Friday, September 28, 2007

Briggs & Company


I have had the good fortune in getting two wonderful resources. First, I got the Album of Transfer Patterns (c. 1903) published by the Wm. Briggs & Company.

Album Briggs Transfer Papers - 4 books bound as 1
Floral (224 pages); Artistic Conventional (borders, sprays, corners, etc., 72 pages); Scallops (edgings, flannel designs, 36 pages); and Initials & Monograms (18 pages)

This is the catalog that these 2 Dover books are from:
Designs and Patterns for Embroiderers and Craftspeople (ISBN: 0486230309) William Briggs & Co.; Editor-Marion Nichols and 400 Floral Motifs for Designers, Needleworkers and Craftspeople (Dover Pictorial Archive Series) (ISBN: 0486251624) Briggs & Co.

I went through some of the pages of the Dover books and found the patterns in the Album Briggs Transfer Papers. It was a fun afternoon for me.

The second book I found is a leather and cloth bound salesman sample book called "Briggs and Compy's Patent Book". It has 130 pages of the actual wax transfer patterns - transferred to the pages of the book. Hand written notations indicate the pattern number and other notes, such as 'Kate Greenaway Children' or 'splashers'.

The book dates prior to 1895, when the company became Wm. Briggs & Company. What is neat about this book, is that the motifs are 'actual size' whereas the catalogues have smaller images.

The patterns range in color from a blue-black, black and red. Note: The tissue transfer patterns I have (I Weighed Rose-Mary, etc.) were done in a red-brown wax transfer color.

6 comments:

Louise said...

Added the image of the Briggs Album

Lesley said...

I came across this post and just had to let you know how excited I was to see it. William Briggs was my grandfather's uncle! My grandfather worked for the company as did one of his brothers and several other family members. My mother had many of the pattern books and transfer samples, left from the days when her father was a sales representative, but unwittingly, threw them out when my parents moved to a smaller house. I am so pleased that you can still find them and that they are being treasured.

Louise said...

Lesley, that is so cool. I would love to get any information you have regarding the company. I have 5-6 catalogs from Brigss and Wm. Briggs, plus some wax transfers. Best regards, Louise

Susanne said...

I was excited to find this page as my grandmother worked for Briggs, as an apprenticed embroiderer, and in the 1911 census, at 17, she is an novelty finisher warehouse. She embroidered samples for the travellers. The family pieces she left are exquisite.

Susanne said...

I was having trouble posting that, so I didn't complete the posting. I would love to know about the conditions in which she worked. I think she worked there up to the early 1920s. I understood she worked at Shudehill in Manchester. that is what I remember. I can remember using iron on transfers, and well, she did encourage me, my French knots were appallingly tight and sweaty! When I got older, I missed the opportunity for the masterclasses, as I thought I had all the time in the world. I must ask my aunt if she has any items, other than the beautiful embroidery pieces, which she continued to do. My handmade clothes as a tot in the 1950s were often embroidered or hand smocked. What a gift.

Louise said...

Susanne, that is very exciting. There is not a lot out there on the Briggs company. From what I can determine, it was founded in 1874 and is now part of Coats. I have quite a few of the old catalogs from the late 1800s. Ingalls continued to offer Briggs patterns into the the early 1920s.