Bilston basic slag - enamel sign



  • £465.00
  • €542 Euro
  • $571 US Dollar

Margate, England

Hoarde Vintage Member since 2016
Contact dealer Delivery quote Similar item? Stock request

  • Description
  • Location
  • About dealer
A rarity and a conversation starter. This vibrant enamel sign for Bilston Basic Slag is, of course, advertising (plant) fertiliser.

South Staffordshire was an area where iron working, especially the production of wrought iron was long established and very widespread. Bilston grew up as an industrial complex, with several collieries, blast furnaces and iron works. A significant secondary industry was established alongside basic Bessemer steelmaking... Initially the phosphorus-rich basic slag from the process was either shipped to Germany or was simply dumped in the North Sea. However Bilston became aware of the potential of this voluminous by-product and as early as 1886 announced its intention to install a slag grinding mill. Crushed basic slag was soon being used as an artificial manure or fertiliser in agriculture where its slow release of phosphorous into the soil helped improve crop yields.

The colour-way is vibrant and it's survived the decades in good order. There is a little dulling to the surface gloss - mainly to the orange background (see angled photo). There are also some losses around the outer edges and one patch towards the centre of the sign.

This sign is a total rarity, I've not seen another before. An interesting piece of history, a collector's peice or an innuendo rich piece of decor; it can work as any / all.

It measusres 53.5cm wide x 38cm high. It can be hung using it's original mounting holes.


  • H: 38cm (14.96in)
  • W: 53.5cm (21.06in)
  • D: 0.2cm (0.08in)



This item is located in: 

Margate, England

Contact Us


By phone:

Mobile: +44 (0)7703104788

48-50 Northdown Road


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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