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Feb 22

R.Groves & Sons

R.Groves & Sons Tenon Saw 1
Established in 1770 I believe, Richard Groves & Sons was a thoroughbred Sheffield steel refiner and producer of edge tools. (I mainly hunt for their wonderful saws, one of which is pictured above).

Steadfast to their old localities in Snow hill are Richard Groves & Sons, perhaps the oldest saw manufacturers in the town. Mr. Groves, the grandfather of the present firm, always had an open Bible before him on his work-board.
(Reminiscences of Old Sheffield, Its Streets and Its People” Robert Eadon Leader – 1875)

William White, White's General & Commercial Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Chesterfield and Worksop.  (Sheffield: William White, 1879).

William White, White’s General & Commercial Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Chesterfield and Worksop.
(Sheffield: William White, 1879).

I have seen saws marked as Sheffield, obviously, but also marked with ‘London’. It would seem there is some agreement that the London mark was to convey more of a prestigious quality once R.Groves started exporting. Some people disagree and think the London mark is more to denote quality, where the ‘London Spring’ is purely to denote the use of the best quality spring steel.

(Note: The word “spring” is a pretty common descriptor on saws. Spring steel was different for the higher carbon (about 1%-1.5%) content and other elements and compounds in the alloy. It could be tempered to a good hardness for tools while having a quality of elasticity (as opposed to brittleness). This grade of steel was good for carriage springs, hence the name, and top-grade handsaws).The saw I have recently purchased has the Sheffield mark with ‘silver steel’.

R.Groves & Sons Tenon Saw 3
R.Groves & Sons Tenon Saw 4

The ‘& Sons’ is thought to be in use at least after 1822, with Groves starting to use label screws (medallions) around then. Groves saws carry the ‘USE’ medallion from around 1825. The advertisements for Richard Groves and Sons show the “USE” as their corporate mark. The corporate mark was granted by the Cutlers’ Company and Registered In England and Germany.
R.Groves & Sons Tenon Saw 2

William White, White's General & Commercial Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Chesterfield and Worksop.  (Sheffield: William White, 1879).

William White, White’s General & Commercial Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Chesterfield and Worksop.
(Sheffield: William White, 1879).

R.Groves obviously did very well in their business, with exporting making up a good percentage of their trade.

A Day in the New York Cristal Palace - Popular Companion to the "Official Catalog"... by William C. Richards, A.M, 1853. In the clipping below we can see that Richard Groves was exhibiting in good company.  The companies like Howarth, Jackson and Marsh Bros. were one of the most prominent and well recognized Sheffield industrial leaders.  Richard Groves & Sons was among them.

A Day in the New York Cristal Palace – Popular Companion to the “Official Catalog”… by William C. Richards, A.M, 1853.
In the clipping below we can see that Richard Groves was exhibiting in good company. The companies like Howarth, Jackson and Marsh Bros. were one of the most prominent and well recognized Sheffield industrial leaders. Richard Groves & Sons was among them.

A Day in the New York Cristal Palace - Popular Companion to the "Official Catalog"... by William C. Richards, A.M, 1853. In the clipping above we can see that Richard Groves was exhibiting in good company.  The companies like Howarth, Jackson and Marsh Bros. were one of the most prominent and well recognized Sheffield industrial leaders.  Richard Groves & Sons was among them.

A Day in the New York Cristal Palace – Popular Companion to the “Official Catalog”… by William C. Richards, A.M, 1853.
In the clipping above we can see that Richard Groves was exhibiting in good company. The companies like Howarth, Jackson and Marsh Bros. were one of the most prominent and well recognized Sheffield industrial leaders. Richard Groves & Sons was among them.

R.Groves & Sons Tenon Saw 5
R.Groves & Sons Tenon Saw 6

I buy good quality tools from well-known 19thc makers. If you have any R.Groves saws in good condition, get in touch.

8 comments

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  1. Jeanne Bradley

    I have no saws, but came across a pair of scissors stamped r. groves sheffield, with also stamped H.M.GOVT. Kind regards Jeanne Bradley

  2. Roger Evans

    I have recently inherited a Richard Groves 10″ dovetail saw which belonged to my grandfather, then subsequently to my late uncle who, when I told him back in the 1970s that I had read up on saw sharpening, (I am a machine tool engineer by training) asked me to sharpen it for him. I remember the teeth being in such a mess that I topped it completely, then refiled it to 16 tpi by working directly from a 12″ engineers’ steel rule.
    The back had been hammered down at the toe, leading me to think it was a tapered blade and thinking how attractive it looked! It is, in fact, slightly tapered but only by about 1/4″.
    The blade has a slight ‘ding’ about 1″ up the front (toe) edge, but it is more readily felt than seen. Never having done any ‘panel beating’ I am very reluctant to start hammering it for fear of causing more damage. I don’t think it will affect the performance.
    The handle fits my hand ‘like a glove’ and is by far the most comfortable handle it has ever been my pleasure to hold, so much so that I have started to remodel another old handle to as near the same ‘feel’ as I can. It is absolutely wonderful. I have also started hunting for more of these wonderful saws.

  3. Anonymous

    I have a knife set, which has a wood like handle could it be bone….it was my Grandfathers, he own a store in Richmond Hill north of Toronto Canada……
    in the late 40’s also ran a Post Office …..

    Craving set has knife,fork,shaping stone…..

    It has the stamp of the family name

    best regards Sandra Mathewson

  4. Mike

    I recently inherited one of these R Groves & Sons hand saws. It’s also stamped ‘Made For J. Sime&co Falkirk

  5. Mike

    Inherited one of these saws. Miketupper805@gmail.com

  6. Gary

    Hi Mike, can I get more info please? Are you selling a Groves saw? Thanks, Gary

  7. Tom Horsfield

    This comment section doesn’t seem to work very well.I have a 10″ blade Richard Groves back saw in good ( but used) condition. Blade is slightly loose in the handle; handle in excellent condition. For sale.

  8. Alvan R. Hill

    Mike – I’ve a 26-inch R. Croves & Sons handsaw. Great condition. Stamped on center of blade stating: Cast Steel and the word warranted. No stamped ID on handle’s center button.

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