Made to Impress
A REMARKABLE CABINET
Like many articles displayed at the Great Exhibition, this remarkable cabinet was made to impress.
Manufactured by McCallum & Hodson, one of Birmingham’s leading makers of japanned papier mâché, it was clearly designed to show their familiarity with new technical developments, like steam-moulding which made possible the acanthus leaf motifs on its cabriole legs, and above all, to demonstrate their decorative expertise.
The firm was first listed in a Birmingham directory of 1835. James McCallum had been apprenticed to Jennens & Bettridge, the best-known of Birmingham’s nineteenth-century japan factories, while Edward Hodson was a businessman. Together they built up a successful factory which became well known for its extensive foreign and home trade, as well as its supply of ‘blanks’ or undecorated articles to other japanners.Download the Full Article (PDF)