A manual of the dark art
Henry writes: “These examples led to a dazzling range of extinguishers being produced in the 40 years from 1860. They were often issued as pairs – Punch and Dog Toby; Diffidence and Confidence, which were skits on Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale; Mr and Mrs Caudle and the participants in the Tichborne trial, the lawyer Coleridge and Arthur Orton, claimant to the fortune, who is shown on his butcher’s block.”
In the early days, Tony was able to access the archives of such manufacturers as Minton, Copeland Spode, Worcester, Brontë, Doulton, Avalon, and Francesca.
As a result, many previously unknown extinguishers are included in the new book, as are photographs of rare extinguishers where only black and white images from factory patterns book existed.
Occasionally, rare named examples listed in factory records but with no identifying drawing or photograph have turned up in collections and are now identified correctly through painstaking research.
Sadly, however, over the years, most manufacturers have ceased production of extinguishers or have closed, making archives virtually impossible to access.
In 1997, a new factory called Brontë Porcelain launched the first of what was to be a large production of candle extinguishers covering a vast array of subjects such as, fairy tale characters, historical figures, politicians, TV personalities, royalty and many more.
Interestingly, when Henry Sandon’s wife Barbara saw them, she was struck by their superior modelling and painting and suggested a new series.
“The first productions were of friends of mine,” Henry writes.
“These led to an incredible series of Alice in Wonderland characters, with a bone china model of the original book, set in a garden. The quality of this set harks back to the Meissen and Sèvres of the 18th century.”
Sadly, production of the extinguishers ceased in 2013 when the Brontë factory was purchased by new owners who considered the individually hand-decorated novelties were too costly to produce.
Distinguished Extinguishers 2 also covers smaller outlets for extinguishers such as a delightful set of 12 Dickens characters marketed by The Dickens House Museum in 1983.
The only extinguishers ever produced by the Royal Doulton factory appeared in 2003. Eight characters from the imaginary village of Doultonville were produced at a very affordable price of £25 each, with one priced at £50 reserved for members of the Royal Doulton Collectors’ Club.
The Dresden and Meissen factories were among the few who retained the traditional conical shape of metal extinguishers factories and these are listed along with photographs of other continental examples.
Many others exist and without the presence of the factory mark, they will remain unidentified.
Another aim of the book, however, is to give collectors the opportunity to contact the author so that new information may be included in future reprints.
Candle wick trimmers, vital for fire prevention prior to self-consuming wicks