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HOLTZAPFFEL TURNED LIGNUM VITAE TOBACCO JAR
Jean-Jacques Holtzapffel was the eldest son of a Strasbourg wood turner and came to England from Alsace in 1792 where he joined the workshop of the well known scientific instrument maker, Jesse Ramsden. Ramsden's reputation was built on the extremely accurate machines which he designed and produced for maritime and cartography use throughout the British Empire. In 1794 Holtzapffel founded a tool making company and in 1795 sold his first lathe for over Â£25.00, a huge sum at the time.
The company continued through the generations until 1928 producing ever more complicated lathes which with a skilled hand could turn astonishingly intricate and varied designs. Born in the 'Age of Enlightenment' these instruments were used by gentlemen turners to make ornamental work and won medals at fairs and exhibitions throughout the 19th century including the Great Exhibition of 1851.
The use of these complex machines required a deep understanding and in 1843 Charles Holtzapffel, the founders son, began a treatise in 3 volumes and 2,750 pages titled 'Turning and Mechanical Manipulation'.
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