Ornamental Turning

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Original vs. modern-style Fabergé

Objects from the House of Fabergé were made up until the Russian Revolution in 1918, when the Bolsheviks closed down the shop in St. Petersburg. Soon after, objects were sold by the Soviet government throughout the world and began appearing at auctions in the 1930s. In the 1950s, Fabergé's grandson Theo began creating elegant objets d’art from rare wood and ivory using a Holtzapffel lathe. In 1984, he was persuaded to produce the more originally styled "St. Petersburg Collection" which his daughter Sarah continues today. Additionally, in the early 1990s, major American museums that owned authentic Fabergé allowed licensed reproductions to be made for sale in their museum stores.

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Catalogs on Ornamental Turning

Other auction catalogs

Most auction houses produce catalogs for their auctions. Although earlier ones often contain no photos, some of the more recent ones are superb references with beautiful full-color photos of nearly every item. The following catalogs contain items related to ornamental turning or collections of ornamental turned work:

  • Sotheby Bearne – "Ornamental Turning Lathes, Collectors Items, Clocks & Watches." July 18th, 1979
  • Christies – "The Kazan Collection of Works of Art by Carl Fabergé." New York. April 15, 1997. Color photographs 109 pages.
  • Brown Auction Services – "22nd International antique tool auction." Saturday April 5, 2003.
  • Sotheby's – "Fine Clocks, Watches, Barometers, Mechanical Music & Scientific Instruments." London. September 29, 2005.
  • Bonhams, London. 2006.
  • Bonhams, Sale #16664 featuring 17 lots (#800-815A) of ornamental turning equipment, including 3 Holtzapffel lathes, 1 Evans lathe, and a spherical sliderest. London. January 21, 2009.
  • Skinner – "Science, Technology & Clocks." July 16, 2011, Marlborough, MA.
  • Skinner – "Science, Technology & Clocks." December 1, 2012, Marlborough, MA.

Various Holtzapffel tools are found in antique tool auctions. Clearly not a comprehensive listing, the following catalogs are known to detail Holtzapffel items that range from ornamental turning tools to common woodworking tools.

  • Tony Murland – "International Tool Auction." Suffolk, England. Various dates.
  • David Stanley Auctions – "International Auction - Quality Antiuqe Woodworking and Allied Trades Tools, Treen, Bygones, and Trade Catalogues." Various dates.

Exhibition catalogs

Museums and galleries often produce beautiful color catalogs for their exhibits. Here are a few:

  • M. Dale Chase. November 29 - December 31, 2005. Del Mano Gallery. Los Angeles, CA. 32 pages. Full color.
  • Fabergé & Forbes – A History of Collecting. The Forbes gallery catalog from the former exhibit in New York City which housed twenty-eight cases of Fabergé selections from the now disbanded Forbes collection.
  • Fabergé in America, Thames & Hudson, Inc, New York, 1996. Published on the occasion of the exhibition "Fabergé in America" which was organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
  • Ornamental Turnings: An Exhition of Embellished Containers Created on Ornamental Lathes, Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 1995. This was the first OT show in America, with works by Armbruster, Chase, DuPlessis, Fletcher, Giesmann, Krick, and Sauer.
  • The Fred Howe Collection, Exhibition at the Apothecary's Hall. Published by the Worshipful Company of Turners, London.
  • Whitworth Exhibition, 1966.

Company catalogs

As to be expected, various manufacturers have produced catalogs of their products, which are now of historical interest. Here are a few:

  • Birch - Various catalogs published.
  • Buck & Hickman - Tool catalog.
  • J. H. Evans, Catalogue of Turning Lathes and Apparatus.
  • R. Gudel Ltd,. Engine Works - Bienne, Switzerland. "Engraving and Engine Turning Machines" - 63 pages.
  • Edward Hines, Norwich, 1890.
  • Holtzapffel & Co. - Various catalogs published by Holtzapffel & Co, London, circa 1824, 1834, 1844, 1914. View catalog (from Uphill & Son)
  • Holtzapffel & Co., Catalogue of Secondhand Lathes, 1899.
  • Lienhard & Co., La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
  • Henry Milnes, Ingleby Works, Bradford, England. "Lathes, Accessories, & Machine Tools" 1899. 80 pages. 6-1/4" x 9". Henry Milnes was contemporary of Holtzapffel and built lathes in Bradford, England from 1858 until the 1970s.
  • Neuweiler & Engelsberger - engine turning machines catalog.
  • Plant & Son Ltd., Birmingham. "Engine Turning Machines" - Details straightline and rotary engine turning machines, chucks and accessories.
  • Pledge & Aldworth – Engine turning samples catalog. 12 pages.
  • Pringle Robert & Sons, Tool & Supplies Catalogue.