Agency for Sketchley Dye Works, Enamel Flange Sign



  • £360.00
  • €391 Euro
  • $459 US Dollar

United Kingdom

Hoarde Vintage Member since 2016
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  • Description
  • Location
  • About dealer
Sketchley was founded in 1885 as the A.E. Hawley dye works at Hinckley, in Leicestershire, the works dyed hosiery for the many factories Hinckley once had. In 1910 the company branched out into ‘French Cleaning’, the forerunner of dry cleaning, eventually becoming a household name. By the 1950s it was the largest dyers and finishers in Europe.

Here we have a lovely, double-sided enamel flange sign that would have been mounted to the wall of an 'Agency for [the] Sketchley Dye Works' (a shop that would take in items for dying). The flange would allow the sign to stick out from the wall at 90 degrees and be seen from both directions. This is an early example that features a fantastic mix of typography; swirling, bold, serifed and sans-serifed, all highlighted with a light blue drop shadow. The sign remains in excellent condition with just the most minor of nibbling round the edgers, the flange is intact and functional and both sides have a good, deep surface gloss (see sixth picture along where I've tried to capture this). The sign was produced by the Patent Enamel Co. of Birmingham c.1920 (it's worth noting that it doesn't mention the cleaning service introduced in 1910, so this sign was probably produced before that became a major part of the company's operations).

The sign measures 51cm high x 38.5cm wide and the flange is 5.5cm deep.


  • H: 51cm (20.08in)
  • W: 38.5cm (15.16in)
  • D: 5.5cm (2.17in)



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LJW @ Atlam
111 Portobello Road
W11 2QB
United Kingdom


I’m Louis Walpole. Over a decade of working for and alongside some of the best antique dealers in the country at London’s renowned Portobello Road have helped me to form a detailed understanding of, and appreciation for, a diverse array of antiques. In 2016, after ‘dabbling’ in the trade since childhood I decided to follow my heart and (ignoring a myriad of people advising against it) leave my salaried job to trade full time. Since then I have travelled around England and Western Europe collecting the pieces that particularly interest me. These pieces loosely follow the themes of; automotive, advertising, scientific and industrial. I have a select number of items on display in Atlam on Portobello Road. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.

If you would like to view any of my pieces in London, please get in touch to confirm that they’re at the shop or to arrange for me to take them there for you. It may also be possible for me to bring items to your home/bar/garage/pub etc so that they can be fully appreciated in-situ, again please just get in touch and we’ll see what can be organised."

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