The Art of Ornamental Turning

S. O'Keffe
1979, Vol. 12, No. 1,


On a day in June 1978 the Liverpool firm of John O'Keeffe & Son, die sinkers and engravers, received a letter from Mr. Warren G. Ogden Jr. of Massachusetts, U.S.A. The letter contained a request for information about a second hand rose engine lathe which had been purchased for £150 by John O'Keeffe on March 28th 1816 from the London firm of Holtzapffe1 & Co.

This study is an account of my enquiries and researches arising out of this communication, in the course of which I have discovered much of interest about the craft of ornamental turning as well as some local history, the history of the lathe, and also something about the history of my family. Myconnection with the firm of John 0' Keeffe & Son began in 1956 when I was apprenticed as a die sinker and engraver, and ended when I relinquished my partnership to begin my training as a teacher of craft and design.

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