A Collection of Swiss Universal Lathes
Most famous and prolific of the ornamental-turning lathe makers, Holtzapffel manufactured a range of machines from the simple to the complex producing, between 1795 and 1928, some 2,557 recorded examples. The Holtzapffel family were all master craftsman and designers - and their lathes have always been highly sought-after and prized possessions. The example below is one of their more basic models, a machine rescued in very neglected condition with a wooden stand so rotten that it was only just suitable as a pattern for a replacement to be made..
Engraved on the headstock of the first example below - a lathe with the Serial number 1216 and known to have been supplied new to Thos. Drane on 30th of July, 1821 - is: Holtzapffwl & Deyerlein 64 Charing Cross, London. - the retail outlet of the Company from 1821 until 1901. Fortunately, a number of original or contemporary accessories had survived including the flywheel treadle assembly, a compound slide rest, geometric chuck and a range of smaller items, all shown below.
One unusual version of Holtzapffel lathe was a type built along the lines of the Swiss Universal/English Mandrel, a machine made by numerous makers but one seldom found with any maker's marks.
Should you have a Holtzapffel lathe they you would like to see featured (anonymously) in the Archive the writer would be interested to hear from you.