Up until c.1959 these 'Marking Knives'  were called 'Striking Knives' and until 1938 had 2 rivets securing the Rosewood handles. After WW2 they are described as being of 'Hardwood'.  Numbered as Item#1879 , they first are shown c.1909 and survive until at least 1972.

As can be seen, post-war the blade length was reduced.

The answer to the teaser .. It was a merchandising helper to store and show 'punches' in a retail establishment as shown in the 1959 Catalogue.

These Bradawls were introduced in Sept. 1968.

They appear in the 1971 catalogue, but I do not know for how long they were offered.

At first glance just a screwdriver, but in reality it is a great  'turnscrew' for adjusting the Cap Iron/Cutter screw on plane blades. Also described as a 'Short, Strong Flat-Blade Motor Turnscrew'. Beech Handle.  

Available # 1972 (1909 Cat.)  1.1/2"-2.1/2". 

Available #1992 (1928-1938 Cats) as 1.1/2"-3"".

Available #1992 (1958Cat.) as1.1/2"-2.1/2" .

Not shown in the 1965 Catalogue.

 Item # M1838 is described correctly as a 'Birdcage Awl' and it always had a square cross section.

First introduced c.1900 as Item# 1825.1/2  until c.1928 and then from 1938< until at least 1974 as Item # 1838     Listed as Round Beech  until c.1960 then as Round Ash Handled.   They had assorted sizes Nos. 1-6           

Here is a Leather workers tool that was given to me by Robert Isdale from Brisbane, Australia.

It is a Shoe or Saddlers' Oval Cutting Punch that I see in the 1862 Catalogue with no number but sized 0-20

In the 1873 Cat. it is item# 1154 and numbered 1-16. [these were round punches]

In the 1897 Cat. it is item# 1167 and numbered 1-16 [Round] and item#1167A numbered 17-30 [Oval]

In the 1909 Cat. it is item# 3780 and numbered 0-16 + larger [All Round] and item# 3782 numbered 17-31 [Oval]

I deduce that the Oval Punch was introduced around 1880 as the punch shown here has the number 30, HIBERNIA and single Shamrock

Number 30 is listed as being 9/16" measured on the larger width of an oval.


                                                                                                                 MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS


In this section that I will attempt to list and study the other MARPLES  tools that may be found in the Catalogues.  At this stage there will be no order as to their listings.

This next item is found in the 1928 catalogue, and probably before, it is described as 'Upholsters' Polished Beechwood Toothed Web Strainer' Item#  3923

3 teeth at one end and 2 at the other.

#452B Plain Steel Grip Lamb Castrators.  Obviouusly used in conjunction with a very sharp knife, but just the mere thought...!!

It makes a 'Vasectomy' look like child's play!

Item #2486 ' 6 Gate Strong Black Pit Saw Set  c.1910

'The Marpleset'  was a short lived set of tools contained in a stout leather case and probably aimed at the 'Gentleman'. Obviously not well received, [not too many 'Gentlemen around?], it is not shown in any catalogue and only appears as an advert 'insert' to be added to the 1928 Catalogue. Numbered #9045

Old copper engraved advertisement.

I just wish I could afford to buy it!!, but the ebay seller wants a Kings' ransome.

See below for some more engravings.

This copper plate is the plate from the bottom of the 1928 Catalogue.

Named as #260, 'Wood Carvers' Beechwood Routers'.

1/6d each

Here is a teaser...what was the function of this unit ?


This next object is from the Machinists line really, but it is unusual to find it in this condition today. It is in the 1928 Catalogue as Item # 6290 and described as a Double Circular Imperial Standard Wire gauge Sized 1-26.

Shown below is Item #6703....'Tinmen's 'Safety' Snips'.   I first find these in the 1938 Catalogue, but they were probably introduced before then, and they endured until the 1965 Catalogue and beyond. This pair shown here is pre-1965, because the handles are gloss paint Black, not a Crackle finish.  This item again confuses the issue of the 1896? British Laws that stated that every tool imported into or manufactured in Great Britain must be indelibly stamped with the country of origin.  This c.1940? MARPLES tool only states 'Sheffield' !!  And surely there is an 'S' missing at the end of 'SON' !

Did you know that they had named pencils?

1897.  #1994A. Handled Joiners ' Hammer.

This is a Solid Steel Saddlers' Punch and I have found it as listed:

# 3781 in Cat 1909  1/8"-3/4".  

#3780B in Cat 1928 3/64"-3/4".

#3780B in Cat 1938  3/64"- 3/4".

#3780B in Cat 1959  3/64"-1"

#3780B in Cat 1965 1/16"- 1/2"  

Item #6702  Tinmen's  'Safety Snips with Curved Blades' c.1950?  Hand forged. Available 6-12".

This example may have been modified as the handle ends seem bent outwards. Non-Safety snips [<1940?] had the 2 handle ends meet, and caused  pinched palms.   (See above)

These skates are quite rare.  The first reference to something of this style is in the 1897 Catalogue where they are listed as item #875 described as: Best polished Walnut, brass toeplates, iron and steel Rocker blades, for broad toe straps, all sizes, 11/6 per pair.   Straps for ditto, 2/4 per set. [That is 2 shillings and four pence for the uninitiated]

 The Brass Toe Plates may have varied with time and operator, as the ones shown here do not conform EXACTLY to the picture.

1897.   Engineers' Solid Steel Hammer No.8

This is a 'Plumber's Strong Lead Cutting knife' c.1910  Item #6556.   Beechwood scale handles.

This article has had a tough life as the blade appears shorter than illustrated, as shown below.

Alternatively, it may be a Linoleum Knife [#3921], but these always had a LONGER blade, the handle did not turn up at the heel and was 3-pinned towards the blade end only. In other words, was not as Robust.

Recently, through a great friend in the UK, I was lucky to secure FOUR copper plate engravings that MARPLES used in their Catalogues, as shown below.

Although found in the 1928 Catalogue, this Item# 2329 'Roadmakers' Brass Level'  is a later example.

To the right is the 1938 listing.

Below left is the 1959 listing and below right is the 1965 listing.

Note the differences in size availability between the years.


1897.  #1990 Handled Exteer Hammer.

On the Left above is the 1909 Catalogue entry for #3921 and on the Right is the 1928 Listing....different design.

Here is an 'Upholsterers Polished Beechwood Bat Web Strainer'     Item# 3922 in the 1928 Catalogue.

'Best Improved Hollow Boxwood Pricker Pad' with Wing Nut #805 in the 1897 Cat. and it came with 8,10,12,15 or 18 tools.  By 1909 it had been renamed as a 'Tool Pad' and Item #1870  It appears in the 1928 and 1938 Cats. and was probably de-listed around 1940.

This Hacksaw can only be found in the 1938 Catalogue as Item# 2655.  Cast Iron Solid Back.  Thumbscrew strainer.

Available as 8,9,10 & 12 inch models

Item #3541 Tack Claws have a long history since before 1897 [when they were #935]. Up until at least 1959 they had Polished Beech handles but these were then changed before 1965 to Polished Ash.