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By Alex I Askaroff 


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A small part of my collection




Singer 48k Circa 1901

The Singer 48k. A rare beast, 19th century, but looking quite modern. I love the superb gold work on it. I had it displayed at our local Marks & Spencer's until I realised how rare it was.

There are some that say this machine is not so rare but in a lifetime in the trade I have only ever seen a handful and only two in great condition.

Compare this to the Moldacot for example which was supposedly produced in similar numbers. You will see a 100 of them for every Singer 48. I doubt if manufacturing figures for this model are anywhere near accurate.

With the Internet tracking them down has become easier but they are still elusive and fine ones almost impossible to aquire.

Singer sewing machine history


Ah, my favourite Agenoria. Bought from Maggie Snell some years ago, it is nearly perfect. It simply shines. It has more gold on it than Tutan-what's his name in Egypt. It is said that the Agenoria may be the most beautiful sewing machine ever made!

Agenoria history

A beautiful Ward Arm & Platform.

Ward made, if not the first, certainly one of the first free arm machines in the World. Considered the finest machine of the Victorian era. Ward was killed by a horse while out taking the air, silly boy.

Arm & Platform history

An assortment of Challenge's, Shakespeare's a Collier and Monarch. They all came from similar manufactures around Middle England. Where the start of the industrial revolution took place (the reason Britain ruled a quarter of the planet, before everyone caught up and overtook us).

Two Pfaff boxes, one showing the impressive factory at Kaiserslautern, the other showing two of the factory staff hard at work.

A superb early Grover & Baker with a 1848 patent disc. I travelled across Britain to snatch this beauty from the clutches of another keen collector. It was part of an old museum that closed. He-he-he-he, ouch!!!, now I have pulled something in my chest, I am going to have to lay down.

This is an interesting item. It was used in factories for timing products. A sewing girl would press the lever down, sew the product and stop the item. Three girls would sew the same item and an average time used to price the work.

Of course the girls all knew how to look as if they were sewing fast, but were in fact taking their time. I know I helped!

The Jones factory at Audenshaw, Manchester, knocked out machines for over a century. Probably the best known make in England besides Singer. This beauty circa 1910 looks as if it was made yesterday.  

Jones  sewing machine history

A mass of Moldacots. To my knowledge, I have the largest collection of them in the World. I have spent 3 decades searching them out. Now they have risen above my spending limits. I can still be found stroking them on dark nights. I do take the pills, but they don't always help.

Moldacot sewing machine

A super rare Starley Queen of Hearts.

It is in superb condition with the transfers in the middle nearly 100%. I  love this one (because it is so valuable). Money makes the world go around, the world go around----------

Starley sewing machine, James Starley

My true favourite machine an 1890's beauty, snapped up from the jaws of death. It was riddled with woodworm and was about to be thrown out. It was the machine used to repair costumes behind the set of the World Famous Glyndebourne Opera House, silent and smooth the perfect life-saver when the costumes ripped.

The No8 Wheeler & Wilson. This has unusual gold work. It transforms a normally basic machine into something much nicer. I picked this one up from one of the oldest families in Eastbourne. They run the Allchorn boats that make day trips around the Lighthouse at Beachy Head, from the Pier.

A Gold Medal hexagonal, pretty, and now rare. I did a deal with Graham Forsdyke for this baby 10 years ago. Notice my two vicious guards, anyone comes close they are in trouble. They are both black belts in `Trollodo`. The seldom herd of but deadly art of leaping up to your face and  jamming their red hats up your nostrils until you plead for mercy.

 I picked up this beauty from Bernard Williams, a founder member of ISMACS. This is a Bartlett machine circa 1860-70. I had thought the machine above was also a Bartlett for ten years as they made a similar model.

A White's Peerless. I love the different Vignette's that appear in the centre of these machines. This one is of a deer in a woodland. There was a large importers in Brighton near us called E.G.Benford. I have several of his brass badged machines.

I love this machine. The picture depicts the transformation of the Victorian age from sail to steam. This ship still has both, you can see the smoke from the stack as well as the sails on the ocean liner. A new era was dawning.

Well that's it for now, I will add more when time allows. I do hope you enjoyed browsing some of my collection. 

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