Early C19th Antique Print Depicting Matthew Boulton’s Soho Manufactury

Early C19th Antique Print Depicting Matthew Boulton’s Soho Manufactury

Code: 11088


H: 25.5cm (10")W: 32.5cm (12.8")


Matthew Boulton’s "Soho Manufactury"
Etching with aquatint, hand coloured 
Engraved by Francis Eginton (1737-1805)
Published by the Rev. Stebbing Shaw, F.S.A. (1798-1802)
Circa 1798

25.5 cm x 32.5 cm (image)

Framed & glazed

Lettered beneath the image "Drawn & Engraved by "Fras. Eglinton, Ashted, Birmingham" "To Mathew Boulton Esq. this N.E. View of Soho Manufactory, is inscribed by his obliged servant S. Shaw". With a vignette of Mathew Boulton's coat of arms and crest with his family motto "Faire sum devoir" ("Do Your Duty"). Numbered 'XVII' top right as it appeared in "The History and Antiquities of Staffordshire" by the Rev. Stebbing Shaw, Published 1798.

An historic print of one of the most important buildings of the Industrial Revolution: the famous 'Soho Manufactory', flagship factory of the pioneering British industrialist and luxury goods manufacturer Mathew Boulton F.R.S. (1728–1809). 

Located around 2 miles north west of the centre of Birmingham, the 'Soho Manufactory' was the site where Boulton's workforce produced a wide range of goods including buttons, buckles, boxes and japanned wares (collectively called "toys") and luxury products such as silverware, silver plated items and ormolu (gilt bronze). The Manufactury operated from 1766 to 1848 and was demolished in 1853.

The engraver Francis Eginton (1737-1805) was employed by Boulton as a decorator of japanned wares and a glass painter and enameller. He became accomplished in almost every department of decorative art at the Soho Manufactury, where he became chief designer and, ultimately, a partner of Matthew Boulton and John Fothergill. Eginton also became well-known as the most celebrated stained glass painter of his generation. He undertook a number of important commissions, including a set of windows with shields of Knights of the Garter for St George’s Chapel Windsor and a huge decorative stained glass scheme at Arundel Castle for the Duke of Norfolk, who had presided over the work at St George's Chapel.

The image is taken from "The History and Antiquities of Staffordshire" compiled by the county's celebrated historian and antiquary Rev. Stebbing Shaw, F.S.A.