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.

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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).

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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.