Daily text book
In 1825 two Mauchline, men William Smith (1795-1847)and Andrew Smith(1797-1869) set up a factory to make snuff boxes in Scotland. Out of this venture grew an industry which was to dominate the market for wooden (sycamore wood) souvenirs during the Victorian era.
During their success and survival for three generations the Smith Brothers produced a variety of souvenirs in at least a half dozen styles of decor. Their greatest success from the 1850's onward was in the production of knicknacks, most of them useful as well as decorative. They were embellished with transferred engravings of scenes in or around the area of Mauchline.
They started to see a decline in the taking of snuff so they decided to off-set this by extending their range to include ladies work boxes,tea caddies, trinket boxes, and later card cases and needle cases. There was also a market for cheap souvenirs which consisted of books, boxes, games, toys, household articles, knitting and sewing accessories. Every item would have an identifiable purpose.
On Williams death in 1847 his independent business was wound up. The firm W&A Smith was reconstituted Andrews son William and George son of the deceased William took charge of the firms mercantile business in Birmingham. The next 20 odd years saw the Smiths at the peak of their business powers. The production of "Mauchline Ware" was phenomenal it would be impossible to list every scene or subject. After changing hands quite a few times the Birmingham branch closed in 1904 and William at the age of 72 sold the company to three local men and W&A Smith (1937) Ltd. was formed. They went into liquidation and sold the stock and machinery and the name W&A Smith disappeared after 114 years. Such was the volume and variety of articles that now almost all articles made by many different companies are classified as "Mauchline Ware"
"Days Gone By"
If you are a collector, just curios, or wonder about those "Days Gone By" I will be blogging about decorating styles, fashion trends, recipes, what the cost was for the consumer, historys of Antiques and Collectibles and much more.