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Feb 28

John Holland, planemaker.

There’s not much on the web about John Holland.

A planemaker, obviously of some considerable skill, he worked his trade in Lambeth, South London for a time between 1861 to 1892, a time thought of as the ‘Golden Age’ of infill planes. His two work addresses list him as residing at 68 Oakley Street, Lambeth and later 93 York Road, also of Lambeth. Coincidentally, when at the York Road address, another close neighbour was doing quite well turning out a few infill planes. A fellow called Thomas Norris!

I recently took a leap of faith and purchased a small bullnose plane I liked the look of. Something about the shape suggested it was very well-made. It turned up in the post, and I was overjoyed to see it was made by John Holland. Being a collector of good London planes, Holland had so far evaded me. The following shots show the plane, made of gunmetal, with a beautiful ebony infill.

John Holland 4
John Holland 6
John Holland 5
John Holland 7

The only other nice Holland plane I’ve seen recently was the lovely chariot plane offered (pics below), by Simon at ‘The Old Tool Shed’. (Plane is now sold).

John Holland 1
John Holland 2
John Holland 3

Simon has been a huge help to me in sourcing information about tools and maintains an excellent tool site with some great tools. If you’re looking for some vintage tools, it’s a site you have to visit. I quite regret not buying his Holland plane from him now, having seen how few Holland’s come to market!

Whilst trying to set up the Hackney Tools website, I’ve also received no end of support and advice from Gary at Old School Tools. Gary’s site is a ‘must-visit’. He’s pleased to offer advice to anyone with the same interest, and has a stock of tools, and an encyclopedic knowledge of them which is truly amazing.

If you have any more information about John Holland, please get in touch. I’d like to build my own site up with as much information about London tool makers and dealers as possible, especially makers who worked in the east end and Hackney.

At Hackney Tools, we buy old, good quality woodworking tools. If you have any tools you would like to sell, please get in touch using the contact form on the home page.

6 comments

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  1. gary

    FANTASTIC SCARCE PLANE,
    very nice tight mouth, only downfall IMO is that it never had a steel sole, brass was a softer metal that scratched and gouged easily but still a plane for the collector,
    wouldnt say no to it in my tool collection, thanks for sharing.

  2. Gary

    Thanks Gary. Yes, pretty chuffed with this one, I have to say. I’d like to get hold of some reference material that shows more about J.H’s output, and the various planes he made, but can’t find anything!

  3. MICHAEL MAKAREVICH

    I shot a video about my Mitre Infill made by John Holland. If you have any info on this particular plane–I would appreciate.
    Michael.
    Enjoy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ete5Rw8ehkQ

  4. Dave

    Hya, Must agree with you about the lack of information on John Holland and all I can find is like you, his addresses and when he was making/dealing though he was mentioned in Goodman’s “British Planemakers from 1700” and that was just to describe him as a “maker of fine shoulder (and other) planes. Reason I have been looking as I managed to pick up a dovetailed 13” panel plane by Holland and wanted to know more. Will keep looking and of course, will let you know if I come across anything significant

  5. Marc

    I have a jointing plane with the name H.C. Holland (could be H.G.) 25 Falcon Road Clapham Junction, stamped on the end. I haven’t been able to find out any information about this company. I was wondering if there was a link to John Holland? the blade is by William Marples & Son of Sheffield.

  6. A.R.Clarence

    Harry.C.Holland born 1858 (son of John Holland)
    Tool dealer of Falcon road Battersea 1891-1910

    Holland London chariot plane with original wedge photo

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