View Full Version : Marples & Beasley
09-07-08, 01:18 AM
What is the story behind Marples & Beasley. I have seen postings in the forum which show Marples & Beasley marked badges which they say are restrikes or fakes.
09-07-08, 02:16 AM
As it turns out I have had some correspondance recently with the current owner of the company that acquired Marples & Beasley.
What I have learnt so far is the following;
Marples & Beasley was bought out from the two founders in 1936 by the company that now trades as Rebus. The name Marples & Beasley continued to be used after the acquisition.
They were a significant and bone fide supplier to the War Office and produced both KC & QC era badges and buttons. They supplied large volumes during WW2. The company was run until 1991 when the factory in Birmingham was closed down.
I am told that they sometimes marked sliders (and thus the inference is not always) but looped badges were not marked. "Marples & Beasley" over the word "Birmingham" appears to be the only marking legimately used. The question of naming was apparently left entirely up to the manufacturer and it provided a free advert but also alerted competitors to information that was sometimes considered sensitive. The two big contemporary competitors were Gaunt & Firmin
Apparently detailed records of what badges were produced and when are no longer available from the company that incorporates M&B.
The problem with Marples & Beasley marked badges is that they have been used recently on badges that are clearly re-strikes and thus the mark in itself is no guarantee of originality in abadge. I recall Keith Blakeman alerting us to a rash of fakes with this Mark, Frattorini and others about 3-4 years ago.
Thus do not use the name on the slider alone to judge the originality of the badge use all the features you can learn of here for each particular design as well as judging any markings.
I actually wondered about that myself. So some of these badges where not made by M&B but ended up with M&B marked sliders? Any idea how this came about? Is it a M&B stamp that got away from the company or did M&B actually manufacture the badges, but because they came out post war or did not go through the MOD they are considered restrike/fake?
09-07-08, 03:56 AM
At this point in time I do not know who is producing the (re-strike) badges with Marples & Beasley marks. Neither do I know if the current company is producing these for the collector market (but I do not think they are). I shall attempt to find out more.
Thanks for the reply. Looks like Rebus, if it's the same one, now manufactures Masonic badges etc.
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