A. W. N. Pugin

The Collected Letters of A. W. N. Pugin, Vol. 4: 1849–1850

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To JOHN HARDMANRamsgate, Monday, 11 February 1850?

Text: MS PC [HLRO 832]   Address: none   Postmark: none

My Dear Hardman

It is very wrong of you to neglect the coffin furniture work. I have had 2 sets sent for to day. it is a branch of trade that could be very extensive but you must make them in Iron cast with the staples that hold the handles to drive into the wood & turn up. [Sketch: staple] these would be very cheap. I have been obliged to send off the brass ones I had which are too good for common purposes. this is one of the things I cant get you to do & it is one of all others the most wanted & for which there would be a constant demand. the beastly handles they make are all cast & ours would cast and answer perfectly. pray think of this. I sent you a Lot of drawings once for this very purpose.

what do you think of Father Costigan gravely proposing to shut off part of my church for a girls scholl!!! he said it was a great deal too Large & would make Capital school. My patience is tried too much. I cant bear it. I get more & more disgusted every day—without a reverent & well informed clergy our churches are worse than useless.

I have just got your Letter. I think you have forgotten another small swing casement for the staircase of sacristies—you have the dimensions a Long time. let me know about this. [Sketch: casement] I dare say the casement fell back when you tried it but remember there is a fierce current of air acting on it which of course blows it up & down. I wonder a practical man like you did not forsee this—I used to consider you infalible.

answer to Queries

1. you beast, you villian, you wretch what do mean by the Amour Propre of the architect. if I was near you I would I think pitch into you for you deserve keel Hauling for such an expression. Amour propre. do you think I consider Such a trade a disgrace—you desperate villian—I think I see the sly Laugh when you wrote it. you know wery well—that people would come to you who would never apply to me—it pg 413is just the same with the windows. everbody knows—that I design the glass but double the applications come through you—than what I get—it is almost impossible for a man in a profession to work the business part himself sucessfully & that you know.

—2. I would buy the ground & build the place receiving a rent equivalent to 4 per cent on the outlay out of the business just as you might rent any other premises.

3. I intended to add it to the other branches of your trade receiving the same remuneration as I do for other things—it is only Employing another arm of Briarius (see art journal).1 ha My boy I have you on hip. ha ha. however we will talk it all over. it is not to be despised. if you saw what I have done with the carvers in a few weeks—I could produce magnificent things under my eye.

  • ever dear Hardman
  • ✠AWelby Pugin  

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Editor’s Note
1 Hardman's display is reviewed on p. 320 of an unsigned, illustrated account of 'The Birmingham Exhibition of Manufactures and Arts', Art-Journal, 11 (October 1849): 293–321 but there seems to be no reference to Briareus there.
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