Seeing - part I
Several months ago a friend of mine stopped by with his typical ‘goodie’ bag. Some of it was for sale, some was just for show & tell, and some was part of the ongoing lending routine (for which I am very grateful). This plane was one of the ‘lenders’. There were 2 reasons he brought this plane. First was because of the very unusual marking on the lever cap (which we were both pretty excited about).
The other, closely related reason, was to get my thoughts on who might have made it. I had an opinion on the maker question immediately. He had concluded the same thing. We compared notes about why we concluded the same name - it was an interesting exercise. What was most interesting is that we were both looking at the form of the plane - the lines, the shapes and the design details. We used that information to identify the maker (as opposed to a great big SPIERS or NORRIS stamped in the lever cap).
I have been thinking about this issue for a very long time - what details distinguish one makers work from another? I have talked about this topic with a few other planemakers over the years and it is always fascinating and informative, and is something very near and dear to our hearts.
I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag too fast here (as tempting as it is), so I would like to get some feedback from anyone who is interested. I have taken several photos of this plane from a few different angles to offer as much detail as I can. I would love to hear from you as to who you think made this plane, and most importantly - what details of this plane did you use to help identify it (or were you considering when identifying the maker)?
I should also mention, that as far as I know - this plane has not been positively identified or attributed to a known maker, so there is no right or wrong answer here. Depending on the interest in this topic, I am willing to venture further out on the plane design limb.
So... who do you think made it?
The below two photos have been added as per Peter McBride’s request.