end to it. When the discovery of gold was announced in Victoria, Mr. Procter journeyed thither overland. Shortly after his arrival at Forest Creek gold was discovered at Bendigo, when he joined the rush, and sank a hole at the head of a gully which he named the Adelaide Gully. Subsequently he started in business as a working jeweller at White Hills, this being the first establishment of the kind on the goldfields. He then opened a business in Geelong, and while there he heard of the discovery of the great Canadian nugget at Ballarat, whereupon he removed to that town, taking with him his workmen and plant, and commenced business as a watchmaker, manufacturing jeweller, and optician on Bakery Hill, opposite the "Ballarat Times" office. Among other items turned out at this establishment was a magnificent gold cup, valued at 120 guineas, presented by the diggers to Mr. Commissioner Amos. This was afterwards exhibited at the Paris Exhibition as a specimen of Australian skill in the goldsmith's art. Another piece of Mr. Procter's workmanship was a gold-mounted whip, valued at thirtyfive guineas, which he presented to the Ballarat Racing Club as a trophy at its first meeting, and was won by that popular jockey, Sam Waldock. While here the claim-holders on the Gum Tree Flat found themselves unable to compete with the water, so Mr. Procter undertook to supply the necessary steam power for draining the mines for the sum of £1,500. This contract having been successfully completed, he removed his plant to the Durham Company's lease at Red Hill, the first mining lease granted in the Ballarat district, and from it nearly £30,000 worth of gold was obtained.

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In 1857 Mr. Procter returned to England, where he remained until 1862. While there he opened an establishment at Clerkenwell for the manufacture of jewellery and scientific instruments. A speciality to which he devoted his almost undivided attention was the manufacture of optical appliances, and during this period he engaged in a course of medical studies to extend his knowledge of the diseases of the eye. In 1862 he again left England, this time for New Zealand, where he entered into business as an optician at Queenstown, Hokitika, and Christchurch. In November, 1874, when the transit of Venus occurred, Major Palmer, R.E., and Captain Darwin, son of the famous evolutionist, came out to Christchurch to take observations, when Mr. Procter was asked by Major Palmer to undertake the adjustments and repairs of the instruments. In the course of his extensive practice he claims to have demonstrated the fact that in a large number of cases deafness is directly attributable to astigmatism, an optical defect. This he discovered in Christchurch in 1880, and wrote Dr. E. W. Alexander, M.R.C.S., etc., acquainting him of his discovery, the accuracy of which was acknowledged by that gentleman. Mr. Procter also came to the conclusion that astigmatism, myopia, hypermetropia, and mixed astigmatism are hereditary. He says nearly all diseases of the eye are primarily caused by optical defects. Amongst these arc included, in the vast majority of cases, blindness, squinting, inflammation, ingrowing eyelashes, ulceration, granulation, nystagmus, etc. Headaches, neuralgia of the face and temples, and deafness are frequently due to the same cause. He has cured a great many cases of this "natural blindness," i.e., cases where the eyes have not in any way been mutilated by accident or the surgeon's knife.

In 1888 Mr. Procter came to Melbourne, and commenced practice as an oculist, optician, and ophthalmologist in Albert Street, bringing with him his experienced staff and most complete plant. His clientele are numbered by thousands in all parts of the Commonwealth and in New Zealand. He also claims that he was the first to introduce in New Zealand and Australia his present scientific system of measuring optical defects. A complete register for the past thirty years has been kept of all measurements taken, and the nature of the defects of every patient treated, and thus clients at a distance can be supplied with renewals of glasses required without further personal consultation. So perfect is his system that, having once measured a person's sight, he can calculate with exactitude the alteration produced by increasing age, and so alter the forms of glasses when necessary, without re-measuring. It is evident that Mr. Procter is fully abreast of the times in the practice of his profession. Some marvellous local cases of restoration to sight have passed through Mr. Procter's hands; patients who had sought in vain, even among specialists in London, to preserve this most valued of all the senses.

Source: The Cyclopedia of Victoria: An Historical and Commercial Review, Descriptive and Biographical, Facts, Figures and Illustrations : An Epitome of Progress. - Volume 2 - 1904

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:34 pm

T. GAUNT and CO.

Watchmakers, Opticians, and Thermometer Manufacturers, etc.,
337 - 339 Bourke Street, Melbourne. (F. W. Heath.)


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This well-known establishment is one of the features of Melbourne, and undoubtedly contains the largest assortment of jewellers' goods to be found anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. The business was founded in 1852 by the late Mr. Thomas Gaunt, who made his name a household word, not only in Australia, but also in England. Starting in a very small way, Mr. Gaunt soon found his business rapidly increasing, and in 1867 he removed into the large central and commodious premises where the business has been so successfully carried on ever since. During the lifetime of the founder of this business, his name became widely and permanently known in Victoria by the fact of his supplying almost every town and city in the State with the large public clocks which adorn their public buildings. But it is in connection with the large chronograph erected at Flemington racecourse that Mr. Gaunt will be chiefly remembered. This timekeeper is a marvel of delicate workmanship, and was for a time the only one of its kind in existence, until a similar one was built in 1899 by the firm to the order of the Victoria Amateur Turf Club. It cost Mr. Gaunt many years of labour and study, besides a great deal of expenditure, in order to bring his idea to perfection. Success eventually crowned his efforts, and the present clock was the gratifying result. It serves as an object lesson to all the world, and was generously presented to the V.R.C. by the maker. Naturally it has attracted a great deal of attention on the part of visitors from the old country, and the firm have recently received an order for a similar chronograph to be constructed for the use of one of the principal racing clubs in England. The well-known clock figures, Gog and Magog, in the Royal Arcade, Melbourne, were also made at Gaunt's, and recall their famous prototypes in the Guildhall, London. In addition to the many other notable works executed by the firm, they have achieved an enviably high reputation for the artistic beauty and elegance of their manufactured jewellery, which is wrought by workmen as skilled as any to be found in England or on the Continent, and it is pleasant to record that all the more skilful of the employees have been in the service of the firm for periods ranging from fifteen to thirty-five years, which speaks well for all parties concerned.

Mr. FREDERICK W. HEATH, the present proprietor, took over the business in 1892. He has had thirty years' experience in the trade, twenty-one years of that time having been spent in the wholesale line as a partner in the firm of Messrs. Willis and Co. During that time he founded the Wholesale and Manufacturing Jewellers' Association of Victoria, which has been of immense benefit in regulating the quality of gold manufactured. The wide, varied, and intimate knowledge thus acquired has proved invaluable to him in the present business, and an inspection of the establishment now conducted by him will convince anyone that his whole energy and experience are concentrated in the effort to vindicate and maintain the right of the firm to be ranked as one of the leading jewellery establishments in Australasia. In the windows and showrooms are innumerable specimens of the gold and silversmiths' art of the latest and most admirable designs, and Mr. Heath makes it one of the cardinal principles of his business always to keep a very large stock constantly on hand, as he has learned by experience that the public appreciate the advantage of the widest possible range of selection. A showroom on the first floor, covering the whole extent of the establishment, is devoted to the display of every description of article used in connection with church adornment. Some very beautiful specimens of this class of manufacture have been turned out by the firm, notably all the altar furnishings, both gold and silver, for St. Patrick's Cathedral, the pastoral staff of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Melbourne, and also of the same dignitary of Ballarat. A specialty of the firm is its optical branch, where everything is up to date, and carried out in a thoroughly scientific manner, no pains being spared in testing the eyesight of those who need artificial assistance for the vision.

Mr. Heath was born in Plymouth, England, in the year 1854, and is the eldest son of the late Captain Nicholas Heath, one of the well-known identities of the early days of Melbourne in connection with the China trade. Captain Heath performed a noteworthy achievement in 1866 by sailing a vessel from England to Melbourne only 70 feet in length, being one of the smallest boats that has ever made the trip. She was a tug boat, destined for service in Victorian waters. Captain Heath was accompanied on his voyage by his young son, then a boy of twelve years, now the proprietor of the business whose history is related above. During the recent visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, Mr. Heath was sent for, and accorded the honor of a personal interview with T.R.H. in connection with an exquisitely beautiful trophy manufactured by him, and presented to the Duke and Duchess by the State Government, who were greatly pleased with the elegance and taste displayed.


Source: The Cyclopedia of Victoria: An Historical and Commercial Review, Descriptive and Biographical, Facts, Figures and Illustrations : An Epitome of Progress. - Volume 2 - 1904


Thomas Gaunt was recorded as showing at the following exhibitions:

The Australian Intercolonial Exhibition, Melbourne, 1866-7
The Melbourne Exhibition 1869
The London International Exhibition, 1872-3
The Intercolonial Exhibition, Melbourne, 1875
The Paris Universal Exhibition, 1878
The Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886

Address's recorded for T. Gaunt & Co. are as follows:

7, Little Bourke Street East - 1859-62
5, Little Bourke Street East - 1863-70
5, Post Office Place and Royal Arcade - 1871-5
14, Bourke Street East and Royal Arcade - 1876-7
339, Bourke Street East - 1889-93
1, Royal Arcade, 337-9, Bourke Street and Mercer Road, Armadale - 1894-9

Source: 19th Century Australian Silver, Vols 1 & 2 - J B Hawkins

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Thomas Gaunt - Melbourne - 1875

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Thomas Gaunt - Melbourne - 1889


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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:16 pm

HENRY LEE DAVIS

97, Queen Street, and Cribb's Buildings, Brisbane.

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Henry L. Davis - Brisbane -

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:39 am

WILLIAM DONAHAY

Ophthalmic and General Optician
181 Collins Street, Melbourne


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William Donahay was born on 23rd September, 1849, at Castle Caulfield, county of Tyrone, Ireland, and is the youngest son of Mr. John Donahay, farmer, whose family consisted of three boys and two girls. His father died while he was yet too young to allow him to recall a memory of him, and his mother then entered upon school teaching, but did not survive her husband long, dying when the child was four and a half years old. The heads of the family having been thus removed, caused the dispersion of the children, and so thoroughly was this accomplished that up to the present time Mr. Donahay has neither seen nor gained any information concerning the rest of his family.

From reminiscences of his early years he is inclined to believe that the members one and all were good and affectionate, and that the severe circumstances attending their fate tended towards this estrangement. Through the instrumentality of the Rev. Thomas Twigg the subject of this memoir was placed in the care of the Protestant Orphanage Society, whose office is situate at 17 Upper Sackville Street, Dublin, and received his education in county Wicklow and in Dublin under the direction of that institution. He was eventually apprenticed to a trade, and while serving his time as improver to Mr. G. Corrall, watchmaker and optician, of Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire. After filling this position for three years he transferred his services to Mr. Pratt, of Nottingham, with whom he remained for some considerable time. While in Nottingham he studied the Hebrew language under Rabbi Goldreich, and also took lessons in Greek in order to acquire a deeper knowledge of theology. Mr. Donahay then commenced business on his own account, and carried on successfully for four years. While living at Winchester in 1880 he married Clara, daughter of Mr. Frederick Musham, of Nottingham, and has a family of three girls and three boys. Owing to ill-health he was advised to take a sea trip, and accordingly sailed for New Zealand, where he was engaged in business as a watchmaker for some time.


In 1887 he came to Melbourne, and entered the service of Messrs. Wood, wholesale opticians, with whom be remained for six years, and, after filling another engagement for nine years with Messrs. Watson and Sons, of Swanston Street, established his present business in April, 1903. While with Messrs. Watson and Sons, Mr. Donahay won the respect and appreciation of the firm, which were expressed in a eulogistic testimonial presented to him on the occasion of his severing connection with them, and in which they wished him all success in his future career.

Mr. Donahay makes a specialty of eye refraction testing, the manufacture of high-class spectacles and eye-glasses, refraction and silver on glass reflecting astronomical telescopes, etc., and scientific instruments of all kinds. He enjoys a large connection in and around the metropolis. Mr. Donahay is a member of the British Astronomical Association, and one of the council of the Melbourne branch.


Source: The Cyclopedia of Victoria: An Historical and Commercial Review, Descriptive and Biographical, Facts, Figures and Illustrations : An Epitome of Progress. - Volume 2 - 1904

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:15 pm

G. W. CATANACH

Wholesale and Retail Diamond Setter and Manufacturing Jeweller
Little Collins Street, and Royal Arcade, Melbourne.


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Mr. G. W. Catanach, who is a native of London, arrived in Victoria in the month of March, 1870, and found the jewellery trade quite in its infancy. The firm of Young and Sons was at that time the only firm who were bringing out a good class of work, such as he had been accustomed to. Diamond setting and the finer class of work being his special branches, Mr. Catanach was at once engaged by Messrs. Young and Sons, and found that, with the exception of Mr. Armbrecht, who was working on his own account in a very small way, he was the only one in the line in Australia. Mr. Armbrecht died about 1887, and Messrs. Young and Sons gave up business about the same time, so that Mr. Catanach is the oldest diamond setter, not only in this State, but in Australia.

He commenced business on his own account in 1873 with one assistant, making up diamond goods for the principal shops, and so well was his workmanship appreciated that in two years he had twelve skilled men working for him, most of whom he had imported or had taught himself, there being no skilled labour available. From that time until 1891 he employed from thirty to forty hands. At that period there existed a great prejudice against colonial work of any kind in the jewellery trade, and shop-keepers were slow to admit that the goods they sold were of colonial make. This prejudice has since then been gradually removed, and it is now allowed that colonially - made jewellery is just as good as, and much stronger than, the imported article, besides being much cheaper.

The protection policy has greatly aided the jewellery trade. The precious stones being admitted free of duty made it impossible to import jewellery with set stones, consequently Mr. Catanach's goods found a large market in South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales. In 1879 he opened a branch establishment in Adelaide, under the management of Mr. Vandome, who was also a partner, and who afterwards acquired that portion of the business by purchase. Mr. Catanach's first venture in business was made in premises at the corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets, over what is now the site of Kilpatrick and Co. After a few months he moved to Little Collins Street, opposite the old Fire Brigade station. Later on another move was made to the bluestone building where Cole's Book Arcade now stands, and when that was sold during the "Boom" of 1887 he built a workshop facing the two rights-of-way running through to Bourke Street to Little Collins Street. The collapse of the land "boom" and the failure of a great number of the banks entailed very heavy losses upon all tradespeople, and the jewellery business being largely a credit one, Mr. Catanach suffered very severely. This, combined with the threatened failure of his health, compelled him to take things more easily, and he therefore decided to give up the wholesale and credit business, and establish his present establishment for the supply of his well-known goods direct to the public. These premises, by the way, had always been looked upon as unlucky. Mr. Catanach's venture, moreover, was made in the midst of the worst time Melbourne had known for very many years. Nevertheless, owing to the great business ability of the proprietor, and to the high class quality of his goods, the business proved a success from the start, and since then he has not once looked back.

Mr. Catanach's business, which is carried on under purely cash principles, is now one of the best in Melbourne. He believes in giving a good article at a reasonable price, a fact which the Melbourne public has not been slow to recognise and appreciate in a practical manner. There are many interesting facts in connection with the operations of his business which want of space alone prevents us from mentioning in detail. The number of diamonds made up by Mr. Catanach during the past thirty-two years is an enormous one, and the gold used in the setting thereof would go far towards erecting a fair-sized pyramid of the precious metal. Mr. Catanach was one of the founders of the Victorian Jewellers' Association, the rules of which make it incumbent on the part of members to manufacture their goods right up to the standard mark, offenders in this respect being mulcted in a fine of not less than a sum of £100.


Source: The Cyclopedia of Victoria: An Historical and Commercial Review, Descriptive and Biographical, Facts, Figures and Illustrations : An Epitome of Progress. - Volume 2 - 1904



J B Hawkins in his 19th Century Australian Silver - Vol. I, gives the following information regarding G W Catanach, the subject of the above post.

George William Catanach, founder of the Melbourne firm, Cananach's Jewellers, was born in England on 2nd October, 1845, and served his apprenticeship with a London jeweller. In his early twenties he came to Victoria bringing with him a letter of introduction to Thomas Young, head of the firm of Thomas Young & Son, then carrying on business at 47, Stephens Street, Melbourne. By 1873 he had saved enough to leave Young & Son and set up his own business at 49, Elizabeth Street, moving to larger premises in 1875 at 97a Little Collins Street. It is recorded that throughout his years in Melbourne he was regarded as an expert in the choosing, judging and setting of diamonds and was accustomed to buy diamonds not only for himself but for his colleagues in the trade who respected his infallible judgement. - Information supplied by J A Allen in an essay written 6-1-1950

J B Hawkins continues:

The date of Catanach's arrival in Victoria is given as March, 1870:

He being immediately employed by Messrs. Young & Son, the only firm who professed to make a good class of work such as he had been accustomed to... he commenced business for himself in March, 1874 with one youthful assistant, and two years later had 12 workman, while for the past six years from 30 to 40 hands, mostly skilled workman, have been employed by him. He has at present five apprentices to the trade of manufacturing jeweller. The work done comprises rings, brooches, lockets, chains etc., also engraving and chasing. When Mr. Catanach started there was a great prejudice against colonial work, which at that time consisted principally as what is known in the trade as leaf-work, diggers rings, etc.; and, except for Messrs. Young, there was little else made. - Sutherland, Vol. I, p.596.

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G W Catanach - Melbourne - 1881

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G W Catanach - Melbourne - 1881


Catanachs are still in business today, now situated at 1212 High Street, Armadale 3143, Melbourne


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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:30 pm

A. MAXWELL

Central Chambers, Queen Street, Brisbane.

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A Maxwell - Brisbane - 1885

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:32 pm

OSCAR TUCKER

35, Adelaide Arcade, Adelaide.

Oscar Tucker, Watchmaker, etc., 35 Adelaide Arcade.– Mr. Tucker established business about two-and-a-half years ago. He is a native of the colony, of English extraction, his parents, who are still living, having arrived in the colony over 35 years ago. Our subject was brought up in Adelaide, and since leaving school has confined his attention to the study of the chronometers of time. He now makes a speciality of all kinds of repairs, all work receiving his personal supervision. The shop will be seen on the left hand side of the Arcade, as you enter from Rundle Street, where Mr. Tucker will be found civil and obliging.

Source: Descriptive Australia & Federal Guide by J. Smillie - 1890

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Wed May 04, 2011 3:11 pm

WENZEL & ENES

127 & 129, Great Bourke Street East, Melbourne.

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Wenzel & Enes - Melbourne - 1861

The firm of Wenzel & Enes was where the specialist medalist George H. Armfield was trained and employed from c. 1867 until 1878.

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sat May 14, 2011 2:15 pm

JOHN ATKIN

53, Moorabool Street, Market Square, Geelong, Melbourne.

The reproduction is not great on this one. A very small advertisement from 1857 for John Atkin of Geelong, Melbourne.

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John Atkin - Geelong - 1857

JOHN ATKIN
PATENT LEVER WATCH MANUFACTURER
53, Moorabool Street, Market Square,
Geelong.
----
Every description of Watch and Clock work done on moderate terms.
A choice selection of Ladies' and Gentlemen's Gold and Silver Watches.
Clocks, Vertical Watches, Watch Guards, Chains, Keys, Glasses, Gold Rings, Pins, Brooches, Lockets, &c. Spectacles of every description. Jewellery Neatly Repaired. Gold and Silver bought or taken in exchange.


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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:47 pm

JAMES McBEAN & SON (WILLIAM McBEAN)

Watchmakers, Jewellers, Opticians etc.
The Block, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

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This well known firm was established in 1858 by Mr James McBean, the father of the present proprietor. Mr McBean who is still living, is one of the oldest identities in Melbourne, and was actively engaged in business until 1890, a period of forty years. During that time, although he took no part in public matters, the name of McBean became well and favourably known over almost all of Australasia, and the firm has a splendid reputation, not only in Victoria, but in the other States. Mr. JAMES McBEAN was born in Inverness, Scotland, in the year 1833. He served his apprenticeship as a watchmaker and jeweller in his native town, and then determined to seek his fortune in Australia. On arriving in Melbourne he saw the immense possibilities which awaited the jewellery trade, and established himself in his old business in premises directly opposite the present establishment in Elizabeth Street, on the site now occupied by Messrs McLean Brothers & Rigg. Comenceing on a very modest scale, Mr McBean gradually worked up a splendid connection. Business rapidly increased and it became necessary to remove to larger premises. Since 1894 operations have been carried on in the splendidly situated establishment in 'The Block', Elizabeth Street. The large and elegently fitted shop, with its two spacious window frontages, one facing Elizabeth Street, and the other 'The Block', is one of the sights of Melbourne. A most noticeable feature is the splendid assortment of high-class articles, representing the most artistic efforts of the gold and silversmiths' art, which are displayed with lavish profusion. A large quantity of the jewellery is manufactured by the firm, and compares very favourably with anything which can be turned out in England. In 1890 Mr. James McBean retired and handed over the business to his son, Mr William McBean who had been associated with him for twenty years. The thorough and practical training which he received during that time has proved of great benefit, both to himself and his clients. An Inspection of the superior class of stock and its great variety will convince anyone that the present proprietor is bent on maintaining the old traditions of the house, and also in keeping well abreast of the times. Mr. WILLIAM McBEAN was born in Melbourne in 1858, and, although only forty-three years of age, has been in the trade for thirty-two years, having acquired a thorough knowledge of every branch of the business. Although a very busy man, Mr. McBean finds time to devote a good deal of time and energy to the interests of the Melbourne Cricket Club. He has been a valued member of the committee for five years, and was also one of the committee of management who had the English team of 1901 in hand.

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James McBean and Son's Premises, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

Source: The Cyclopedia of Victoria: An Historical and Commercial Review, Descriptive and Biographical, Facts, Figures and Illustrations : An Epitome of Progress. - Volume 2 - 1904

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:37 pm

R. MENZ

85 1/2, Rundle Street, Adelaide.


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R. Menz - Adelaide - 1885

Noted as exhibiting at the Adelaide Exhibition in 1881.

R. Menz, Rundle Street, has a small but prettily arranged case of colonial made watches and jewellery.
Source: South Australia - A Brief Account of its Progress and Resources - 1881- Exhibition publication.

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:44 am

BERENS, LEVI & SELIGMANN

Stephen's Place, Rundle Street, Adelaide. 95, York Street, Sydney. 91, Smallbrook Street, Birmingham.

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Berens, Levi & Seligmann - Adelaide - 1866

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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:20 pm

P. FALK AND CO.

Henry and Phillimore Streets, Freemantle.

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The firm of P. Falk and Co., the Australian branch of P. Falk and Sons, of London, is a prominent feature in all the commercial centres of the Commonwealth, and it would have been strange indeed had not the business acumen which has characterised the house not foreseen the possibilities of the Western Australian trade. That the possibilities of the State's commerce under unfettered political conditions were observed by the management long before the consummation of intercolonial free-trade was brought about by the establishment of the Commonwealth is evidenced by the fact that it was in 1886 that a branch of the firm was established at Fremantle. At that time, although the granting of Responsible Government had not yet eventuated, the agitation had been steadily growing, and the ultimate success of the demand for free institutions was practically assured. The management of the firm's business–an extensive concern, dealing largely in jewellery, silver, electro-plate, and kindred goods–was at the outset in the hands of Mr. A. J. Diamond; but, six months later, Mr. S. H. Pulver was appointed manager. In March, 1888, Mr. Alexander, the present manager, arrived, and he assumed control on April 6 of that year. Having since continuously held the management, Mr. Alexander thus claims to be the oldest manager in point of service of any business concern in the State. Until November, 1888, the firm's business was conducted in unpretentious premises in Cliff Street, and at that date a change was decided on. Arrangements were concluded for the erection of the first instalment of their present handsome premises at the corner of Henry and Phillimore Streets. The new premises were taken possession of in May, 1889, by which time stocks had been increased in proportion to the expansion of the business. This expansion was steadily maintained, and in 1896 the demands of the trade necessitated the construction of the present handsome and commodious additions to Fremantle's architecture. The completion of these premises rendered available a floor space of some 6,000 feet, in addition to extensive bulk stores at the back. But even this space was found insufficient for the requirements of the business, and the top floors of the adjoining premises are now utilised for storage purposes. The requirements of the firm In this respect will be an indication of the extent of its transactions, which extend to every part of the State. Although principally engaged in trading, as above stated, in jewellery and kindred goods, Falk and Co. deal in other directions, and one of their most important agencies is that for W.D. and H.O. Wills, Ltd., tobacco manufacturers, of Bristol, England. The agency for this firm was accepted by Falk and Co. in August, 1895, it having previously been in the hands of a firm of accountants at the Port. When taken over, Wills' agency cannot be said to have been a very severe tax on the administration or on the employes, as it was insignificant, the sales barely aggregating a case per mouth. Judicious placing, however, has had its effect, and at the present time the monthly sales effected by Falk and Co. on account of their principals are very extensive, as may be gathered from the fact that in one line alone–Capstan tobacco–the monthly sales aggregate considerably over three tons. When it is borne in mind that on its own account the firm does extensive business, the importance of Falk and Co. as a unit in the commercial world of the Port and the State will be realised. To facilitate business in the city, a branch of the business has been established in William-street, Perth, and another at Kalgoorlie, and the latter provides for the requirements of the firm's numerous goldfields clientele.

The success attained by the firm may be largely attributed to the energy displayed by Mr. Alexander, who is a member of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and also Mayor of the Port, he being now in occupation of the civic chair for the second year in succession.


Source: Twentieh Century Impressions of Western Australia - P. W. H. Thiel & Co. - 1901

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P. Falk & Co. - Adelaide - 1878

The original partners in this firm, founded in 1864 were Phillip Faulk, Silas Faulk, Abraham Benjamin and Salis Schlank. Described as General Merchants of Birmingham, Melbourne and Adelaide, Phillip and Silas Faulk looked after the European side of the business, Abraham Benjamin the Melbourne, and Salis Schlank the Adelaide operations.

The partnership dissolved in 1878 with Schlank retaining the Adelaide division and it is likely that at this time the firm's name was anglicised to P. Falk & Co.

P. Falk & Sons entered their mark at the London Assay Office in 1897 and in 1902 P. Falk & Sons of London and P. Falk & Co. of Fremantle And Melbourne were coverted into a joint limited liability company as P. Falk & Co. Ltd. They entered a second mark at the LAO in 1907.




An interesting advertisement for P. Falk & Co. from 1866, that shows that this firm was founded earlier than thought and also the name anglicised earlier than thought likely.

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P. Falk & Co. - Adelaide - 1866


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Re: Early Australian Silversmiths

Postby dognose » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:53 pm

WAINWRIGHT & BOCK

Hindley Street, Adelaide.

This notice of dissolution of partnership, dated the 5th June 1841, appeared in 'The South Australian Gazette'

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William Wainwright and Alfred Bock formed their partnership at the Hindley Street address in 1839.

William Wainwright is noted as supplying the corporation seal to the town of Adelaide in 1841 at a cost of £8.

Alfred Bock retired in 1841, and William Wainwright c.1846.

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