This firm was active between about 1931 and 1968 as a manufacturer of stainless and electro-plated table cutlery. Its speciality was canteens of cutlery, which were often cased in ornate wooden cabinets. The ‘Viner’ name is intriguing, especially since some of the firm’s cutlery labels make clear that the items were made by Viners Ltd. The principal of the enterprise was Charles Frederick Hall (later Charles Frederick Viner-Hall), who was born in about 1881. His early life has not been traced, but piecing together information from ships’ passenger lists it appears that in 1907 he worked at Westwood Works, Witton, Birmingham. This was the factory of S.M. Emanuel & Co, a manufacturer of studs, buttons, and jewellery.  Possibly, Hall was trained in electro-plating, as on one occasion he described himself as a ‘cyanider’.  How the link with Viners came about is unknown – presumably through marriage, because by 1925 Hall’s surname had become Viner-Hall and his address was Broomspring Works, Bath Street, Sheffield. In the 1920s, Viner-Hall visited Australia.  In 1931, he established a factory in Sydney – Craftsman Products Ltd – for the manufacture of cutlery cabinets from Australian timbers.  Capital was £10,000 and the directors were C.F. Viner-Hall, Ruby F. Viner, and G.J. Watman. Sixty local workers were soon employed.  It appears that the plan was to source cutlery from Sheffield and box it in Australia. Certainly, many Viner & Hall cutlery sets were sold in Australia.  In the 1930s, the firm’s Sheffield address was Imperial Works, Bramwell Street; after the War, it was Egerton Street; and finally, Victoria Street in 1961.  Charles Frederick Viner-Hall died in that year in Australia, aged about 80.  He had become a noted art collector and bequeathed several important works to Australian art galleries.  The firm was liquidated in 1968.

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A Set of 10 Vintage Spoons manufactured by Viner & Hall Ltd. (Australia)