British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum  

Go Back   British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum > British Military Insignia > General Topics.

 Other Pages: Galleries, Links etc.
Glossary  Books by Forum Members     Canadian Pre 1914    CEF    CEF Badge Inscriptions   Canadian post 1920     Canadian post 1953     British Cavalry Badges     Makers' Marks    Pipers' Badges  Canadian Cloth Titles  Books  SEARCH
 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 08-04-10, 10:14 AM
'Ticker' Riley's Avatar
'Ticker' Riley 'Ticker' Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ex Brummagem (now in West Wales)
Posts: 275
Default The ‘other’ J. R. Gaunt & Son, etc.

Picking up on Chris’ comments about the ‘other’ J. R. Gaunt & Son, who came into being in 2002 and who appear to be part of Cleave & Company Ltd, Forum members might find this posting and a subsequent one I made last year about this very subject of interest. I have yet to follow things up on this, but if anyone else knows anything about this other “J. R. Gaunt & Son Limited” I’d be very glad to hear about it. Who knows what this company are making in the way of cap badges, or what they are selling them as, but the fact they registered the Gaunt name as a trade mark does make me personally rather suspicious of their intentions.

btns’ complicated posting on Gaunt matters looks most interesting, though unfortunately I do not think I can offer much in the way of answers to the questions he raises myself – at least not yet! I would think that the information from Diana’s buttons website does need careful consideration, and it may be that the date ranges it quotes for the various forms of the name are not wholly accurate or relevant to the marks used on badges. The history of Gaunt certainly seems very complex, but hopefully with Chris working on the later history and Julian looking at the deposited archives, together with contributions from other members, a true picture of the Firm’s activities will slowly emerge. Though whether we will find answers to all the questions where badges are concerned is another matter.

Regards

Martin
__________________
From Hindoostan, Gibraltar and Almanza; to Dunblane, Alma and Brandywine: Tigers, Steelbacks, Dutch Guards, Leather Hats, Nanny Goats and Red Feathers!
Interested in style and variation of post-1893 regimental cap badges for the Leicesters, the Northamptons, the Warwicks, the K.L.R., the R.W.F. and the D.C.L.I.

“Scutelliphiliacus in vestri insignia pergaudete”
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-04-10, 10:37 AM
hagwalther's Avatar
hagwalther hagwalther is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,761
Default

Hi Martin,

I have to first state that I'm not really an authority on any of this although I did look closely at Gaunt along with a lot of other manufacturers of badges and ancillary companies right down to the makers of the gold dye used in A/A badges. Studying Gaunt I must have spent most effort for least amount of generated output but I think I may have the 1950's era onwards sorted.

Most of my research into Gaunt for this era comes directly from company headed notepaper which contains addresses of plant, main office and sales outlets and of course all the dates which are most important. The headed notepaper also contained related companies of which a major one which I do not think has been picked up on yet. This note paper was mainly concerned with correspondence with the War Office for specific badges and contracts and in its own right was quite interesting with much information held in footers and to the letter sides.

As I said previously, I found the early pre 1950's a real problem to understand with so many sources out there and it would need someone with a lot of time and who was able to accurately reference sources to come up with a good history of the company.

Always very keen to hear more of the other Gaunt outfit too if anyone has time to study what is going on here.

Regards

Chris
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-04-10, 08:32 AM
btns's Avatar
btns btns is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,446
Default gaunt time line

I can now clarify my previous post.
The family have been "buttonmen" since the 18th century.
The family history has J.R. working his way up the Firmin hierarchy ending up as a site manager in London.
While he lived in London, his father's die cutting, press tool and button firm went bust. There was no "Gaunt firm" for two decades.

The family history has the firm start in 1884 in Clifford Street. I think they may have moved there around 1888.
Circa 1895 they purchased the works in Warstone Lane.
In 1899 they became incorporated.
Around the same time they purchased the assets of Thurckle in London (200 year history)
A rapid expansion followed and the company's manager privately opened sales offices in New York and Montreal. His estate sold them to Waterbury and the Montreal manager in 1939.
The factory in Warstone Lane burned down in 1912.
After WWI they have snapped up a series of struggling companies or assets of bankrupt companies. Many can be traced back until the 18th century.

Note that they continued to use respected names for marketing purposes:
- see notes on "late with Firmin" (c.1885)
- see Faris in the advertisement in the other Gaunt thread (c.1895)
- see notes on Thurkle (c.1900)
- see notes on Jennens (c.1924)

The industry shake out continued until the end of the 20th century, but by 1991 Gaunt itself was gone.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-04-10, 11:03 AM
'Ticker' Riley's Avatar
'Ticker' Riley 'Ticker' Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ex Brummagem (now in West Wales)
Posts: 275
Default J. R. Gaunt's Early History

Hi btns

Many thanks indeed for your latest contribution to things – all of which is indeed most interesting. You’ve definitely found out some important snippets of information, which are now helping us have a better understanding of the history of this particular badge making firm. I certainly hadn’t heard the part about J. R. Gaunt working for Firmins, which I suppose makes it ironic that the company he went on to found eventually ended up being taken over by Firmin many years later. I wonder if you could tell us what your sources are for all the family history information relating to Gaunts you have? You’ll also have to excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is the “Aucioneer DNW sales info” you mentioned before? I’m assuming it is an auctioneer’s catalogue of some description, but perhaps you could clarify this for me please. As I said in my reply to the Gaunt advertisement thread, the fact that the Warstone Lane factory, which was formerly that of David Faris, burnt down in 1912 is particularly significant, as is what you say about the destruction of 20,000 dies in the fire. I’m sure there is much more to discover about the history of J. R. Gaunt & Son, but I for one appreciate everything you have posted up so far on this subject.

Best regards

Martin
__________________
From Hindoostan, Gibraltar and Almanza; to Dunblane, Alma and Brandywine: Tigers, Steelbacks, Dutch Guards, Leather Hats, Nanny Goats and Red Feathers!
Interested in style and variation of post-1893 regimental cap badges for the Leicesters, the Northamptons, the Warwicks, the K.L.R., the R.W.F. and the D.C.L.I.

“Scutelliphiliacus in vestri insignia pergaudete”

Last edited by 'Ticker' Riley; 12-04-10 at 11:09 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 13-04-10, 06:28 PM
'Ticker' Riley's Avatar
'Ticker' Riley 'Ticker' Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ex Brummagem (now in West Wales)
Posts: 275
Default 1912 Gaunt's Fire

As I was very interested in btns postings about the 1912 fire at Gaunt’s factory in Warstone Parade, Birmingham, I’ve been looking into things a little and have found the following small piece about the incident that appeared in The Times on 6 February that year:




It would seem that there was actually an explosion in the basement of the Works, and whilst thankfully no-one was injured, not only were 20,000 dies “rendered useless” but also many of the old pattern books burnt! I hope other Forum members find this as interesting as I do - it certainly appears to have been quite a disaster for Gaunts and an important part of the Firm’s history.

Regards

Martin
__________________
From Hindoostan, Gibraltar and Almanza; to Dunblane, Alma and Brandywine: Tigers, Steelbacks, Dutch Guards, Leather Hats, Nanny Goats and Red Feathers!
Interested in style and variation of post-1893 regimental cap badges for the Leicesters, the Northamptons, the Warwicks, the K.L.R., the R.W.F. and the D.C.L.I.

“Scutelliphiliacus in vestri insignia pergaudete”

Last edited by 'Ticker' Riley; 13-04-10 at 07:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 13-04-10, 06:38 PM
Tinto's Avatar
Tinto Tinto is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gisborne, New Zealand
Posts: 2,443
Default

Thankyou, Martin, for the newspaper "cuttings". This, and the other Gaunt thread, have been most interesting.
Cheers, Tinto
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 13-04-10, 09:52 PM
Keith Blakeman's Avatar
Keith Blakeman Keith Blakeman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Staring into space, just wishing I had a desk.
Posts: 2,428
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Ticker' Riley View Post
As I was very interested in btns postings about the 1912 fire at Gaunt’s factory in Warstone Parade, Birmingham, I’ve been looking into things a little and have found the following small piece about the incident that appeared in The Times on 6 February that year:




It would seem that there was actually an explosion in the basement of the Works, and whilst thankfully no-one was injured, not only were 20,000 dies “rendered useless” but also many of the old pattern books burnt! I hope other Forum members find this as interesting as I do - it certainly appears to have been quite a disaster for Gaunts and an important part of the Firm’s history.

Regards

Martin
Excellent stuff Martin (& btns), keep it coming. Maybe the loss of the dies isn't a bad thing, think how many Victorian & Edwardian restrikes that may have prevented happening.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 14-04-10, 05:33 AM
KLR's Avatar
KLR KLR is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London
Posts: 2,324
Default

It would be interesting to know how many new badges came out in 1912/13.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 14-04-10, 11:45 AM
btns's Avatar
btns btns is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,446
Default the 1912 fire

Not all pattern books were a complete loss in 1912. Many were salvaged. They were donated by Gaunts to the National Army Museum in the 1950s. Around 2005 the museum decided it could not retain non military items. It followed proper disposal procedures but no other museum wanted these books. They were disposed of at auction in 2007 and 2008.

The pattern books were as salvaged in 1912: paper Table of Contents with die numbers and identities gone, english military buttons removed by the museum, top items removed for special lots in the auction and the remaining cardboards with buttons covered in soot. Many cardboards had notes and many buttons had identities. Many only had initials for the company (e.g. a trader or tailor) ordering them and a "die released" date. Some resellers realising the added value of an identity present them as good as they can. Others just dump them on an auction site.

The high quality, treble gilt buttons from the early 19th century had taken the 1912 hammering without a problem. They were simply fired for a 4th time. Their solid layer of gold protected them from the corrosive soot during the years in storage. Later issues, such as the series of USA State Seal staff buttons, had their electroplated gilding reduced to dust and base metal corroded. Finally, 19th century cardboard seems the best ever produced: fire, soot and museum proof. Together they were a poisonous lot though. One interested party needed gloves and a mouth cap.

The books were heritage from the early industrial revolution - there were sheets with buttons from c. 1815. Some manufacturers had put buttons in that had failed quality control. Others had put a test strikes: a roughly cut die strike with a soldered loop - no gilding, no backplate, rough edge cut.
The buttons taken from the books by Alderman Gaunt for his collection had been replaced by paper drawings. His collection is now in Birmingham. Checking the cardboards would have been useful to the Birmingham museum, because the drawings carried so much information.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 14-04-10, 12:52 PM
KLR's Avatar
KLR KLR is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London
Posts: 2,324
Default

Btns, I've been through the NAM collection, rather a ramshackle lot with nothing later than the 1930s as far as I could see. There are more Gaunt archives in B'ham Museum which I've also been through - but again all late 19th / early 20th. Julian
PS. regarding buttons, you presumably know about the Firmin archives in Westminster archives !?
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 14-04-10, 07:20 PM
btns's Avatar
btns btns is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,446
Default Gaunt items in NAM

Dear Julian,
This is what I know of the transfer of the Gaunt items:
...
During the course of its history the firm collected many items of military interest. In 1955 the bulk, amounting to six tons of assorted regalia, valuable military prints, documents and uniforms, was presented to the Museum of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst where it was temporarily housed in the India Room.
Further gifts of old pattern books were made and now these, with the above, form part of the National Army Museum, which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 15 July 1960.
...
Well I can imagine what happens to 6 tons of uncatalogued, unsorted and temporarily housed items. After a while it must be a ramshackle lot. We all know good badges stored like that have legs, sorry, lugs.


Birmingham Museum has the Gaunt Collection.
I am aware of the Firmin Archives. The index is on line (and very interesting), but that is as far as I have seen it. I understand there are pattern books. Do you know what is in them?
regards,
btns
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 14-04-10, 07:27 PM
btns's Avatar
btns btns is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,446
Default old Gaunt pattern book sample

This one is from "The Second British Legion", c.1818.
Most were ex British army who could not get used to life post Waterloo. Their battles are on the web, they fought hard!
It is South American history and was disposed of by the NAM in 2008.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2BritLeg.jpg (45.9 KB, 19 views)
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 14-04-10, 09:38 PM
peter616
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

here some of my pages of pattern books i own which came for the archives of Major T.J. Edwads

peter



patt books (1).jpg

patt books (2).jpg

patt books (4).jpg
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 15-04-10, 06:43 PM
'Ticker' Riley's Avatar
'Ticker' Riley 'Ticker' Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ex Brummagem (now in West Wales)
Posts: 275
Default Birmingham Mint’s purchase of Gaunts, etc.

Thank you Tinto and Keith for your support – it’s encouraging to know that other members are finding things of interest. It seems we’ve had some more interesting postings from btns, this time, amongst other things, about the pattern books that survived the 1912 fire; as well as the material that was donated to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and which eventually found its way to the National Army Museum. I too had come across mention of Sandhurst’s “Gaunt Collection” but had not realised this was actually the same as what they now have at the NAM! It’s also great to see examples of Gaunt’s pattern books – so many thanks to Peter Taylor for posting these up.

I have been trying to look at the history of J. R. Gaunt & Son in more detail, kindly helped by btns who has been sharing some of his information and sources on this with me. Hopefully I should have some preliminary findings ready to post up in a few days, but in the meantime here’s something from the last days of the Firm:




This piece appeared in The Times in June 1973, and whilst it has been noted elsewhere (such as my posting here) that Gaunts were sold to the Birmingham Mint that year, I thought it was interesting if only because it tells us the price paid was £600,000. Anyway, as I say I hope to have something ready to post up about the family and company history of J. R. Gaunt & Son soon, which hopefully will also be of interest to Forum members.

Regards

Martin
__________________
From Hindoostan, Gibraltar and Almanza; to Dunblane, Alma and Brandywine: Tigers, Steelbacks, Dutch Guards, Leather Hats, Nanny Goats and Red Feathers!
Interested in style and variation of post-1893 regimental cap badges for the Leicesters, the Northamptons, the Warwicks, the K.L.R., the R.W.F. and the D.C.L.I.

“Scutelliphiliacus in vestri insignia pergaudete”

Last edited by 'Ticker' Riley; 15-04-10 at 08:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 15-04-10, 07:28 PM
orasot's Avatar
orasot orasot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Herts
Posts: 1,597
Default

This is cracking stuff, thanks for showing it , looking forward to more already !! Wilf.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
badge makers, gaunt

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:51 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.