Benham and Froud
Herbert Benham and Son
Benham and Sons Ltd
John Kepp - Richard and Edward Kepp
(c) Vin Callcut 2002-2017. Small extracts can be used with acknowledgements to 'Oldcopper.org' website.
Helpful comments are very welcome.
Benham & Froud c1855-1924, Chandos St, London, describing themselves variously as general metal workers, art metal workers and lamp manufacturers. The famous 'orb' was adopted because the firm made the present cross on the dome of St Paul's Cathedral in 1821 and it could be seen from the shop in London.
An orb may also have been used by other makers. Interestingly, it also represents and inverted 'ankh', the Greek symbol for copper. Ankhs & Orbs
These brief notes are derived from work by John Hardcastle:
In 1785 John Kepp set up as a coppersmith and brazier in Chandos Street, London. Around 1818 the company was in the names of Richard and Edward Kepp.
In 1821 they made the replacement orb and cross for St. Paul’s Cathedral 23ft high and weighing seven tons. The orb and cross trademark was used from 1855 to 1924.
In 1855 the company was taken over by Herbert Augustus Benham, Joseph Froud and four others, becoming known as Benham & Froud. In 1906 it was reformed as Herbert Benham & Co. in Marlborough Mews, Great Marlborough Street London W., moving to Ramillies Place, London in 1920 and not found in directories after 1924.
This 'Kepp' mark can be seen on the underside of a souvenir circular box made from the copper of the original ball and cross from St. Paul's Cathedral.
(These two photos courtesy Tonny Beentjes.)
The famous candlestick design frequently acknowledged to Dr Dresser was also made by James Henry Stone of Birmingham and is identifiable by his Rd Design number 53791.
Benham articles often come with another mark of which this triple diamond is one example. They may be workshop identity marks.
Under a coal scuttle can be seen this 'doubled Y' mark to the right of a distorted '16'. (Photo Roderick Butler)
....and here is a stylised leaf mark beside the orb.
Benham & Sons, Wigmore St., London, was established as an entirely separate company in the 1870s and became Limited in 1892 with six directors, four of whom had the surname Benham but no relationship has yet been established. They produced copperware of similar quality to Benham. The company apparently closed in London 1907 and may have moved to Birmingham. Benham & Sons, Ltd., Strafford House, Strafford Place Birmingham 12, were marketing cookware until late 20th century.