Housewares trio features in Boswells’ ‘fantastic brands’ list

Oxford department store Boswells has compiled a list of the 10 oldest labels on its shelves – all of which are well over 150 years old.

Boswells, which has been trading since 1738, is the Oxfordshire city’s largest independent department store. It specialises in housewares, gifts, linens, luggage, cosmetics, pharmacy and toys.

The retailer said: ‘For a company or a brand to survive for centuries is no easy task and, we think, it’s worthy of a little recognition. These fantastic brands give us something superb to share with our predecessors, and to pass onto the next generation. So hurrah for these enduring brands. Long may they continue!’

Here are the three housewares names that feature in Boswell’s top 10 (with Boswell’s comments):

Spode: ‘Spode is the third oldest brand on our list, celebrating its 250th birthday this year. Spode has been recognised as an innovator in the pottery business since it was founded in Stoke-on-Trent in 1767.

‘The company is responsible for the invention of bone china, originally named Stoke china, which was first developed by William Spode II in the early 19th century. Around this time, Spode also became potter to The Prince Regent.

‘Spode remained a family-owned business until 1966, and is now part of the equally celebrated Portmeirion Group. Needless to say, Spode china is still beautifully designed, crafted and decorated, with many of its traditional designs still on the market today. In our gift department you will find a rather special collection of Spodeware featuring Morris & Co. designs.

 Taylor’s Eye Witness:  ‘In 1838 John Taylor founded Taylor’s Eye Witness as a designer and manufacturer of knives and scissors based in Sheffield – and it’s still there to this day.

‘As you might imagine, close to 200 years of Taylor’s Eye Witness perfecting its production technique and knowledge has led to an impressive level of craftmanship, and some truly sleek looking designs too.

‘Of course, Taylor’s Eye Witness knives aren’t simply for show. As well as looking very stylish, many of these utensils are extremely practical, featuring hardened blades with anti-bacterial coating too. Sounds like a win-win to us!’

Kilner: ‘In 1842, John Kilner began his glass bottle and jar company. 175 years later, we still use Kilner bottles and jars.

‘Around 1900 the company released the first vacuum sealed jar, which introduced an innovative means of preserving and pickling food. It was an invention so useful that you may very likely have one of these ingenious objects sitting in your kitchen right now.

‘Nowadays Kilner produce a great number of really useful, and suitably stylish, glass bottles and jars, many of which can be found in our cookshop. We particularly love the drink dispenser and handled jar glasses.

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