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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

List of Articles Manufactured and Sold Wholesale, Retail, and for Exportation...

MECHI (John Joseph).

MECHI (John Joseph).

List of Articles Manufactured and Sold Wholesale, Retail, and for Exportation by Mechi, No. 4 Leadenhall Street (Fourth House from Cornhill, same side as the India House) London. Table Cutlery and General Cutlery, Dish-covers, Tea-Trays in Iron and Paper, Tea-Caddies, Every variety of Real Sheffield Plated Goods, British Plate, or German Silver, Forks, Spoons, &c. plated on Steel Goods, Desert-knives, &c. Albion Plate - Tea and Coffee-pots, Candlesticks, &c; being a superior description of Britannia Metal goods, Plate-leathers, Plate-powder, and Plate brushes, Canteens for large or small parties, Ladies' and Gentlemen's Wood and Leather Dressing-cases, Writing-cases, Pocket-books, Card-cases, Tablets, Workboxes, Writing-desks, Bagatelle-tables, Backgammon & Chess-boards, Chess and Draftsman, Hair, Cloth, Tooth, Nail, Hat, and Shaving-brushes, Combs, Hones, Boot-Jacks, Razors, Strops, Paste, Shaving-Pwoder, Naples Soap, &c. &c. &c. Any article made to order at a short notice, without additional charge, as Mechi manufactures nearly every article he sells, in Leadenhall Skin Market.

12mo. [117 x 80 x 2 mm]. 18pp. Sewn in the original wrappers with the Mechi shopfront illustrated in bisque, black and white within a decorate frame on the front and bisque and white "security" printing on the rear.
London: Whiting [c.1840].

In fine condition, almost as good as new. The wrappers were presumably printed by Charles Whiting, who held patents for embossing and security printing. It is a small but remarkably detailed catalogue of Mechi's products, with long lists of prices, interspersed with remarks (including tips on shaving, for those who find it a painful operation) and homilies on successful business practices (for example: "1st. to sell only the very best articles, at a small profit, for ready money. 2nd. To exchange or return the money for any article found defective, without any reserve or mean objection. 3rd. By punctuality, by civility, and vigilant attention to the wants of his customers, to endeavour to identify their interest with his own, and thereby merit and increase the extensive trade, patronage and confidence with which he has already been honoured").

John Joseph Mechi (1802-1880) was the son of an Italian migrant. At the age of 16 he was employed as a clerk in a mercantile house in Walbrook, engaged in trade with North America. In 1827 he opened his own shop in Leadenhall Street, manufacturing and selling a large range of quality items to the populace. His "Magic Razor Strop" was a special success, though business suffered when beards became fashionable and the company went bust in 1856. Mechi then went into partnership with Charles Bazin, and in 1860 they had a shop in Regent Street selling window lamps. He was also interested in agriculture, and constructed a model farm in Essex.

Stock no. ebc4420

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Price: £450

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