Years ago the late village carpenter taught me a
very valuable lesson. Over a few pints of Guinness in the local
pub, he looked up and said: "you can tell a quality tool lad...
just by its handle! Boxwood - good, ash - utility and
rosewood...well that's for them posh gits up at the big
Those profound words of this old sage stayed
with me and never let me down when searching for unfamiliar
And he taught me to recognize handle shapes and
styles. His favorite was this one London maker and his
distinctive lozenge rosewood or walnut handles.
So when I was browsing my favorite auction site the other
day...a few clues had me scrambling to bid.
"Small turning chisels, possibly of German
Had the seller named that "German" company, I
should not have won them and certainly not at a fiver a pop!
Yes, these are Holtzapffel & Co., London
chisels... Makers of without doubt, the finest ornamental
turning lathes and tools in the world, bar none!
So... listen to the old sage... you too could
benefit from his wise ramblings!