The new chairman owned Crapper & Co. for the next
twenty-nine years but did little with the business. Thankfully
he kept it alive until it was acquired by its current owners Simon Kirby and Warrick Knott,
English enthusiasts with a passion for the great heritage of the
famous old firm. Simon, an historian of the bathroom industry and
(believe or not) a collector of antique loos, basins, taps and
even baths, explains that for him Thomas Crapper & Co. is the ultimate prize!
The current owners have gathered around them like-minded, committed
individuals with their own separate specialities and their joint
aim is to treat the company and reputation with the respect deserved.
Now based at Shakespeare's Stratford-on-Avon, the traditions
of quality, attention to detail and service are maintained
as strictly as they ever were. Exact re-creations of the
sanitaryware of 100 years ago are produced, mostly by hand
and all in Great Britain as in the past.
At the base in Warwickshire, there are a few products on display, but not everything, as Crapper & Co. now sell through a network of specialist retailers both at home and abroad, as well as by 'mail order' through the printed brochure and the web-site.
There are always a few restored, antique W.C. pans available for sale; rare and beautiful Victorian creations covered with ornate, coloured transfer decoration. There is also a large private collection of some extraordinary antique sanitaryware,
including Crapper goods, various manufacturers' catalogues
and tiny salesmen's samples. Pride of place, of course,
is the original company seal and the leather-bound account
books and minute books. Some of these contain Thomas Crapper's
own delightful 'copper-plate' handwriting.
All involved with the company hope that Thomas Crapper
would be greatly pleased to see his company prospering and creating
such fine and exclusive products in the twenty-first century, even
though he would probably consider everything to be rather old
fashioned. But, after all, that is the point!
These are a few of the original accounts from our archives, some
of which date from the establishment of the firm in 1861.
The leather-bound, gold-tooled ledgers contain entries in Mr.
Crapper's 'copperplate' handwriting. Also shown are several of
the founder's Victorian patents (bottom left), a few old catalogues
and the company's official seal (centre left). The latter is still
used for endorsing documents and share certificates.