Spiers plane dating

“A FANCY CABINET MAKERS MITRE PLANE by Henry Buchhop, New York, New York. Its unique configuration suggests that Buchhop may have made it himself.” Martin Donnelly auctions, April 2016.“A very rare and early organ pipe makers combination voicing plane, a steel soled brass mitre plane with rosewood infill and wedge 10″ x 2 1/4” used for thinning the surface of the tin or lead alloy sheets [spotted metal] used for the metal organ pipes, the iron can be changed to the vertical position and becomes the thicknessing plane (see SAL p287) when vertical the iron is held firm by the front infill being tightened with a brass screw, chip to wedge, most unusual.” –From David Stanley auctions, Sept., 2014.“View of the Great windchest, showing pipes made variously of lead, tin, copper and spotted metal. Some of you may notice that the signed Gabriel mitre shown further down on this page was also stamped by C. It is fairly common that when a collector passes away, the heirs place the tools up for auction to be returned to the collecting community. Frank Renfrow, a longtime piano specialist in the Cincinnati area, documented the following local pianomakers from 1825 to 1880: Charters, Garish, Golden, Reuss, Strange, Clark, Bourne, Smith & Nixon, Blackburn, Britting, Dannrechtin, Schaunel, Wardrogen, and Chase, among others.Apparently, there were at least two sizes of this plane, this one is 9″ long, with a 2″ iron. In the relatively small number of these planes that have surfaced, there is much variation; Scott’s casting designs were constantly tweaked and changed. Most likely made by Norris; bed, iron, and wedge all have the typical matched fitting numbers. Its unusual to see many box mitre planes made after 1860, and more so to see a plane with a cupid’s bow bridge after the 1870s.

However the fact that it was used more than once suggests that it was one of the ways the family spelled their names 'til at least 1851!

The smaller plane has “Scott” inscribed roughly embossed, inside the plane as part of the casting. It retains its full cutting iron by Shepherd Brothers and and is in excellent collector quality condition. They offered bow drills, planes, tuning, voicing, and regulating tools to the piano trade.

This plane is nicely appointed with a brass locking screw for the cap and a rounded brass washer to secure the throat adjustment. He worked as a cabinetmaker in New York City throughout his life. This is the organ’s primary division and stands at the top of the case immediately behind its facade of polished tin 8′ Principal pipes.” From George Buck ad in “Modern Practical Joinery” by George Ellis, 1908.

Why and when the Spiers spelling was chosen over Speir is not at all clear.

What seems clear is that planes marked Speir were in all probability made by Stewart Spiers, his father William or his American born nephew William Spier.