9392. TUC Congress Silver Bell - Price £2,750

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A tall and impressive table bell with Corinthian column handle surmounted by a girl in classical clothing standing on a globe of the world. The bell is heavily engraved all round with TUC insignias and a presentation inscription to George Hicks, founding member of the British Socialist Party and TUC President 1927-1928. Very heavy weight. Loud ring tone. Weight 1337 grams, 43 troy ounces. Height 35 cm. Diameter 12.4 cm. Sheffield 1927. Maker Martin Hall.

Biography - The firm Martin Hall was established as a partnership in 1820 in Sheffield by Henry Wilkinson and John Roberts, trading as Wilkinson & Roberts. Wilkinson left in 1836. In 1846 John Roberts became partners with Ebenezer Hall (his apprentice in 1836) as Roberts & Hall.

In 1854 Richard Martin (of Martin Brothers & Naylor) and Joshua Hall (brother of Ebenezer Hall) entered the partnership and the firm became Martin, Hall & Co. In 1866 the firm became a limited company. Although originally based at Shrewsbury Works, Sheffield the company also had factories in London and Birmingham with showrooms in London and Glasgow. The firm participated in the 1851 Great Exhibition, the International Exhibition (1862), the Sydney Exhibition (1879), the Melbourne Exhibition (1881) and the 1915 British Industries Fair.

In liquidation 1933, Closed by 1936. Their full name was Richard Martin, Ebenezer Hall & Co.

Condition - This historic bell is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Very crisp. Stamped around the base rim with a full set of English silver hallmarks.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Literature - Ernest George Hicks (1879 - 1954), British trades unionist and Labour Party politician. Hicks was one of the founding members of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904 went on to be a prominent trade union leader in the bricklayers' union. Hicks was a member of General Council of the TUC from 1921 to 1941 and served as the TUC President in 1927–1928. Around this time he was also a member of the General Council of the International Federation of Trade Unions.
In a 1931 by-election, Hicks was elected Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Woolwich East, representing that constituency until 1950. He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Works in the wartime coalition government from 1941 to 1945. He died in 1954.

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