S. J. Addis

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The Addis family of London, is without doubt one of the most highly regarded of any maker of carving tools. Baptism registries list a Samuel Addis, an Edge Tool Maker in Broadway, as having baptized his son Joseph James in 1792.

James Bacon Addis (1829-1889) was the younger brother, by 18 years, of Samuel Joseph Addis. He was a third generation carving tool maker – his father, Joseph James Addis (1792-1858), was master to his older brother and his grandfather, Samuel Bayton Addis (1768-1832), had worked in the trade since the 1780s. He might have been able to make a claim of being a fourth-generation maker as his brother S. J. Addis would have been in his early 30s when James began his apprenticeship – practically a generation removed – and James would have had the benefit of studying with two generations of highly skilled edge-tool makers. Indeed, it is not clear who James apprenticed with. James, his brother, and his father may all have worked together for a period of time. When S. J. Addis moved to Lower Fore Street, James could have served his apprenticeship in either his brother’s place of business or his father’s shop in Church Street or could have divided his time between them.

In 1846, Samuel Joseph Addis was listed as a carvers? tool maker, working at 6 Lower Fore Street, Lambeth.
In 1854, his younger brother, James Bacon Addis was listed as a carvers? tool maker at 17 Charlotte Street, Blackfriars.
Both brothers are listed as exhibiting carving tools at the 1851 “Great Exhibition” in London, which was the first “World Exhibition” of it’s type.

more info at

James Bacon Addis, Prize Medal Carving Tools

The Addis Family, the Herring Brothers, and Ward & Payne